Cranberry-Basil Margarita with Homegrown Citrus & Herbs

December 8th, 2017 § 4 comments § permalink


Cranberry-Basil Margarita

Tis the season for entertaining, and for many of us, that means welcoming guests with refreshing, festive cocktails. At the moment, I’m planning a Winter Solstice get-together for family. This will be more of a roam-about the room and chat party than a sit-down dinner, so I’m dreaming up tasty libations to set out in punch bowls and pitchers, or perhaps even prepare —at least in part— a day in advance. I’ve been trying out a few different twists on favorite cocktail recipes and this fresh take on a classic Margarita definitely fits the bill.Don’t you just love cranberries? They glow like ruby beads and they’re so willing to wait around in the fridge! As a life-long New Englander, I always make my own cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, and an extra batch or two for using on sandwiches, later. While they are in season, I pick up a few extra bags of fresh cranberries whenever I’m at the market. I freeze what I can’t use and thaw them when I need some bright color in the dead of winter.Calamondin Orange in the Kitchen

I’ve always used cranberries in baked goods and savory sauces, but more recently, I’ve been experimenting with them in cocktails. Cranberry juice is one of the most popular mixers, so why not put the whole fruit in your drink? Cranberries combine well with so many things. Citrus —especially oranges and limes— is an obvious choice, but the tart flavor and bright red color of cranberries practically begs for fresh, green herbs as well. Hello windowsill herb garden and potted citrus trees, what do you have on offer today? Basil? Ripe calamondin oranges? OK, lets play.First, I make up a basic cranberry sauce, aka cranberry “jam”, (see recipe, below). This tart, multi-use condiment will keep well, covered in the fridge, for a few days. Obviously, cranberry sauce is great on sandwiches, but it’s also delicious when swirled into plain, Greek yogurt or dabbed atop warm oatmeal with cinnamon and a touch of maple syrup. But wait! Don’t eat it all! You’re gonna love using this jam in cocktails —especially this Cranberry-Basil Margarita!

Cranberry-Basil Margarita

Single recipe serves 1, Pitcher recipe serves 8

Ingredients

Cranberry Sauce

1       12 oz. package of fresh or frozen cranberries

1       cup fresh-squeezed orange juice

½     cup sugar (add more for sweet-tooths, up to 1 cup, to taste)

1        tbs fresh orange zest (optional)

Sugar-Salt 

¼       cup kosher salt

¼       cup granulated sugar

Single Cocktail 

sugar-salt mixture for rimming glass (recipe above)

1       calamondin orange or lime wedge

2       fresh basil leaves

1 ½  ounces blanco tequila (100% blue agave)

¾     ounce fresh squeezed calamondin orange or lime juice

½     ounce orange liquor, such as Cointreau, or triple sec

1       ounce cranberry sauce (recipe above)

½     ounce agave syrup (or simple syrup), or ¾ ounce, for sweeter taste

¾     cup of ice cubes (about 6-8 cubes, plus more for glass)

Pitcher of Margaritas 

sugar-salt mixture for rimming glasses (recipe above)

16     fresh basil leaves

½     cup agave syrup (or simple syrup), or ¾ cup for sweeter taste

1       cup cranberry sauce (recipe above)

4       calamondin oranges or 1 lime, cut into wedges

¾     cup fresh calamondin orange or lime juice

½     cup orange liquor, such as Cointreau, or triple sec

1 ½  cups blanco tequila (100% blue agave)

6       cups ice cubes, plus more for glasses

Directions 

For Cranberry Sauce

Heat a cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice and stir in ½-¾ cup of sugar on medium-high. When the mixture begins to boil, stir in 12 oz. of cranberries. Continue stirring and allow the mixture to bubble for a minute or two. Lower the heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes. When cranberries begin to pop and juice starts to foam, turn off the heat and crush the berries with a potato masher. The sauce should be chunky, with bits of fruit and some whole berries. Consistency will become more jam-like as it cools. Cover and refrigerate (up to 3 days), until ready for use.

For Sugar-Salt

Combine sugar and salt in a small container with lid. Shake and pour onto a small plate (be sure to choose one wide enough to fit the overturned rim of your cocktail glass).

