I took home five ribbons at the Edmonton Horticultural Society’s 2011 Bench Show.

Ok, I admit that virtually everybody goes home with some ribbons, but I was particularly proud of having won a first place red ribbon for my eggplant Hansel and a second place blue for my Nantes Coreless carrots.

I also won a first prize ribbon for my photo of a small garden gremlin. The photo was entered in the “Garden Gnome” category. Here is the winning photo:

Gremlin in Repose


Ratatouille (before the oven)

I love ratatouille – the combination of flavors is amazing. I especially like to introduce it to people whom have never tried it. I found this recipe for Ratatouille’s Ratatouille (from the movie) and I have made it several times. I use my own tomato sauce if I have some on hand – I make it with plenty of garlic, oregano, thyme and basil simmered for several hours to make a nice thick rich sauce. A good quality tomato puree is a fine substitute if you don’t have any homemade tomato sauce.

This year I can proudly say that I grew my own eggplant from seed. I planted Hansel (from T & T Seeds) and although I had great germination, only one of my plants produced flowers – the one against a warm south-facing wall with plenty of heat. It was purely an accident that I planted one there in my flowerbed – I did it because I had one leftover plant and I thought “what the heck”. Now I know that if I want eggplants to flower they need a cart load of heat.

My Eggplant Hansel

Water Feature for Little $$

I love when I find something that is cheap and easy. I bought a solar water pump on Ebay recently and I’m happy to say that this little pump works exactly as advertised and cost less than $10 including shipping. What a bargain. It has a simple solar panel that powers a brushless pump that isn’t terribly powerful but makes a nice fountain for small birds to enjoy at the bird bath.

I placed it in an old tin pail and decorated the pail with some rocks to make it more attractive. It works like a charm.

Solar powered water fountain for under $10