Blue in the Garden

Tammy’s cottage garden of yesteryear

Part of the beauty of Tammy’s garden is like stumbling on a wee bit of rural England or maybe journeying back a century or two into simpler times. Another factor is how she captures the look with her camera. Look at these ancient looking vignettes containing  cottage garden plants like yarrow, coneflower, snapdragons, foxglove, lobelia and stock. Little birdhouses appear here and there.

Old enamel pan on a wooden stand is centered in the garden bed

A simple old enamel pan on a wooden stand is centered in the garden bed

Tammy’s ancient rusty wagon is filled with Mecardonia ‘Gold Dust’, Violet alyssum, and Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost.’  In this photo below, the clay pots just glow and the handles of the garden forks echo the handle of the wagon.

Tammy's ancient rusty wagon

Tammy’s ancient rusty wagon

Against this weathered grey fence below, coneflowers and meadow sage hide a galvanized chicken feeder hung on a simple hook. Details in the background below are intriguing!  Thanks, Tammy!

A weathered fence is a backdrop for another vignette.

A weathered fence is a backdrop for another vignette.

Categories: Blue in the Garden, Creative Containers, Garden Art, Garden Junk, Garden Vignette, Get Galvanized, Recycling, Rusty Rust, Spring gardening | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A place for the bowling ball garden orb

Looking at our photos here I was struck (wham!) with an idea for where to place my bowling ball. Remember this old rusty peacock plant holder….well…  What do you all think?

Take one decorated bowling ball..

+ a rusty ‘peacock’ pot holder

=  a fancy peacock!

For how-to’s on decorating a bowling ball like this see this post, Garden orb of modest means.  ~~ Sue

Categories: Blue in the Garden, Garden Art, Recycling, Rusty Rust, Something fun! | Tags: | 1 Comment

Blue bottles and beer bread

Bud Light Platinum in new blue bottles Photo by Nancy K Meyer

Bud Light Platinum in new blue bottles Photo by Nancy K Meyer

The new availability of light beer sold in the very desirable blue bottles adored by Flea market and junk loving gardeners is causing some commotion.  Sunglass wearing, non beer drinkers are now slinking into the grocery store to purchase the bottles and then are faced with the dilemma of whether to dump or not dump the beer.  A flurry of recipes including beer as an ingredient has ensued.

Nancy K. Meyer from Iowa says, “I know blue bottles are not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those of us who ♥ them~~~look what I found at the grocery store this morning—beer in blue bottles, can and tin. (Honey, can I bring you a beer ???)

George Weaver, another reader muses, ” I wonder if the Anheuser Bush research team had the Flea Market Gardeners in mind when they thought up their marketing strategy on this one. I think this is all the proof needed to show that Facebook is selling our posts to market researchers.”

Blue Bud bottles

Blue Bud bottles-Kirk Willis

As for using the blue bottles in the garden, Kirk Willis, says, “Yes…the labels do come off. A bit tricky. Soak them in hot water, and then start peeling. I used an SOS pad to gently take off the glue…used WD40 on some instead of the SOS pad. They look so cool with just the blue, minus labels.”

Now Tractor Man, my hubby, doesn’t drink beer,…he’d be stunned if I offered him one…I do make beer bread though,…the yeast in the beer makes it rise and you can add cheese or herbs.

Cheddar-Dill beer Bread, lunch for Tractor Man

Cheddar-Dill beer Bread, lunch for Tractor Man

Cheddar-Herb Beer Bread
While looking for herb recipes, I found this one from Alton Brown, a great cook. This bread turned out nice and soft, was fast to make, tasted great warm and was a nice savory bread that cut easily for sandwiches. I’m impressed!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1  teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
12 ounces cold beer, (your blue bottle beer, of course)
1 to 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, optional

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the inside of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with the nonstick spray and set aside.
Whisk together the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and herbs in a large mixing bowl. Add in the cheese and stir in the beer just to combine. Spread the batter, which will form into a ball, evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the sunflower seeds, if using. (I moistened the top with beaten egg and we didn’t have sunflower seeds, I used chopped walnuts)
Bake on the middle rack of the oven about 45 to 55 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve warm with dinner.

Additional things to add:

1 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, or
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh
thyme, and 2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives,
1/2 cup chopped scallions

Other combinations
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary and 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 teaspoon each dried basil and oregano
2 minced cloves of garlic, and 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan


Like George Weaver says, “If these blue bottles are this much of a success with people that don’t drink, Just think what the beer drinkers will think of them.”  Keep posted for ideas for using these blue bottles. ~~ Sue

Categories: Blue in the Garden, Edibles | Tags: , | 15 Comments

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