For Single Margaritas (up to two servings will fit in a standard sized cocktail shaker)

Moisten the rim of an Old Fashioned or Margarita glass with the citrus wedge (a wide-mouth, stemless wineglass will also work). Turn the rim down on the plate of sugar-salt and give it a slight twist while digging into the mixture.

In the bottom of a standard-size cocktail shaker, crush the basil leaves with a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon. When coarsely mashed, add the tequila, citrus juice, orange liquor/triple sec, cranberry ‘jam’ and the agave syrup. Stir. Add ice. Cover and shake for at least 30 seconds. For a rustic cocktail, pour (or, for a more refined cocktail, strain), into the sugar-salt crusted glass and serve immediately with a citrus wedge garnish and/or sprig of fresh basil.

For Pitcher of Margaritas

In the bottom of a large pitcher, crush basil leaves with muddler or the back of a wooden spoon, until coarsely mashed. Add tequila, citrus juice, orange liquor/triple sec, cranberry ‘jam’ and agave syrup. I like to throw in a few decorative wedges of citrus when using a glass pitcher. Cover the pitcher and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until well chilled.

When ready to serve, pour the sugar-salt mixture on a small plate. Rub the rims of 2 Old Fashioned glasses with a citrus wedge (a classic margarita glass or stemless wine glass will also work, in a pinch); dip and twist the rims in sugar/salt mixture.

Stir the pitcher of margarita mix. Fill a cocktail shaker ½ full with ice and pour in 1 cup (plus) of the margarita mixture. Be sure a bit of muddled basil gets in! Shake until chilled and pour (unstrained for a rustic drink or strained for a more refined cocktail) into two of the sugar-salt crusted glasses. Garnish with a citrus wedge and basil leaf. Repeat for remaining guests or servings.

C  H  E  E  R  S   !  ! 


Article & Photography copyright Michaela Harlow at The Gardener’s Eden, all rights reserved. All content on this site, (with noted exceptions), is the property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be used, reproduced or reposted elsewhere without written consent.

Do you enjoy visiting The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through the affiliate-links here. A small percentage of each sale, at no additional cost to you, will be paid to The Gardener’s Eden to help with site maintenance and web hosting costs. Thank you!

Plow & Hearth

Gardener's Supply Company

***

Visionary Landscapes: Japanese Garden Design in North America

December 3rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

A curving, dry stream at the Hoeschler Garden. Design: David Slawson. Photography: David M. Cobb, courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.

The calming nature of Zen gardens and the allure of Japanese-style has been enchanting and seducing landscape designers and gardeners throughout the wider world for well over 150 years. Stepping into a Japanese-inspired courtyard is the perfect antidote to a day spent in crowded subways, noisy streets and stressful work environments. We crave quiet and order —two areas where traditional Japanese garden designs excel— as a counter balance to our increasingly chaotic lives. But how can a North American gardener successfully integrate elements of the Japanese design aesthetic without feeling forced or veering toward kitsch?

Visionary Landscapes: Japanese Garden Design in North America, Kendall Brown’s latest book —featuring the work of five contemporary garden designers; Hōichi Kurisu, Takeo Uesugi, David Slawson, Shin Abe and Marc Peter Keane— addresses this question. Filled with beautiful and inspirational photographs by David M. Cobb, Brown’s book highlights Japans’s design influence upon North American public and private gardens in settings ranging from urban corporations and penthouse rooftops to community hospital gardens and secluded forest clearings.

Sculptural ranges and serene expanses: a garden of stone at the Education First Building in Cambridge, MA. Design: Shin Abe. Photography: David Cobb, courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.

Shin Abe’s work (pictured above), which may be seen in many public spaces, including The United Nations’ Peace Bell Courtyard in Manhattan and the Education First building in Cambridge, MA, is striking in its natural, calming-effect within urban hardscape. The designer’s sculptural use of natural stone shapes and textures, paired with disciplined plant selections, creates a sense of serenity in noisy, chaotic, city environments. It is within these urban spaces where the Japanese design aesthetic often works so well; bridging the hard-edged and the man-made to the balancing, grounding forces of nature.

Although all five designers push Japanese-inspired garden design forward —distilling and fusing Asian inspiration into the North American landscape— the work of David Slawson (top image), and Marc Peter Keane (image below), seems most successful in the more natural environment.

