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Fast Garden Secrets!

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  • Sheryl Simons
    The Simple Life By Sheryl Simons What if you just moved to a new home, or want to start up a FAST garden? Most perennials take 2 years to start filling in.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2009
      The Simple Life
      By Sheryl Simons
      What if you just moved to a new home, or want to start up a FAST garden? Most perennials take 2 years to start filling in. One idea is to wait for fall sales of small shrubs. Another is to begin to fill in with fast growing perennials. Of course, your best bet is to have a garden party and invite your best friends to donate a few plants. Any gardener will be glad to devide their plants for a friend! Here are some ideas for your garden that fill in fast! These all work in our climate zone.
      Yarrow, Pholx, Aster, Lambs' ears, Mexican Penstemon, Persicaria (knotweed), `Susanna Mitchell' chamomile, `Walker's Low' catmint, Bee balm (Monarda), Blazing Star Liatris, Cardinal flower, Crocosmia, Meadow Rue, Black eyed Susan(rubedeckia), Monkshood, Penstemon, Purple coneflower, Meadow Sage, Red-hot poker.
      Another idea is to use annuals until the perennials fill in. Many perennials may be started by seed this year in pots and transplanted to the garden this fall for next year. That's what the growers do, and get about $5. each for just planting a seed in a pot! Beware, many perennials that are sold are freshly sprouted seeds, and will not bloom for 2 years.

      Streusel Muffins
      Streusel Topping:
      1/4 c butter or margarine -- melted
      1/2 c Almond Meal (or flour)
      2 T sugar
      1 1/2 t lemon zest
      Muffins:
      2 1/2 c flour,
      2 t baking powder
      1 t baking soda
      1 1/3 c brown sugar or Splenda
      1 T lemon zest
      2 eggs
      3/4 c milk
      1/2 c Butter or Margarine -- melted
      1 T lemon Juice
      1 c raspberries, frozen -- do not thaw
      1 T flour
      Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400ºF. Stir all streusel ingredients together in a medium size bowl to form a soft, crumbly mix; set aside. Mix dry muffin ingredients and lemon zest together in a large size mixing bowl. In another large mixing bowl, combine all liquid ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir with wire whip until almost fully incorporated. Toss frozen raspberries with 1 T flour to coat, then gently fold into dough with a wooden spoon, handling only enough to incorporate berries. Using paper muffin cup liners, prepare muffin tins and fill each cup until 1/4" from top. Crumble streusel topping over each. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350ºF and bake for another 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and muffin springs back when pressed lightly with fingertip.
      Freeze up to 6 weeks for future use. Approximately 169 calories each

      * * *

      New Countertops on a Budget!

      Ever thought of painting your countertops? It can be done. They can be so expensive to buy new, but maybe if you could just give them a new look? If you want to try this, clean them with denatured alcohol, primed with an oil-based primer, spray painted with granite paint, and used four coats of polyurethane to seal them. The new finished countertop looks awesome! The total cost of this project? Less than $100!

      * * *

      I hope you got to see "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sandler", the Hallmark special recently. Wow! It was heart wrenching, and beautiful to see how people risked their lives to save people they didn't even know. In this day and age of greedy corporations and being only our for ourselves, Ms. Sandler's story can give all of us the courage to be an example in our world. We are at war! Let's find what is the right thing to do, and do it. Starting at home, let us treat each other with respect and dignity, love and compassion. When we come from a happy home, we all can spread it around to school, work, and the rest of the world. Volunteer! Take a risk! Do something that will last.


      Keeping it Simple,
      Sheryl
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