Joanie Lapic has been gardening in Pennsylvania for about 45 years, at first alongside her Daddy in his vegetable patches, and the past 20 years or so as an intent Herb grower and studier. Master Herbalist, owner of Everlasting Gardener in New Brighton,  Herb grower and teacher, lecturer, therapeutic horticulture teacher,  developer of Pocket Therapy aromatherapy products.
 

 

17th Herb and Flower Garden Tour
by Joanie Lapic - posted 08/02/14







                                                                                                                              Blue Hydrangea 














                                          

Maroon Lily















                                                                                                                     Echinacea 

                                                                                                                     Echinacea













Phlox









                                            


                                                                                                                        Pink Daylily
                                                           

 

 

 

 

See more of my earlier blooming Herbs and perennials

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Springtime Treasures
by Joanie Lapic - posted 05/24/14

After experiencing one of the harshest winters in western Pennsylvania, I think we deserved this beautiful Spring! To view some of the earlier blooming plants in my garden




                                        Angelique Tulips








                                          
  Pulmonaria (Lungwort)









                                      Bleeding Hearts











                                                            
     Greater Celandine        










                                  
                                                                               Red Tulips



                                                     

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Seedling Sanity
by Joanie Lapic - posted 03/22/14


 
These beautiful seedlings are what I focus on during this lingering Winter. If not for them and their buddies, I might be far less cheerful.

They lift my spirits and give me hope. Though the greenhouse temperature has lately been raised to a minimum of 65 degrees, the few sunny days we receive in western Pennsylvania warm the germinating area compelling certain warmth-loving seeds to sprout. Other seeds don't mind coolness and spring to life despite the chill air.

I have delighted in every sprouting seed as they remind me that new life will soon grace the outdoors too.

If growing your own seeds would help you through the rest of the Winter and on through Spring and Summer, try growing your own Herbs, flowers and vegetables. Most seed catalogs give you instructions on best way to persuade your seeds to germinate and thrive. Seed packets should give you all the most useful information as well.

Once Spring arrives, naturally the garden will be the focus of attention for cultivating plants. The most enjoyable and interesting to me are Herbs. Here are among the best and most useful for a novice or experienced Herb gardener to grow because they hold the greatest variety of uses in cooking, in healing, and in scenting the home, office, classroom, etc.
Read more information about the cosmetic and health uses of Herbs.
Get details about the cultivation of the following Herbs

CHIVES -
mild onion flavor, very versatile. Used in a variety of dressings, egg and cheese dishes, to marinate any kind of meat, and for flavoring butter. It's wonderful as a dip combined with cream cheese and yogurt. 
Make a tea with the leaves to spray on plants to get rid of aphids.
In late Spring when Chives blooms, you can add their mild tasting flowers to your salad of fresh greens. 

LAVENDER - 
The flowers are used in cakes, cookies, jellies and icing. Most people agree that Lavender beautifully scents any space. The flowers are well-known for use in potpourris and sachets.
Cosmetically, the tea makes a tonic water for delicate and sensitive skin.
Drinking Lavender tea is said to calm the nerves.

LEMON BALM -
a member of the Mint family, it can be grown in the garden without being invasive. 
It is easily controlled by keeping the flowers snipped off.
Lemon Balmlikes to grow in semi-sun, and kept well-watered and fertilized.
It  settles upset stomachs, is a mild sinus decongestant and is said to uplift the mood.
It can be used in sun teas, chopped in unique-flavored dressings, fruit salads, fruit drinks, jellies and icings.

CHOCOLATE MINT -
Best grown in pots (so they don't invade your garden), in the semi-sun, and kept well-watered and fertilized. 
Mint is used in delicious sun teas, chopped in unique-flavored dressings, jellies, cakes, cookies, icings, fruit salads, fruit drinks and wine cups. 
Apply fresh Mint leaves to soothe insect bites and sores.
Dried leaves are very nice in potpourri.

ITALIAN PARSLEY - 
Use the leaves as an ingredient in Pesto and many other recipes.
A great tasting addition to smoothies, vegetable, egg and meat dishes, soups, potatoes and salad dressings.
Grow next to roses to enhance their scent and health.
More on Parsley

ROSEMARY - 
Great flavoring for many dishes, especially chicken and beef. The “special” ingredient in marinara sauce. 
Delightful in a punch made with pineapple juice and ginger ale.

SCENTED GERANIUM - 
There are many scents of Scented Geraniums: Lemon, Lemon-Rose, Rose, Peppermint, Gooseberry, Old Spice, etc.
Plants enjoy a sunny, airy spot, in the garden in the warm months, then repotted and brought indoors during cold months, where they make excellent house plants, in a full-to-part-sun site. 
Use leaves as a strong tea or chop finely, to use in making sauces, custards, jellies, icing, buns, ices, butters, sugars, syrups and vinegars. Crystallize to decorate cakes. 
Lay leaves under baked apples or cake batter to bake the delicate flavor.
Make a tea to rinse oily skin areas. Especially helpful in the bath for soothing many skin conditions.
Use leaves in potpourri and pillows.

THYME - 
There are many varieties of Thyme: Lemon, English, Rose, Lavender, Nutmeg, etc. 
Thymes are often used to flavor fish and meat dishes 
and savory breads. 
The tea is used as an antiseptic, organic wash for the home, office, classroom and day care. 
Lemon Thyme is an exceptionally flavored healing tea, very nice in potpourri and therapeutic baths.

BASIL -
Basil, a tender annual, is best used fresh from the garden. 
Since Basil is a culinary delight, you can use in many recipes, with wonderful results. 
Try in sweet breads, on salads (even potato or macaroni), in vinegars, marinades, marinara sauce, jellies. Its flavor compliments garlic nicely. If you make Pesto with it, you can use the Pesto to make savory muffins, or add to soups and stews. 

For more information, please click the links above, or CONTACT US with any question.

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