From a design perspective, I often find it more difficult to successfully introduce man-made elements to nature, than to introduce natural elements to man-made environments. Knowing which aspects of Japanese garden design will translate to natural, North American environments demands a solid understanding of both. Marble chips, clipped azalea and lanterns? Risky. Moss-covered paths, local stone, artfully-pruned, native trees and reflective water bowls? Right on. Lawson and Keane have found a contemporary balance.

The sensation of movement, captured in stone. Bridge view: Tiger Glen Garden, Ithaca, New York. Design: Marc Keane. Photography: David M. Cobb, courtesy of Tuttle Publishing

Visionary Landscapes: Japanese Garden Design in North America is an excellent introduction to the history and art of blending Japanese-inspired design ideas into urban and rural gardens on this continent; a beautiful book and a great gift for the gardener on your list who is looking for a bit of contemporary, Japanese-style landscape inspiration.

Visionary Landscapes: Japanese Garden Design in North America. Kendall H. Brown, with Photography by David M. Cobb

A copy of this book was provided by Tuttle Publishing in exchange for independent, un-biased review. No other compensation was received. The Gardener’s Eden is not an affiliate of Tuttle Publishing, but is an affiliate of Amazon.com.

Article copyright Michaela at The Gardener’s Eden, all rights reserved. All content on this site, (with noted exceptions), is the property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be used, reproduced or reposted elsewhere without written consent.

Do you enjoy visiting The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through the affiliate-links here. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to The Gardener’s Eden, and will help with site maintenance and web hosting costs. Thank you!

Plow & Hearth

Gardener's Supply Company

***

Late Autumn Hues in the Garden

December 2nd, 2017 § 2 comments § permalink

Late Autumn Hues in the November Garden

December may have arrived, but as usual, I’m not quite ready to let go of autumn. Apparently, I’m also not quite ready to let go of blogging. Hello, friends. It’s been a long while.

Outside in my garden, it’s a world filled with rust-gold remnants and brilliant-colored berries. Some mornings, frost and snow cap the stonewalls, but by afternoon the water bowl has melted. Inside, I have been catching up on a bit of garden reading, and I’ll be back tomorrow with a new book review. It’s nice to be here again. How have you been?Dancing Light and Color in the Icy Water Bowl

Article and photographs are copyright Michaela at The Gardener’s Eden, all rights reserved. All content on this site, (with noted exceptions), is the property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be used, reproduced or reposted elsewhere without written consent.

Do you enjoy visiting The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through the affiliate-links here. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to The Gardener’s Eden, and will help with site maintenance and web hosting costs. Thank you!

Plow & Hearth

Gardener's Supply Company

***

Welcome Spring

March 20th, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

Crocus-Petals-Unfolding ©-Michaela @ TGE Crocus Unfolds a New Season

Welcome Spring Equinox!

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Mid-March Awakenings

March 16th, 2016 § Comments Off on Mid-March Awakenings § permalink

Raindrops on Acer palmatum,2016 Michaela Harlow, The Gardener's Eden Sunlit Raindrops Dangle from Acer palmatum x dissectum ‘Seiryu’

The switch to Daylight Saving Time always rattles my schedule. I’m a morning person so I’ve just lost an hour in the early part of my day. This week, I feel like I’m constantly falling behind, but I know it’s only temporary. Soon the horizon will light up at 6 a.m. again.

pussywillow_michaela_medina_harlow Delight of Spring: Gathering Pussy Willow

I’ve cut back the ornamental grasses and started pruning deadwood from shrubs. Time to the great thicket of Red Osier Dogwood and encourage new, bright red shoots. As temperatures warm, I’m even dragging a few frost-hardy pots back outside. Nice to have the extra space in my garden room! My favorite harbinger of springtime —Salix discolor, the Pussy Willow— has made an early appearance. Such soft, pearl-like beauty on a grey day.

Article and photographs are copyright Michaela at The Gardener’s Eden, all rights reserved. All content on this site, (with noted exceptions), is the property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be used, reproduced or reposted elsewhere without written consent.

Do you enjoy visiting The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through the affiliate-links here. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to The Gardener’s Eden, and will help with site maintenance and web hosting costs. Thank you!

