Friday, June 28, 2013

Kieren Swallowed A Penny and we went to CHEO

June 28, 2013 Friday
Ottawa City, Ontario, Canada

I usually don't blah about my kids. After all, everyone has their own trial and error.

But I guess this one is special and it really freaks me out. |He was running around, and Karlina found lots of pennies and they played with it. He was coughing suddenly and throwing up - so I told him to spit it out. He said the coins is in there, pointing to his mouth. Trust me...I tried to swipe my hand in there to catch the penny and he said 'Ouch". Okay, he swallowed the penny or whatever coin it was.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lemon Balms and Perilla

Ottawa City, Ontario, Canada
June 16th, 2013

The leaves of lemon balm are added to my lunch  and so as perilla.
I found that lemon balm leaves are smaller than perilla.
The undersides of Perilla is also purplish - while lemon balm is plain green.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pineapple Sage

Ottawa City, Ontario, Canada
June 16, 2013

Pineapple Sage
Salvia elegans

I was fascinated by anything with Pineapple in it, you can guess right. I grew up around pineapple - sweet and prickly fruit which taste very yummy.

So, as I browse Loblaws garden center, I saw Pineapple sage, I picked it up and came home staring at it. It looks so different the than the other sage, the leaves are pointy as opposed to oblong with Common Sage.


And guess what? it is suppose to have red flowers (hummingbird's favorite) . I cannot wait till it flowers.

And of course, the leaves are edible. Think of garnishing my stir fries? I always use the young leaves to add to my summer stove top cooking! try it, the flavor is mild and aromatic.

It is known to have anti-depressant on dull winters, I could use this one. I think I will really bring this plant inside for winter. :) Tea infusion is something on my list!
Oh dear sage...

Also, excellent when mixed with lemon balm for steep tea. Awesomeness - that is why I have lots of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) around me.

And another cool refreshing drink is Blackberry sage. This is made of infusion of sage leaves and blackberries. Think flavored water. The way I do it, I chopped sage leaves and add blackberries to it. Add ice cubes, let is sit...stir and there goes naturally flavored water. I know my aunt like to strain her water after 3 hours, she does not like floating leaves and berries in her summer drink.

The stems are of reddish/burgundy hues, just like the Tri-color sage which I also own.

My pineapple sage, this picture show reddish/burgundy stems.

my pineapple sage, this picture shows the pointy leaves as opposed to oblong. 
So, hello summer...and welcome Pineapple Sage to my garden!

And I took 3 cuttings, stick it in dirt. Of the 3 of them, is now flourishing. So, if you got harsh winter (Zone 5b here), you can take cuttings in the fall, to save buying for the next season.

Totally loving this Pineapple Sage. looking forward to many recipes for the season with Pineapple sage.
Nutrients in Sage (1)  2.00 tsp [1.4 grams)
sage contains a variety of volatile oils, flavonoids (including apigenin, diosmetin, and luteolin), and phenolic acids, including the phenolic acid
Vitamin K - 30%. Vitamin K is an essential nutrients, some even take supplements for it.
Vitamin K (2) is a fat-soluble vitamin that is most well known for the important role it plays in blood clotting. However, vitamin K is also absolutely essential to building strong bones, preventing heart disease, and crucial part of other bodily processes. In fact, vitamin K is sometimes referred to as "the forgotten vitamin" because its major benefits are often overlooked.

Totally loving this Pineapple Sage. Looking forward to many recipes for the season with Pineapple sage.


(1) Worlds Healthiest Foods
(2) -

Friday, June 7, 2013

Mirabilis jalapa (marvel of peru, 4 o clock) RAIN! Week

June 6, 2013
Ottawa City, Ontario, Canada

It has been raining all day, and i took some pictures of my 4 o clock seedlings yesterday. I always love these flowers, despite being annuals and such. But it is from my home town, so I keep it. :)

2013 Mirabilis jalapa seedling

Impatiens Balsamina (Rose Balsam) VS. Himalayan Balsam

June 6th, 2013
Ottawa City, Ontario, Canada

I have been asked recently if kamantigui, touch-me-not,  rose balsam (Impatiens balsamina) is perennial here in my Zone 5b. The answer is No.

Many people has mistaken the impatiens balsamina as the himalayan balsam, which is also known as Poor Mans orchid, and touch-me-not (exploding seed pods), and is considered invasive and tall, and keeps coming back.

Well - i tell you. Both rose balsam and himalayan balsam have exploding seed pods. They both look the same. However, the rose balsam will not grow tall, maybe 3 feet is the tallest I have seen. And rose balsam flowers does not survive freezing cold. In fact, I tried winter sowing the seeds of rose balsam and none showed up.

Himalayan Balsam grows tall, the one in my backyard was like 5 feet at least. and it was pretty, but of course, the seeds did not survive because I was tilling my soil in spring...and none showed up. They said Himalayan balsam is invasive, but "no show" in my garden.
None so far here, I would love to see it come back.

|Rose Balsam 2013 seedlings

Rose Balsam Seedlings

rose balsam seedlings 2013

rose balsam 2012 (fall)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pakchoi (Bokchoy)

june 4, 2013
ottawa city, ontario, canada

here are my pak-choi this season, and they are lovely and seemed to be flowering.

Bokchoy flowers
To collect seeds, let the seed pods turn brown on the plant. 
The brown seed pods are collected, some popped open and you can see the black seeds. 

Bokchoy: Green Seed Pods

Monday, June 3, 2013

Chamomile, Chervil, Flat Italian Parsely, Vertissimo Chervil, Marjoram (sweet Marjoram)

June 3, 2013

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

I went to grab some apples and crackers with the kids today, and I cannot stop myself from buying herbs. I love them, and these are always useful to repel random bugs that might eat my produce.

Those, I always buy them 1, 2 or 4 up to what I can fit in a bag. Today, it was $2.99 per pot, and I came home with a bill of $16.90. I should start tallying what I spend on plants, after all, these are not included my budget.

My finds for the day are:

  • flat italian parsely - Pertoselinum crispum (2)
  • chamomile - Chamaemelum nobile
  • vertissimo chervil - Anthriscus cerefolium
  • Sweet Marjoram - Origanum marjorana
herbs galore!


flat italian parsely




I re-potted them today, and put in individual pots. It seems to me that every herb is pot bound and choke in its own roots. It is the economy of space probably, but then it is just me. Probably, I will try to share this with other gardeners for $1 per plant, or end up giving it away to gardening friends. 

While I know I will be using these herbs for my cooking and also companion plants for my garden, sometimes, it bothers me that it is not budgeted. Sort of impulse buying, anyone can relate?