Zinnias are blooming!

Here are a bunch of pictures of the zinnias that are blooming in my pots by the back terrace.  I did not plant a lot of multicolored ones this year, mostly purple (much to my dismay – I like the variety).  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Orange zinnia

Orange zinnia

Pink Zinnia

Pink Zinnia

Pale Purple Zinnia

Pale Purple Zinnia

Bright Pink / Purple Zinnia

Bright Pink / Purple Zinnia

Yellow Zinnia

Yellow Zinnia

Purple Cluster

Purple Cluster

Multi-petalled Orange Zinnia

Multi-petalled Orange Zinnia

Light Orange Zinnia

Light Orange Zinnia

Large Purple Zinnia

Large Purple Zinnia

Herbs in the garden (so far…)

It is getting hotter and wetter here in Florida and most of my herbs love it!  I have attached pictures to show how my plant babies are doing..

 

gongura

These are the gongura (hibiscus / roselle) getting ever bigger!

galangal

Galangal grown from a root I bought.

thai basil

Thai Basil (this one is a stray growing in the terrace)

large lemongrass

Lemongrass growing – this too from some pieces I bought in a store last year.

mint2

Mint – a bit overgrown at this point but still useable, not a real heat lover.

curryleaf in rain

The curry leaf has blossomed and new leaves are forming. Old leaves are falling off.

rosemary3

2 year old rosemary bush from a tiny one I bought at Loew’s.

Curry leaf tree and preserving the leaves

This is the curry leaf tree that I am growing in Florida.

curry leaf tree1I bought it as a small plant (not very healthy) from a local mailorder nursery.  I was afraid that it wouldn’t survive, but was told by a resident that I needed to use the native Florida sandy soil – NOT potting soil to grow it in because it is a relative of the citrus tree. They were right and the plant has flourished!  I have recently transplanted it to a permanent location because it is too big for the pot I had it in. The leaves are used in Indian cooking, especially south Indian preparations and add an amazing taste to the food.  There really isn’t any substitute.  They can be purchased online and at Indian grocery stores. If you do buy them fresh, they keep well frozen. I suggest freezing them either in an ice cube tray, or even small baggies.  Add enough water to completely cover the leaves, then freeze.  Pop the frozen cubes out of the ice cube tray and place in a freezer bag and use as needed. If you are using small baggies, you can leave them in them in the baggy and just thaw what you need and re-freeze, just make sure they are covered in water otherwise they will get freezer burned and won’t taste good. This method works well for all fresh herbs too, like basil, rosemary, savory, chives etc.