Plow & Hearth

Gardener's Supply Company

***

Sweet Reward of Early Springtime: Hamamelis vernalis, Ozark Witch Hazel

March 13th, 2016 § Comments Off on Sweet Reward of Early Springtime: Hamamelis vernalis, Ozark Witch Hazel § permalink

Hamamelis vernalis, Ozark witch hazel in bloom, Michaela Harlow, thegardenerseden.com The Sweet Scent of Ozark Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis), Fills the Air

Out pruning and raking in the garden —lingering late in the garden on these long, warm days— the delightful scent of North American native, Ozark Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis), fills the air. When warm weather arrives early in Vermont —as it has this year— the bloom of Ozark Witch Hazel sometimes coincides with, or even precedes the spring equinox. Flowering nearly a month before most other shrubs, the tiny, golden tassels dangle in late afternoon sun, heady with with honeysuckle-like sweetness. Such a rich reward for getting a jump on my springtime chores.

 Fragrant, Gold Droplets in Late-Day Sunshine

Many of my favorite garden plants have two stellar seasons: spring and fall. And among my favorites, the family of Hamamelidaceae (the witch hazels) ranks very high indeed. Hamamelis vernalis —commonly called Ozark or Spring Witch Hazel— is native to the south-central regions of the United States and is hardy in USDA zones 4-8. This is a tough, colonizing shrub; tolerant of poor, scrappy soil and a wide range of moisture levels. Vernal witch hazel is a great native plant for informal hedging, naturalizing along a woodland boundary or even for something as mundane as stabilizing a steep bank. Although her flowers aren’t nearly as large and showy as those of her more flamboyant Asian and hybrid cousins (read my post on Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ here), the perfume of her early, coppery-orange blossoms is so sweet and delightful that the petite size is easy to overlook. She’s also a glorious sight in autumn, when her softly mounded form turns brilliant gold; shimmering against the blue autumn sky.

Hello again, my bewitching, springtime friend!

Article and photographs are copyright Michaela at The Gardener’s Eden, all rights reserved. All content on this site, (with noted exceptions), is the property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be used, reproduced or reposted elsewhere without written consent.

Do you enjoy visiting The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through the affiliate-links here. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to The Gardener’s Eden, and will help with site maintenance and web hosting costs. Thank you!

Plow & Hearth

Gardener's Supply Company

***

Back to the Garden

March 12th, 2016 § Comments Off on Back to the Garden § permalink

Betula papyrifera at sunrise - Michaela Harlow Betula papyrifera on the Hillside at Sunrise

After a light and lovely winter, spring has come early to Vermont this year. I went on two site visits this week and have begun work on my first garden design plans of 2016. Hard to believe it’s still early March.

Hello again. It’s been a long while since my last blog post and even longer since I set foot in my own garden. I’ve been busy, and quite happily so, with my painting career. But my sabbatical has ended and this year, I plan to return to garden and landscape design on a part-time basis. Just a few projects and maybe a couple of workshops here and there. A little writing. A little picture making. Hopefully, somewhere along the line, I will find a good balance between art and design.

Tonight, it’s time to reset the clocks. Daylight Saving Time begins. Soon we’ll be springing forward to a fresh new season. Are you ready?

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold's Promise' - Michaela Harlow Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold’s Promise’ in the Garden this Week 

 Phalaenopsis Orchid on the Windowsill

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Welcome December

December 1st, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

IMG_4262.JPG  Frosted Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum) in Morning Light

Welcome, December, with your sparkling, festive ways!

IMG_4264.JPG Blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) Sparkle like Stars

IMG_4250-0.jpgBlushing, Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), Bathed in Rose-Gold Light

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Late Autumn’s Lingering Beauty

November 29th, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

Viburnum setigerum in the foggy garden with Miscanthus sinensis Tea Viburnum (Viburnum setigerum) paired with Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’) on a Foggy Morn

When nature is generous with her warmth, November is one of my favorite months of the year. We’ve had a long, luxurious autumn; warm days, clear nights and foggy mornings. Blissful days for a gardener.

Two of my late-season favorites at this time of year —Viburnum setigerum and Cornus sericea— have proven particularly lovely this fall. Well worth adding to your garden design plan, I promise (once again).


Cornus sericea in the foggy gardenRed Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) lights up a moody day

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Welcome Autumn!

