Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

German Apple Cake - You'll Want the Recipe!

I made this recipe a couple of times last week. I took one to Church and I kept one at home and ate nearly the whole thing myself, I guess! ha. It works for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and I think you'll like it, too. :-)

I made one last night for the freezer, and tonight I've just made two recipes, divided into three pans (one 8 x 11 1/2" and two 9x9").

Here's the recipe:
(My alterations are in parentheses and
cooking hints will be within the instructions.)

German Apple Cake

2 eggs
1 cup oil (1/2 cup oil plus 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar (1 1/3 cup sugar)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 cups sliced apples

In a 4-cup glass measuring cup, measure the oil, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. In a large bowl, measure the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and sugar; mix. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones. The batter will be rather thick. Peel, core and slice your apples about 1/4" thick. (I have a little "peeler, slicer, corer" machine that leaves you with your apple shape that is sliced. I cut the sliced apple into thirds.)

The recipe calls for a well-greased, 9x13" pan. I use a well-greased, 8x11 1/2" pan, as it makes it "cakier." Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes (50 does it for me).

It is so moist! You may sprinkle the top of the cake with cinnamon/sugar mixture (as though you were making cinnamon toast) very lightly. This is certainly not necessary.

The house smells Wonderful as it's baking!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Look at the Bushes Once More

For really colorful Fall posts, check out Dave at Home Garden who's encouraging people to participate in posting their Fall Colors and leaving a note at his site. :-)

These first couple of bright red bushes are the Euonymus alata "Compactus" Burning Bushes. You can see a PMJ Rhododendron squished between them. The BB on the right is exceptionally beautiful.
(Planting Circle #1)
Can you even see the bright red berries?

As we back away from the garage, this is "Planting circle #2."
Here you see another BB and leaves of a redbud tree.
(looking carefully to the right, you can still glimpse "planting circle #1)

Again, backing away a bit further,
now you can see the redbud tree with its golden fall foliage
(and zillions of seeds... do you want some?).
There was no ID on this bush, which I've always assumed
was also a Burning Bush until Fall. Do YOU know what it is?

A little closer view of the leaves. I really like the color,
as its an interesting contrast to the other bushes along the driveway.
This may be my last "colorful" Fall post.

*PostScript: I'm feeling embarrassed, as I'm remembering this is a forsythia! I've looked online and have found three forsythia with purplish foliage. I hope someone can help me provide a Real ID! I'm sorry if I've thrown people off-base!

Summer 2008 Inspiration

**In any of these posts, you can be looking forward to next Spring and the things you might do due to inspiration in 2008! :-)

October - Have you a visited a gardening friend (blogger or otherwise) who inspired you this past season (2008)? Tell us all about it!

November - Have you planted anything during the 2008 growing season that you can credit to another gardener (blogger or otherwise)? Tell us all about it!

December - What about your hardscape? Did you do any landscaping that you might credit to a fellow gardener (blogger or otherwise)? Tell us all about it!

January - What does your "2009 Wish List" look like? Is there anything there you plan to purchase and/or grow because of your 2008 Summer Inspiration (or even last Winter)? Please tell us about it!

February - Did you add and/or create any decorative, whimsical items for your gardens in 2008? Please share! Can you give credit to anyone?

March - Will you be doing any early seeding? Will you be making any special landscaping plans for the upcoming season? Please share.

April - Thank you for participating. Anything else you'd like to share (like container planting) before we all get busy with our 2009 gardening??? :-)

You can even create more than one post per month, if you need to (I did in October!). You don't have to participate every month... just when it applies and/or you have the time!

Whenever you've posted YOUR Summer 2008 Inspiration posts, please leave a note here or at one of my current postings. :-)

Your gardening friend (always looking for inspiration!)
Shady Gardener

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday

I really did post about this Tricyrtis earlier. The label just said Tricyrtis hirta.
Cute little squirta, don't you think? ;-)
(Sorry. ha. The photo's just a little blurry. The light was nearly gone and I tried and tried to "hold still" in the wind!)
It still has one bud, but it won't make it, as we're do for a good, solid freeze tonight.

This is my most distinctively different Tricyrtis, so far.
Like I said, the wind was active and the light was low.
(It also has a bud here and there.)
I took a lot of photos to get this nice clear one!
A close-up of Tricyrtis "Seiryu."
Do you want to participate in Green Thumb Sunday? Check it out here at Feverish Thoughts!
Have a great night!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mush Push?

