In the Garden

Nothing signals better that spring is close by than Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ or Witch Hazel. By the end of December you can begin to see the clear yellow flowers starting to bloom and when January hits it just explodes. I’m always amazed how this happens year after year like clock work. ‘Arnold Promise’ grows to a height of 12′ to 15′ high and 12′ to 15′ wide. It enjoys a moist well drained acidic to neutral soil in full to partial sun. The flowers have a sweet spicy fragrance that continue on until March. This is a must have small tree/shrub that I wouldn’t be without.

Brambles Bistro

Duck Breast Crostini with Pomegranate & Hot Pepper Jelly

½ a baguette –  slice into ¼” slices.  Lay on a tray and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake at 350F for 5-7minutes or until toasted and slightly golden brown.

1 cup cream cheese

1 round boursin cheese

3 Duck breasts (can substitute your choice of meat)

1 ½ cup maple syrup

3 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

Zest of one orange

1 cup orange juice

Salt and pepper, enough to be sprinkled on top of duck breasts

Pomegranate and Chilli Jelly – Available at Tanglebank Gardens

Mix cream cheese and boursin cheese together and set aside.

Score the skin on the duck breasts, to make diamond patterns.  Place in a deep dish.

Put the zest, orange juice, maple syrup, star anise, cinnamon sticks, pepper, and salt over top

of the duck breasts. Marinate over night.

To cook duck breasts, put a frying pan over low heat and place duck breasts skin side down until the skin

Is a nice golden brown colour, 5-8 minutes.  Once seared, place duck breasts, skin side up on a sheet pan and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Slice the duck into thin pieces.  Put aside.

Lay out the crostini on a tray and spread the cream cheese mixture on top.  Place the slice of duck breast on top.

Top with the pomegranate jelly. Garnish with thyme leaves and orange zest.

Tanglebank Christmas Store

The Christmas Season seems to sneak up on us faster every year, time does fly when you’re having fun. The Christmas Store at Tanglebank is open for another Holiday Season and it’s full of gorgeous and tasty treats for you or your friends. One of the collectables you’re very excited about is INGE-GLAS of Germany. Since 1597 the Muller-Blech family of glass-blowers has been creating mouth blown hand painted glassware. In 1850 the glass-blowing evolved into the glass Christmas ornaments we know today. The Star Crown cap, trademarked in 1985, is your guarantee that your piece is an authentic INGE-GLAS ornament. For more information and history of INGE-GLAS go to www.inge-glas.com  The Christmas Store is open Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 5pm. Sunday 12:00 to 4pm.

“Quilts at Tanglebank Gardens”

Saturday September 11th 10am-4pm Designer’s Quilt Show. Meet and talk to the Designers! Dougal Ann Walker of “The Freckles Collection”,Susan J Jensen of “Quilted Escapes”, Pippa Moore of “Kitambaa Designs” and Cheryl Wall of “Country Quilts” will be here to talk and show there beautiful work and designs. Lots of gorgeous quilts. Books,patterns and kits,fabric and wool. Tea,coffee and goodies plus prize draws. Come spend the day with us in the country,walk thru the beautiful gardens and view the designer’s quilts on display.

The Toadies

With the coming of fall comes a great opportunity to plant something different in the garden.Tricytis or Japanese Toad-lily fits the bill.This is a unique easy plant for shady areas.It prefers a rich moist soil and grows between two and three feet blooming from September thru October. You want to plant this sweety where it can be seen up close. I’ve been growing Tricytis for a number of years and never had anything go wrong with it. There are a number of varieties available today.The one pictured here is Tricytis hirta. Tricytis Empress,Trojan,Hatatogisa and aureo-marginata which has gold leaf margins are also available.

In the Nursery

We have a beautiful magnolia from Japan available in the nursery. Magnolia sieboldii grows to 25′ and 10′ plus wide.The white fragrant flowers are downward facing and can reach 4 inches wide. The foliage turns a nice golden yellow in the fall.This is a perfect tree for the small garden in full sun or part shade. One of my personal favorites.

Spring Bulbs

One of the joys of spring is the anticipation of bulbs bursting forth from the ground.We are all familiar with daffodils and tulips but what about this little gem,Fritillaria meleagris or Snake’s Head Lily. Fritillaria is native to Europe commonly found growing in grasslands in damp soils. These plants flower from March thru May and grow between 15cm to 40cm in height. A real treat come March.

A Stroll thru the Garden

I find wandering in the garden on Sunday afternoons very peaceful. Being in the nursery trade, this time of year can be a blur and if we don’t watch it we can miss some of the great plants blooming in our garden. Today I was walking about and I noticed this great Hellebore in bloom. Helleborus argutifolius or Corsican Hellebore was stunning with it’s apple-green flowers. Of all the Hellebores available this variety has to be one of my favorites. Great flower colour from march to May and then you can enjoy it’s grey-green foliage with it’s saw toothed edges the rest of the year. The only maintenance this plant receives is a trimming of the flowers once there done blooming, easy peasy. This plant grows 18-24″ tall by 24″ wide in shade to semi shade in well drained loamy soil, a true specimen.

Fall has arrived on the West Coast

You know fall has arrived when nerine bowdenii is in bloom. N. bowdenii is the hardiest of the nerines, growing in my garden now for the last three years. They are South African bulbs planted for there very late display of colour. A little to pink for some gardeners but I like them as they signal the passing of summer. My garden is zone 7 so for any gardens below that you would have to grow in containers and overwinter.You can divide the bulbs February thru March