September 23rd, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

Aerial-View-of-Autumn-Above-Lake-Whitingham-Vermont-Michaela-Medina-Harlow-thegardenerseden.com_Above Lake Whitingham, Vermont 

A warm welcome to the Autumnal Equinox & the glorious season of fall.

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Celebrating August’s Sturgeon Moon 

August 29th, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

IMG_2564.JPG In the Moonlit Garden 

There’s a full moon tonight, and if last night’s show was any indication, this one should be spectacular. August’s Sturgeon Moon —also known as the Green Corn or Blueberry Moon— is at perigee, making this another one of those fabulous ‘super moons’ (you read more about that here on the earthsky website).

If you’re on the east coast, moonrise tonight, August 29th, is at 7:23PM and moonset is on August 30th at 5:54AM. I’m not sure if I’ll be in the garden or on the water this evening, do you have a spot picked out?  Wherever you choose to take in this celestial event, it’s bound to be a great show. Enjoy the August Moondance!

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Ligularia dentata ‘Britt-Marie Crawford’: Lovely, Late Summer Leopard Plant

August 28th, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

IMG_2549.JPGLigularia dentata ‘Britt-Marie Crawford’ in the Secret Garden

Well hello again, Secret Garden. It’s nice to see you. I’ve been away so much this summer, I hardly recognize you. You’re a bit wild and unkempt, it’s true, but still, you look so lovely. Plentiful rain has done wonders for the garden this growing season. Just look at Ligularia dentata ‘Britt-Marie Crawford’! Divided last season, she’s already twice her original size.

Leopard Plant is a lovely perennial for late-season drama in part to full shade. A statuesque beauty —2-3′ tall and wide with large, leathery, deep maroon leaves— Ligularia dentata is grown primarily as a foliage plant in my Secret Garden. But in the late summer —August through mid-September here in Vermont— she bursts into glorious, golden bloom. I love to combine this plant with other dramatic foliage; Lamium maculatum, Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’, and Hakonechloa macra, to name a few. Hardy in USDA zones 4-8, Ligularia dentata prefers moist to wet soil and protection from scorching afternoon sun and desiccating wind. Given the right conditions and room to grow, this beautiful leopard will add a touch of drama to last throughout the growing season.

IMG_2551.JPGDaisy Rays, Gold as the Late Summer Sun

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

A Moment of Verdant Bliss

July 16th, 2015 § 4 comments § permalink

IMG_5596.JPG Cool, lush, verdant: a moment of mid-summer bliss in the Secret Garden

It’s been an incredibly rewarding, but also a busy and stressful week at my studio. I bite my nails when anxiety rises and I know that worrying about tomorrow robs me of today. Gardening has taught me to slow down and stay in the moment. After an hour or two of weeding therapy, I realize that I’m exactly where I need to be, right now.

  IMG_1924.JPGJapanese Painted Fern (Athyrium nipponicum ‘Pictum’) & Astilbe ‘Europa’ (A. arendesii), beside the Secret Garden water bowl

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

The Summer Camellia Greets Mid-July: Stewartia pseudocamellia in Full Bloom 

July 15th, 2015 § Comments Off on The Summer Camellia Greets Mid-July: Stewartia pseudocamellia in Full Bloom  § permalink

Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia) covered in her finest summer white 

Spring-blooming trees are lovely indeed —greeting winter-weary eyes with bright pops of color in an otherwise muted landscape— but summer-blooming trees? I often post about the lack of dog-day focus in garden design —despite the myriad, mid-season options— and the dearth of flowering trees in gardens at this time of year has always puzzled me. Why not add a Japanese Stewartia or two?

Long after the crabapples, cherries and dogwood blossoms have faded to memory, Stewartia pseudocamellia —known as ‘The Summer Camellia’ in Japan— always delights this wilting gardener in July with her refreshing, pure-white flowers. True, I have selected this tree for garden designs many times for her exquisite, autumnal foliage and exfoliating bark alone —but mid-summer blossoms really are the frosting on the cake, and who can ignore this beautiful, vanilla frosting? Hardy in USDA zones 5-8, Stewartia pseudocamellia does best where summer days are hot but nights are mostly cooler. Japanese Stewartia is a slow growing tree with glossy, green foliage and a columnar shape at maturity. Depending upon the specimen and location —Stewartia prefers a somewhat sheltered spot in full sun to part shade and slightly acidic, moist, well-drained soil— it can reach 20-40′.

stewartia-and-rodgersia-ⓒ-Michaela-at-TGE The Summer Camellia in her full, autumnal glory

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Blowzy Beauty in the Summer Heat

July 13th, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

IMG_1889.JPG Hemerocallis, Geranium ‘Brookside’ and Rudbeckia hirta ‘Becky Mixed’ glow in late afternoon light, backed up by Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Summer Wine’, Itea virginica and Amsonia illustris.