I've just visited a new-to-me blog that was recommended by Rosey Pollen.
The name of this blog is Our Mush Push and its author is Lindalou.

I've been looking through her latest posts; all of which are varied and interesting.
She seems to have many interests and I believe many of you would enjoy visiting her site.

Lindalou is celebrating her blog status by having a giveaway.


Just pay her a visit!
I'm not being shady,
just about as obtuse as usual!

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Red October" was one of the last of my hostas to be blooming... but then, it didn't begin blooming until October! :-)

A little more color!!

Have a Great day!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Fabulous Fall Decor" Award

Thank you, Patsi. I'm not sure I can take much credit for the Fall Decor we're enjoying, but I'm sure we all like to think we contribute just a little to the overall scene. :-) You'll find Patsi at Garden Endeavors. Her garden site is very much worth your visit!

Now I must follow the rules and pick six people I've noticed sharing beautiful Fall arrangement and/or scenery posts. I know everyone, especially in the northern regions, are preparing to say goodbye to their garden blossoms, so we really are enjoying a lot of Fall posts. But I must limit myself to six people. You might visit them to let them know about this award!

Gail at Clay and Limestone,
Deb at Garden Author,
Kathleen at Kasey's Korner,
Nancy Bond at Soliloquy,
Northern Shade at Northern Shade Gardening,
Kylee at Our Little Acre.

The rules are pick up this award photo and post it on your blog. Nominate six people/blogs of your choice for this same award. Then finally, you need to let the winners know that they have been chosen!

Nothing "Shady" here! Enjoy visiting these blogs. :-)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Harvest Home and Fall Color

Harvest Home
by Arthur Guiterman

The maples flare among the spruces,
The bursting foxgrape spills its juices,
The gentians lift their sapphire fringes
On roadways rich with golden tinges,
The waddling woodchucks fill their hampers,
The deer mouse runs, the chipmunk scampers,
The squirrels scurry, never stopping,
For all they hear is apples dropping
And walnuts plumping fast and faster;
The bee weighs down the purple aster---
Yes, hive your honey, little hummer,
The woods are waving, "Farewell, Summer."

Every day brings just a little more change in the Fall colors. This is what we've been seeing this past week or so. :-)
Slight changes happening downtown...
(Oct. 8)
(Oct. 9)

You know, I always obey this sign...
but do you think it could use an exclamation point about this time of year? ;-)
(Oct. 9)

You will see these burning bushes from the front of the house
(with a couple of rhododendrons sandwiched in between).

The back side of the bush was pretty, too
especially contrasted with the green hostas
that seem to be hugging the ground.
(Oct. 14)
(Oct. 15) A cloudy day.
We are now looking up at our Shagbark Hickory
on the south (woodsy) side of the house.
(Oct. 14)

I'm enjoying this Fall weather. I've planted a few bulbs and will be happy to see the flowers next Spring! I have a few tulips to plant... just couldn't resist trying a few. I'll probably lay hardware cloth over the ground until Spring!! Perhaps that'll keep the rodents from digging down to them.

Hope you're enjoying this Autumn weather.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Silent Sunday Succulents

Parden the photo quality.
An update on my Christmas Cacti.

Plant Number One:
(10 full blossoms, 6 nearly ready and dozens more on the way)

Plant Number Two:

(one so far)


Friday, October 17, 2008

You Might Say,

"This was a blooming mystery!" ;-)

I traipsed downstairs to the basement storage room on September 19th. I was headed for the plant workbench to see about some pots, when "what to my wondering eye should appear?"

No... no tiny reindeer... but something nearly as amazing! It was a pot I'd purchased last Winter and completely forgotten about. There it sat, in the dark (until I turned on the light, of course). Upon closer inspection, there were Green Shoots coming out of the dry ground!

"What's this?" I said to myself.
So, I took it outdoors and watered it.

I had a sneaking suspicion, but I really had forgotten all about the purchase!
Would this be a better clue??

Here we are, on October 1st.

This was taken Wednesday, October 15.

Yep! A Calla Lily. Now what?
I guess I'll be taking it indoors again.

