Friday, March 8, 2019

Don't Forget the Gardener: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 9 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


My subject is: The garden fairies have shown up at your house and, overnight, created your dream garden. What's in it?
It was submitted by: Minette of Southern Belle Charm.

Let me say right at the start that if garden fairies have shown up at my house and created my dream garden, the first thing I hope (and pray) would be in it would be a gardener. I'm not sure whether you're referring to a floral or vegetable garden but either way, I'll take that gardener.

I don't like the way the landscaping around our house was done. We have Burning Bush shrubs along our walkway, which are very pretty but have prickers. Nothing says "welcome" like stabbing your guests on the way in.

We had a crabapple tree beside our front door but, that section if flanked by the sidewalk, front porch and our foundation so sadly, it was in a spot where the roots had limited room for growth and eventually the tree died. 


Around the house in the Spring | Pictures taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

All apples around here are store bought.


Sweet and tart come together in these Green Apple Cookie Bars featuring a brown sugar apple layer as well as cinnamon and toffee chips. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Green Apple Cookie Bars
Sweet and tart come together in these Green Apple Cookie Bars featuring a brown sugar apple layer as well as cinnamon and toffee chips. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Where we live there is a very high water table. A lot of the year our sump pump works overtime. This makes it hard to grow anything as the ground is saturated. All we've really found that will thrive are Day Lillies and Hostas. I like them both, don't get me wrong, but I don't like having them pretty much exclusively.

Around the house in the Spring | Pictures taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com


There is also a layered garden on one side of our house. It's more greens than flowers, not what I'd prefer but originally I kept it up. Unfortunately they built the layers with boulders that, over time, have become unstable and the whole area is now unkempt. Getting someone in here to remove the boulders and properly line the area will be a big and expensive project {{sigh}}. 

If I were to have a dream garden, especially here, so far from home, I'd want all of the flowers that remind me of Boston. I adore rhododendrons, lilacs, forsythia and Iris, all surrounded our home on the East Coast. I tried them here but none can survive our yard. I am beyond excited, however to have found something new, lilac shrubs. They are lower to the ground, bushier (more flowers, yay) and are thriving on the north side of my home. One small victory for me. 

Around the house in the Spring | Pictures taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com


My ideal garden would also be one that is as much about the wildlife than the flowers themselves. I fulfill this wish with the pots I plant yearly. One by the front door I fill with flowers that attract hummingbirds. Other pots both in the front and in the back attract butterflies. I hope my garden fairies keep this in mind as they're busy creating the beauty of my new space. 

Around the house in the Spring | Pictures taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Around the house in the Spring | Pictures taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com


Oh, and don't forget that gardener. I'll even pay him . . . in treats.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:


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Green Apple Cookie Bars
                                                              ©www.BakingInATornado.com



Printable Recipe


Ingredients:
1 large apple (I use Granny Smith, Honey Crisp or Braeburn) peeled, cored and chopped
1 TBSP butter 
1 TBSP brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 box (2.79 oz) green apple jello mix
2 eggs
OPT: a few drops of green food coloring
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup toffee baking chips
1/2 cup cinnamon baking chips

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan.
*In a small saucepan, melt the 1 TBSP butter over medium heat. Add the apple, 1 TBSP brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook and stir until the apple is tender. Set aside.
*Cream the remaining butter, margarine, sugar, brown sugar and jello mix, then beat in the eggs and green food coloring (if using). Slowly at first, beat in the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the baking chips.
*Spread about 1/2 of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with the apple mixture. Dot the top with the remaining dough and with slightly wet hand, spread out. All of the apple mixture does not need to be covered.
*Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.
 

21 comments:

  1. Gardening in pots is a great idea if you're having trouble with the soil in the yard. We have spent a fortune over the years buying plants by trial and error. I shudder when I think of all the money we spent on plants that died. But today, I finally have my garden oasis---the benefits of being married to a landscaper, lol. If it weren't for him, I'd probably be living in a sand pit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen your garden and it is absolutely gorgeous, worth whatever you had to go through to end up with that.

      Delete
  2. What a nice prompt! One can dream, right? Too bad dreams are limited by climate, soil - and money. But now that you have your own gardener though..? The sky is the limit, and you can have him do more of what you're already doing: planting flowers that attract butterflies, birds and the like.
    In my dream garden there would be palm trees for sure. Where we live they need to be covered during the winter months, so a gardener would come in handy here as well.
    Happy Friday and happy world women's day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, if I lived in the south I'd have a whole different list, including palm trees for sure.

      Delete
  3. I am not a gardener either. Don’t get me wrong I think they’re beautiful but I have no luck. I’m not the nurturing kind I guess. I would love to have a fresh herb garden again .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'd even love to have a mini herb garden in my kitchen.

      Delete
  4. My mother and grandmother both have/had green thumbs. I on the other hand struggle to keep anything alive. That could be because my helper/husband likes to tamper with things, improve them, add fertilizer which completely fried my garden on more than one occasion. I love the flowers you shared.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor you, the last thing I need when I'm trying to keep plants alive is someone working against me, I've got enough problems all on my own.

      Delete
  5. I laughed out loud because the house we just moved into has a huge garden of trees, 20ft high shrubs, every type of flower you can imagine and a place for a vegie garden -- here's the catch -- it comes with a full-time gardener! I hate gardening but love gardens. So..........I hear you and I won't share my gardener with you but hope you find one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You actually got my dream? A beautiful garden AND a gardener? Lucky you.

      Delete
  6. My dream garden would involve a much larger plot of land than my little postage stamp (well, maybe a small envelope-sized) AND someone to do all the work so I could just enjoy the lilacs, the crepe myrtle (ok, not hardy where I live but this is a dream, right?) the camillas (ditto) and...yes, daylilies. And columbines for hummingbirds. I love the thought of your potted plants that attract hummingbirds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you ever get that dream garden, I'd love to see the pics.

      Delete
  7. I'm working on ideas for container gardens here, so thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Green apple bars sound scrumptious. My ideal garden would have lots of hedges and a few ponds with fish swimming through. And of course flowers.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your flower pots look so beautiful, Karen!
    This was so inspiring now that spring is around the corner! I wish to plant more flowers this year, both in the pots as well as in the soil. Hope I will be able to create a beautiful garden too! I love blooming gardens and indoor plants too. But I totally agree that gardening requires lots of patience, learning, and hard work.

    Green apple bars look so scrumptious.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do have to admit though, the beauty is worth the work.

      Delete
  10. oh man, I would want all the vegetables my land could handle. I love gardening, but with my CFS, I just can't get out and do it anymore. I miss being able to eat fresh picked tomatoes covered in sweat and dirt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's sad, I hate to think of you being forced to give up something you love. And I agree, fresh vegetables just have so much more flavor.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete

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