In the heat of summer, when delicate flowers wilt in the noonday sun, some tough plants really strut their stuff. Experienced gardeners know that although they may seem less glamorous than peonies and less exotic than lady slipper orchids, more common perennials —such as Hemerocallis and Rudbeckia— are the secret to beautiful borders during summer’s dog days.

IMG_1805.JPGRudbeckia hirta ‘Becky Mixed’ and Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ catch early evening’s lingering rays.

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Inspired by Woodlands and Wetlands, New Oils and Pastels on Exhibit at the Crowell Gallery in Newfane, VT

July 7th, 2015 § Comments Off on Inspired by Woodlands and Wetlands, New Oils and Pastels on Exhibit at the Crowell Gallery in Newfane, VT § permalink

Crowell-Gallery-Exhibit-Liquid-Forest-e1434591655374

On exhibit this month at The Crowell Gallery in Newfane, Vermont, new oils and pastels inspired by woodlands and wetlands. If you find yourself in Southern Vermont, please stop in to see the show.

For more information, please visit: MichaelaHarlow.com

Summer_Porch_2014_Michaela_Harlow_michaelaharlow.com

Summer Porch, 2014, Pastel

Within the Storm

Within the Storm, 2014, Pastel

July_Wilding_2014

July Wilding, 2014, Pastel

Welcome Summer

June 22nd, 2015 § Comments Off on Welcome Summer § permalink

  IMG_1732.JPG Rudbeckia hirta & Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ greet Summer Solstice

Welcome Summer!

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Peony Season in New England

June 12th, 2015 § 3 comments § permalink

IMG_1566.JPGPaeonia lactiflora begins her reign in this entry garden I designed for a favorite Vermont client. Also in bloom here is Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’, singing harmony beside the Martin-violet tinted foliage of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker’s Red’

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Spring Showers & Bits of Maytime Beauty

May 19th, 2015 § Comments Off on Spring Showers & Bits of Maytime Beauty § permalink

IMG_0915.JPG Silverbell Blossoms, Scattered Upon the Stone Terrace (Halesia tetraptera)

Soft, moist air, sweet perfume and lush color everywhere; how I love rainy, May days in the garden. Raindrops make everything more beautiful . . .

IMG_0927.JPG Resettling plants and soil after wintertime damage from rodents is hardly a chore when surrounded by blossoming Lily-of-the-Valley and Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’s sweet-scented deliciousness.

And we do love it when the sun comes back again . . .

IMG_0791.JPG Evening’s perfume: Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata), is Pure May Delight

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Soft, Slow Mornings 

May 13th, 2015 § Comments Off on Soft, Slow Mornings  § permalink

IMG_0723.JPG Slowly Down the Garden Path

After a very chilly April, May arrived and turned up the heat. Temperatures here shot up to the mid-eighties and nary a raindrop fell. Unpredictable is what we call typical, here in New England.

My garden design schedule is purposefully light this year. I have but a few projects on my calendar this spring, as my focus remains inside the painting studio and out of town with ongoing exhibits. This season I’m all about slow mornings and coffee in the garden with Woo.
IMG_0783.JPGLate to Bloom but Fast to Wither in the Heat: Short but Beautiful Narcissus Show this Year in Vermont

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Back to the Garden

April 26th, 2015 § 3 comments § permalink

IMG_4300.JPGRaking, Pruning and Filling the Secret Garden Water Bowl; It’s Good to be Back in the Garden

Finally, a Sunday without sleet or snow and nothing on the schedule but gardening! A quick break inside for a pot of hot coffee and some cookies with you. Hope you are well and getting back to your garden, too!

Here’s to spring, at last! xx

IMG_4190.JPG New Gloves from My Sister & Favorite Felco Pruners

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style