DIY Sarah

Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert


Mid July is the time to harvest Basil and make Pesto!

I got myself a nice food-processor for making Zuccinni Bread but it makes short work of basil as well.

I opted for the $99 Cuisinart Food processor and I LOVE it. I’m glad I read all those articles by Daniel Pelegreen on the subject. I had no idea just how much easier and quicker and mostly- QUIETER a nice food processor is than my little 3 cup one. It grates zuccinni like a charm and making Pesto is quick!

I pick the leaves off the basil:


and discard/compost/etc the stalks:

I actually throw my herb stalks in my “compost” area which is mainly just where I put the leaves I rake up. The vermin don’t like the herbs so I figure they are mostly safe. I don’t bother with composting the rest of my veggie scraps. We have entirely too many raccoons/squirrels/fishers/Opossums for it to be worth it.

I process the basil leaves with plenty of olive oil. I spoon out most of the basil slurry into ice cube trays for freezing at this point.

To make pesto, I use about 3 Table spoons of Basil slurry, a good bit of grated parmesean cheese, plenty of olive oil, and some pine nuts. Process-away and enjoy with chicken, bread, etc.

The pine-nuts come in this sweet little jar and sweet little jars deserve flowers.


I’ll be honest, the flowers may have been my favorite part of the pesto-making process.


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Side Flower Bed

If you think back to Late may, or if you click on this link to take you back to late may, you’d know that we pulled out some falling down chain link fence and cleaned up the side of the back yard.

I have since added some flowers and ferns:

I was graciously given some lungwort and fern (Hay-scented fern I believe).

And a month later it’s looking great:

And some european ginger:


I picked up some Lady Fern from Mahoney’s in nearby Winchester:

And some Japanese Painted Fern:

And this other smaller, fluffy fern – The Dixie Wood Fern:

We also got some pink flowering false nettle which I promptly divided. I usually divide my perennials as soon as I get them. I find that the nurseries tend to stuff them into their pot and that they really like being divided and given some room to grow right when they are planted.


And sweet Woodruf:

I’ve also planted an Astilbe that I got at the local grocery store. It didn’t flower this year. All the buds got all wilty so I chopped them off to give the plant a better chance at long-term survival. There’s also a bleeding heart next to it. I’m hoping it will really fill out. I love bleeding hearts.


I’m still in the market for more ferns and other shade plants as you can see, but for those, I’m thinking about getting some outdoor pottery in hanover pa. I’m hoping the hydrangea might just flower next year. I’m also going to try to propagate the hydrangeas I have to see if I can make some more.


In the photo above, you can see some funny blue stuff in the lawn. That’s some grass seed in a newspaper mush. It worked great! You can see the lawn now, no more bare spots!

It’s been a busy July and I’ve got more to share but the blog has fallen off my priority list. I’m loving my new job which has been keeping me busy and fulfilled which was my blog’s job at other points in time.

I’ll keep posting about the house but I can’t promise to maintain a schedule! Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more timely house info!


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Garden update – Roses Roses Roses

It’s been 2 weeks since my last post! I’m afraid things have been busy and I haven’t gotten any exciting new projects done.

We went to Connecticut for a bridal shower/bachelor/bachelorette weekend to celebrate Stefan’s brother’s upcoming wedding.

It was a fun time.  Here is the bride-to-be with her future daughter and future niece dressed in traditional toilet-paper wedding dresses, we got inspire by wedding dresses from belle et blanc!  Welcome to the family Tami!

After a weekend of revelry, we needed the week to recover.  Not to mention, to ride our new Tandem Bike!

This last weekend, we spent on yard-work. I’ll go into more depth on the lawn seeding and weeding later this week, but for now, enjoy some pictures of the lovely roses in the yard, I also want to do an update on our HVAC system later on, thankfully we got the ac repair modesto ca to help us out. If you haven’t already, look around and take note of just how good of a rose season we are having this year. The cold winter has done wonders for the roses in the Boston area. What about elsewhere? Good Rose season?

New Knockout Rose – planted June 2013:

Dark Pink/Red rose:

New Year’s Rose – planted June 2013:

Yellow Roses:

Pale Pink:

Giant Knock-Out Rose

Pink Rose transplanted 2012 from other side of yard:

It’s raining today but after it dries out later this week, I’m going to harvest a bunch and bring them to work. It’s a shame to let all these beautiful flowers die on the bush when I’m never there to see them! It’s also very good for the plant to remove the flowers (dead-heading) so they will keep producing more blooms! The knock-outs should bloom all summer long. The yellow rose is also quite good at re-blooming but the others will teeter off by mid July.

How are the roses where you are?


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Front Yard Flower Update

I added some nice brick edging around the lawn and did some weed management. The flowers are blooming and it’s looking great.


I love the Alliums. They are like purple fireworks. The Creeping Phlox is also looking great. I’m glad I went with a single color scheme.




I’ve got a nice planter with that carries the purple over.


I had hoped my Columbines would be the purple variety but no luck there. I may move them into my shade bed in the back and replace them with purple ones out front.


They are such cool flowers though.



And the hosta and periwinkle are doing well. The periwinkle (also called Vinca) is slowly filling out though not as fast as I would like. I need to fertilize a bit to get him to spread. I love that hosta but I’m not sure the placement is best. I may move him to the back shade bed as well.


I also plated some pansies in-ground and they are flowering profusely. I love pansies. They always make me think of Alice In Wonderland.



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  1. 5/30/2014 | 8:02 am Permalink

    Wow, your yard looks fantastic. I wish I was there to see it in person. Miss you

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