Vichyssoise

Photo credit: Elise Bauer
Serves 4

Chopped chives are a mandatory garnish for this
delectable soup!

6 to 8 leeks
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Medium potatoes, peeled, sliced thin
4 Cups hot vegetable or chicken broth
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
2/3 Cup cream
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Chopped chives

Prepare the leeks by cutting the tops off
where they begin to turn green. Slit each
down the middle from the cut end to just
above the root end. Wash in cold water,
rinse and dry. Slice the leeks crosswise
very thinly.

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium
heat. Add the sliced leeks. Cover and let
the leeks sweat over gentle heat for 5 minutes.
Uncover and cook 5 minutes longer until the
leeks are softened. Add the potato slices and
stock. Bring to a simmer. Cook until the
potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add salt
and pepper as needed. Cool the soup a little
then blend in batches until very fine. Strain
into a deep bowl. Add the cream, stir very
well and add the lemon juice.

Chill to serve cold or re-heat to serve hot.
Top with freshly chopped chives.

Baptisia australis ~ Blue Wild Indigo

Photo credit: Prairie Moon Nursery

1 gallon size $14.00

Blue Wild Indigo has masses of beautiful spikes of indigo pea-like flowers from mid spring to early summer and are excellent for cutting.  Its round leaves are lime green in spring and turn olive green throughout the season.  Blue Wild Indigo grows 3 – 4′ tall at maturity and spreads 3′ wide.  This plant does best in full sun to partial shade and is an ideal choice for a low-water garden.

Fava Bean Leaf and Pea Shoot Salad

Serves Four

5 cups loosely packed, mixed fava bean and pea
leaves, tender tips only

For the Lemon Vinaigrette

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon cream
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Make the vinaigrette:  Shake the lemon juice,
cream, salt and sugar in a jar or whisk in a bowl
until the sugar and salt have dissolved.  Whisk in
the oil until emulsified.

Toss the greens with the dressing at the very last
minute, and plate.

Quebecita

Makes One Drink

3 ounces (6 Tablespoons) good tequila
1 lemon freshly squeezed
1/2 ounce (1 Tablespoon) maple syrup

Shake in a martini shaker with lots of ice.
Strain and pour into a coupe.
It will be deep golden and match the twilight.

Project Spotlight: Tiny Yards, Big Solutions

Beaverdale homes are known for their charm and their yards are no exception. As I stepped foot in this backyard last spring, I was in love with this quaint and cozy space. The yard had some great features with its charming garden shed, patio spaces, and whimsical art. With another growing season on the horizon, our clients had some current concerns with the landscape they wanted to address.

1. They had recently lost a tree next to the driveway and wanted to incorporate another one for additional shade from the west sun on the patio space.
2. With the maturing maple tree, the grass was having a tough time establishing in this area.
3. With the excessive root structure of the maple tree, it was a struggle to grow any plant material below.


1. We expanded the garden bed by the driveway to allow for a newly planted Japanese Maple tree and positioned it closer to the patio to provide shade from the afternoon sun. We accompanied the tree with ‘Limetta’ hydrangea. These will add lime green blooms to the garden in mid summer.
2. With the constant struggle of the grass trying to grow under the dense canopy of the maple tree, we decided to remove it and add in a limestone flagstone path connecting the garage to the garden shed. We softened the stone with a shade loving vinca groundcover. This will fill in to form a solid green carpet and have a periwinkle bloom in the spring.
3. The roots under the maple tree made it very difficult to grow any plant material. Instead of just adding more mulch, we created the look of a meandering stream by using blue trap rock and Mexican beach pebbles. This also brightens up the shady spot.

Urban Apples

Order yours today for May pick-up!


‘Tangy Green’ Urban Apple2-3′ Wide & 8-12′ Tall
Full Size Fruit
Zone 4-6
Ripens Mid-September
Pollinates well with ‘Blushing Delight’ Urban Apple
Lime Green Fruit
Tangy & Crisp



‘Blushing Delight’ Urban Apple2-3′ Wide & 8-12′ Tall
Full Size Fruit
Zone 4-6
Ripens Mid-September
Pollinates well with ‘Tangy Green’ Urban Apple
Green/Blush Red Fruit
Light, Sweet Flavor


Forcing Spring Branches

Flowering Quince
Photo by: Plant Life Designs at Plant Life Designs

Speed up spring by bringing flowering branches indoors!

Quince, forsythia, cherry, almond, crabapple, redbud, magnolia and pussy willow are all excellent plants for forcing branches indoors.

Follow these six easy steps!

  1. Choose a day above freezing to cut the branches as this helps with the transition from outside to inside.
  2. Select branches with plenty of buds, and preferably buds that are starting to open. Be sure to also select branches that are not critical to the overall appearance of the shrub.
  3. Cut branches at a diagonal and crush the end of the branch with a hammer to help with the uptake of water.
  4. Place branches in a vase with warm water.
  5. Keep branches in a sunny, cool spot . Be sure to avoid radiator heat. Keep the water healthy by changing it every few days.
  6. Blooms will appear in 2-4 weeks depending on the shrub variety. Quince typically take 3-4 weeks, whereas forsythia will only take 1 week!

Smelling Good

3 Ways To Maximize Fragrance In The Garden

‘Rosa At Last’
Photo by: Midwest Groundcovers
  1. Site fragrant plants close to your home, outdoor living space, or near a window you like to open during warmer temps.
  2. Site fragrant plants next to a south-facing wall as the reflected heat will make odors stronger.
  3. Site fragrant plants in an enclosed space such as a side yard or courtyard garden. The scent will be more contained and will be less likely to be carried away.