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Plantosaurus Rex

Got your attention ?  Escaping dinosaur at San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers ?  Is this Gardening Gone Wild ?!

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Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook Giveaway

CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNERS Dawn Standke, Lori Key, Robert Bornstein, Holly Chaille, Debby West, Donna Walter, Jennifer Lachman and Amy Castillo. That’s right, EIGHT of you. A tie of sorts. Each time I read the comments, I kept adding someone to the winners’ list. I figured, Sunset is being very generous, so what’s three more books? And if need be, I’ll pick up the tab. Your community gardens and the people you feed from your garden…well, I wish you ALL could have won.  As a consolation, I’ll post Sunset’s Chocolate Zucchini Rum Cake Recipe here in time for zucchini season. Some of you offered to send me your extra zucchinis, ha. (You were kidding, right?) Many thanks for visiting GGW. Come back and see us. You won’t want to miss my next post, on bizarre cactus. Love you guys!– Debra

Sunset asked if I’d like five copies of their new Edible Garden Cookbook: Fresh, healthy cooking from the garden to give to GGW’s readers. I responded, “Are you KIDDING??”

It’s a very cool book. I sampled some of the recipes at the Sunset test kitchen recently. You know how having too much zucchini is a joke among gardeners? Well, wait ’til you taste Sunset’s Chocolate Zucchini Rum Cake. “It’s a fine use of zucchini that has perhaps grown a little too big,” the book says. I’m in danger of growing a little too big, too, now that I have the recipe in my hot little hands. Eating the rich, moist, chewy, chocolaty cake was an OMG moment. Trust me, there’s no hint that it’s healthy. Continue Reading →

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Proteas Please and Tease Me

The Proteaceae family was named after the mythical god Proteus, son of Poseidon, because the flowers have so many forms. Proteus could foretell the future, but changed his shape so he didn’t have to.

Doesn’t the king protea above look like a snow cone?

And this banksia, a corn cob? The petals feel like coated plastic wire, the kind used in telephone cables. Continue Reading →

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RIGHT UP THERE – INVEREWE

Looking south over the walled garden over loch Ewe.

This is one of those really famous gardens, but in such a remote location that you don’t just drop in. Fifty miles from the nearest supermarket, inform my hosts, as if this is now the definition of distance from civilization or maybe survival. Inverewe on the north-west coast of Scotland is famous as a ‘sub-tropical’ garden, which is nonsense, but it is an illustration that with a bit of shelter, the climate here is amazingly west-coast mild, rarely that cold, and never hot – ideal for New Zealand flora and good for a lot of Himalayan foothill stuff. The contrast with the surrounding barren treeless scenery is extraordinary and gives the place its magic. Continue Reading →

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From the seventeenth century

Godolphin House in Cornwall, is a relatively recent National Trust acquisition. A great house until the 17th century when the money began to run out, it never got ‘modernized’ by Capability Brown or his cohorts, so retains old formal features. Previous owners popped in the old rose bush and tree peony but little else, or at least not much else has survived a period of neglect. The primroses have gone mad as they do in Cornwall, self-seeding everywhere, loving the wet, the mild winters and cool summers which gives them the long growing season they like; truly a flower of the Atlantic fringe, where the weather is remarkably similar through the year. This is a pavement of stones set into the ground. For some reason primroses flourish here better than grass.

Why the odd pink one I don’t know. Possibly because primroses-gone-wild in gardens have some genes left over from crossing with garden polyanthus. Seems pretty universal in ‘feral’ populations. Continue Reading →

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