Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Mint is one of those plants that grows like crazy. Unless you want your entire garden to be mint, you need to take some precautions to contain the roots. It's pretty simple:  keep the mint in a pot and plant the whole thing in the ground. Keep some of the rim above the ground so the plant's runners don't try to sneak over the barrier.

To keep mint looking fresh, harvest the stem tips before it flowers. Other than that, keep the soil moist, and out of the hot sun.

There are several varieties of mints, including apple, pineapple, spearmint, orange, and my favorite, chocolate. Each one smells great!

If you want something a little different to do with your mint, try making ice cream. Here's a recipe:

6-8 cups fresh mint leaves, rinsed and air-dried

2 cups half-and-half cream

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon vanilla

Place the leaves in a small pot. Mix the half-and-half, whipping cream, sugar, and salt and pour over the mint. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently and pressing the leaves into the cream. Do not let the mixture boil. After about 10 - 15 minutes, cover and turn off the heat. Let it sit until cooled to room temperature. Stir in vanilla. Pour through a mesh strainer into a container, pressing down the leaves to extract as much liquid as you can. Chill for at least 8 hours. Then process in an ice cream maker by following the manufacturer's instructions.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Gatiss Gardens

Gatiss Gardens, located in Kalispell, Montana, is an English cottage-style garden which covers four acres. It was developed by the Gatiss family, and now is maintained by the Siblerud family. Visitors can meander along a mile-long trail and enjoy a wide assortment of colorful perennials.

The gardens are open daily from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.