Here are some snapshots of flowers throughout the garden. I have them scattered about for the purpose of adding beauty and for attracting beneficial insects… 

 We plant a mix of annual and perennial wildflowers along with cut flowers… 

 Flowers are planted as borders and in rows within the growing area. 

 There’s something soothing about all the colors and textures… 

 So vibrant! 

 And full of life….

They will always be a part of the garden plan!   

Version 2

Hidden treasure!



This morning’s photo is of our “chicken coup” shed door. There is a hidden treasure in this photo.

Can you find it?

Ok. Here is some help…

A ha!

A ha!

Nice camouflage! He is located just above the green lichens halfway up the left side of the door jamb.


Quick look tells me it might be a Gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor). It’s super cute.


Leaf beetle

According to the Iowa State bug guide, this beetle is a leaf beetle (Calligrapha bidenticola):

Pretty beetle

Pretty beetle

Apparently, if this ID is true, I needn’t worry about it being on my purple pepper as it’s favorite foods are plants in the Asteraceae family.

Regardless, it is a pretty little thing.

Stringless green beans

Roasted fingerling potatoes & green bean recipe

Stringless green beans

Stringless green beans

With these guys coming in fast and strong, it’s time for a green bean recipe.

Here is one that sounded good (from Southern Living):

Roasted Fingerlings and Green Beans With Creamy Tarragon Dressing

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes*

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon cracked pepper, divided

1/2 pound tiny green beans (haricot verts) [or why not regular green beans?]

Creamy Tarragon Dressing

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Gradually whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk in green onion and tarragon. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 days. Let chilled dressing stand 30 minutes before using.


1. Preheat oven to 425°. Cut fingerlings in half lengthwise, and place in a large bowl. Toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Place potato halves, cut sides up, in a jelly-roll pan. Toss green beans with remaining 1/2 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and place in another jelly-roll pan.

2. Bake potatoes at 425° for 30 to 32 minutes or until tender and browned. Remove from oven, and let potatoes stand in pan.

3. Bake green beans at 425° for 12 minutes.

4. Arrange green beans around roasted potatoes on a serving platter. Drizzle with Creamy Tarragon Dressing.

*1 1/2 lb. small red potatoes, halved, may be substituted with a bake time of 35 minutes. 1 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, quartered, may be substituted with a bake time of 40 minutes.

Copyright © 2015 Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. All Rights Reserved.