I also have a couple that I planted in front of the house that I'll need to dig.
But, this little fellow should be fun - don't you think? ;-)

P.S. Don't you think that someone would pick up that fallen basket?? hmmmm?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today is a Day of Memories

I'm meeting my parents and my brother-in-law today
in central Iowa.
My post is on Making Memories today.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - "On Time!"

It's raining outside (not a downpour),
and I decided to head outdoors to take a couple more photos!

I can take little credit for the success of the gardens this year.
We have enjoyed a wonderful growing season.
Everything was provided as needed...
(it was critical to water only a couple of times).
For that I am both grateful and humbled, as that's not the case everywhere.

This is what is blooming right now, as we speak! :-)
Japanese Anemone, Anemone japonica 'September Charms'?

Tricyrtis hirta,
variety unknown
(discount purchase)
The flower pot on the right is supposed to be a toad house. ;-)
A last look at the front beds - photo 1

photo 2
"Stella Supreme" is such a great re-bloomer!
Notice there still buds forthcoming!

And I know this fellow is trying to tell me something.
Let's lean in... oh, yeah... I hear it!
"Come on, already. I want to go in. It's getting chilly out here!"
I understand completely.

I'll see if I can help him out later.
For the moment... I'm headed indoors!
Shady G.

P.S. This is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. See Carol about Joining.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, a day or so early.

I returned home tonight after visiting my daughter, son-in-law and their family in Omaha over the weekend. I went alone, as my husband had work commitments today. Anyway, these photos (except for the last one) were taken last week. It's just fun to see what's blooming these days. Especially now that we're deep in the midst of October.

I assume I'll begin raking in earnest tomorrow. It's the 'season,' and I don't want to get behind before I've begun!

Tricyrtis hirta 'Variegata'
This is as tall as this plant has ever gotten. It's 4 - 5 years old,
started from bare-root.
.. and as far as I can remember,
the first time it's bloomed! :-)


This next photo was also taken in the backyard.
You can see 'Praying Hands' hosta behind
'Heronswood Mist' tiarella which is one of my favorite plants,
due to its delicately colored foliage!
Of course, there's an impatien blooming here.

This is right in front of the garage,
looking past my miniature water feature towards the front of the house.
I over-wintered the palm last year. Perhaps I can divide it, as
it's grown quite large this summer.
And (Surprise!)
my non-Christmas cactus, ready to bloom!!!
(kitchen window)

Th next photo was taken tonight. The cactus is beginning to bloom!
I am amazed! :-)
(I moved it into the living room while I was gone.)
I've now begun to think about my November 2008 Inspiration post... hope you'll join me! ;-) (See my upper right side bar.)

To participate in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Create your post on the 15th of any month and leave a note at her site. :-)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Visiting IVG - 2008 Summer Inspiration - Post #2

How many of you enjoy visiting with
and receiving a visit from IVG? :-)
This is one lively, conversational garden-fellow,
who, with with his cohort and photographer "Ferny Moss,"
have created an enjoyable spot to visit at their Urban Oasis.

And yes, I was able to make a stop in nearby Des Moines August 28!
IVG greeted me at the door,
and we spent the next several minutes poking around
in their surrounding gardens.

Can you imagine the effort spent in creating this fantastic rock wall??

Taking photographs of their garden was a little intimidating,
as Fernymoss' photos are wonderful!

I did feel this photo might give an idea
of the great combinations of color,
texture, and depth of the gardens of Urban Oasis.
I was on my way home from visiting my parents and aunt
in north central Iowa, and I was on my way
to my mother-in-law's home to spend the night.
All that is to say, I didn't have as much time
as I'd have certainly Liked to spend with IVG.

This is a little rue that he shared.
It's growing in a sunny corner bed
with some creeping sedum and columbine.
(Yes, I see there are a couple of clover leaves that won't last long!) ha.

He also sent me home with some Monarda plants!
This little plant, "Jacob Cline," in the center is one I purchased this summer.
IVG's plants flank this little fellow. :-)

Look! New growth!
Next summer this part of the bed will be full of Monarda.
I'll keep you "posted!" ;-)
My past experience with Monarda tells me that it often is subject to mildew. But, IVG's hint about planting chives, onion, and/or allium nearby will help alleviate this problem. I plan to plant a few allium bulbs in this bed next week. :-)

Thanks, IVG, for your hospitality and generosity. I hope I can do you credit by your plant-gifts!

Have a great Fall!