Monthly Archives: February 2013

The return of warm weather also means the return of my arch enemies!

The return of warm weather also means the return of my arch enemies!

Chickweed!

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Wild geranium!

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Wild strawberry!

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Wild raspberry!

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English ivy seedlings and ligustrum seedlings!

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Japanese honeysuckle!

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And Bittercress!

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I have so often thought about getting a goat or a sheep and confine them to an area and just let them eat away at these weeds!

The seeds can live for years so even when you do remove them they have the ability to come back years later!

I have pulled and pulled and even resorted to spraying an herbicide. The patches get smaller each year so maybe they will eventually disappear?

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Filed under General Gardening, Pest

Hardy begonia Barbara Rodgers

Did you know there are winter hardy begonias? They are root hardy here in zone 7b in central North Carolina.  By Fall, they are leggy and look like miniature bamboo plants about three feet tall!

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You can use this as an opportunity to root cuttings. This variety is Barbara Rogers and it grows about 3 feet tall and about as wide with large white flowers. This plant was added this year and only has four or five stems.

They will die back to the ground at first frost so you can make cuttings by cutting the stems at ground level.

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You may place several cuttings per pot to make a nice clump the first year.

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Each stem can but cut into several cuttings each with a few set of leaves and with a few nodes without leaves for roots.

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Remove the leaves from the lower nodes to allow for good rooting as any leaves that are underground will only rot.

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Keep them moist and in a shady location. It will take a few weeks to root. Protect them from freezing temps while they are in pots as they may be tender.

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In the Spring they should be ready to plant in the garden! There are several varieties with various colours and flower shapes. Plant Delights has a nice selection!

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Filed under Plants

Sour Cream Pound Cake

Pound cake is right up there with banana bread as my favorite thing to bake.

Historically, the recipe is a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, and a pound of eggs. They are generally baked in a bundt mold or a loaf pan.

The addition of lemon juice or lime juice or any other flavor can change the flavor and its very acceptable to top it with fruits or sauces.

Sour Cream Pound Cake

1 cup softened butter

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

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1) Cream butter, gradually beat in the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each. In another bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture. Add vanilla and sour cream and beat on low until just mixed.

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Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 325f for about 75 to 85 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

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You can top it with a simple glaze:

1.5 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 teaspoons milk or lemon juice depending on the flavor you want.

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Adapted from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Sour-Cream-Pound-Cake

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Filed under Food