Putter with Purpose

Feeling overwhelmed with spring garden chores?

*Sigh*

Does it all seem so daunting? 

I know, everywhere you look there’s something to do — so you do nothing!

Here’s what I do — putter with purpose — not to be confused with golfing.

Don’t think you have to do everything at once — cut it up into bite-sized pieces — but just start puttering! When I say to myself, I’m going to go outside and start puttering around, for some weird reason it seems fun and easy. Try and complete an area before moving on to the next — it'll give you a feeling of accomplishment — after, you can sit back and admire the beauty.

Nothing better than yellow in spring — sunburst of energy & beauty! Photo by Holly Stickley

Nothing better than yellow in spring — sunburst of energy & beauty!
Photo by Holly Stickley

Here are 8 puttering tasks you can do right now:

1. Cut back and clean-up ornamental grasses and perennial foliage — best to do this before new growth appears. 

2. Prune flowering shrubs that flower on new wood (what will grow this season). Don’t forget the 3D’s — remove all dead, diseased, and damaged wood, and cut out all crossing branches — open up the middle for good air circulation, and for the health of the plant. 

3. If you have old leggy woody shrubs like rhododendrons, and don’t mind sacrificing a few blooms, now’s a good time to prune, shape, and open up. 

4. Weed, weed, weed. My motto — “See a weed, pick a weed.” Believe it or not, weeding can be relaxing. During a spring evening, I’ve been known to weed while listening to music, and having a glass of wine!

5. Feed, feed, feed — feed your soil, feed your plants. The best once-a-year slow release fertilizer is compost. Every spring and fall, I apply a 2 inch layer of compost to my planting beds. Over the season, it provides all the fertilizer that almost every plant needs to look and perform at its best — and it improves the structure of your soil.

Tip — if you have grass that sits alongside your planting bed, mow and edge first before laying down your compost. 

6. Take care of your lawn — mow, aerate, edge, & fertilize. I like to thatch too, but I usually do this every few years. Lawn fertilizer in the spring helps get your grass off to a great start. Use a slow-release or organic fertilizer; don't try to feed your lawn for a quick green-up — this doesn't usually work and can harm your grass.

7. Clean your pots. I use a splash of bleach in a bucket of water and a scrub brush — you don’t want to be passing diseases onto your new beautiful potted creations!

8. Bait for slugs. Right now I am using up my organic Sluggo, and excited to try non-toxic Diatomaceous Earth. I hear it's great for earwigs, slugs, and other soft-bodied garden pests, as well as flees and ticks on your pets — amazing! Check it out www.diatomaceousearth.com.

Happy Spring 2016 — start puttering with purpose, and enjoy your spring garden! 

If you'd like to leave a comment, it's easy — click on the rectangle icon, and then the people icon. Thanks!

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear 

Mouse In The Tulip Box

There are many lessons about bulbs I could teach you — designing, sourcing, and planting, but I think you’ll really appreciate this one — learned first hand by yours-truly, the hard way.

Last fall, I planted 100 tulip bulbs at my house, and about 1000 at my clients' homes. I love tulips — there are so many varieties and colors — I go crazy with happiness…:-) 

By December, I still had a few boxes of leftover varieties — 15 in this box — 9 in that box, etc. My plan was to plant the leftovers in pots with a loose design aesthetic — meaning no design…:-) Because the cold hit us early in Portland, I was dragging my feet to pot them up, so out in the garage they sat, where it was cold.

Photo by Stephen Bolton

Photo by Stephen Bolton

Then one night, early December, I heard rustling noises in the garage — yikes! I called to our kitty Gwendolyn, but she was in the house snoozing in her favorite spot. I quickly slammed and locked the kitchen garage door. My husband Fred was at a gig, but I texted him — no response — fart. I was freakin’ out, but then what could he do? I would have to wait it out…

Move forward a couple of months to Sunday, February 7th — beautiful, sunny low 50 degree day in Portland — absolutely gorgeous! I decided it was a good day to putter in the garden and organize the garage. I still had the boxes of leftover tulip bulbs and some looked in perfect condition — but didn’t I have a bunch more? 

Then I saw it…black droppings — yikes, mice!! I don’t know why, but mice scare the be-jeepers out of me. Maybe it’s because they have those long skinny tails and scurry about at lighting speed. 

I canvassed the space — opened the cupboards — oh my, what a site I would see and smell! I’m not sure how many there were. They shredded plastic, cardboard, and dried leaves for bedding. I also had tender perennials wintering-over in the garage and a wheelbarrow of mulch keeping dry. They had a lot to work with — and tulip bulbs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! They had everything they could ever want — it was their dream come true!

Purple fringe and peony-like tulips nesting in a bed of violet violas. Design & Photo by Holly Stickley

Purple fringe and peony-like tulips nesting in a bed of violet violas.
Design & Photo by Holly Stickley

I was astonished at how much havoc they could wreck. It took a few hours to clean up the mess. We took everything out of the garage and washed the cupboards and concrete floor with a bleach/water solution. We found the hole in the floor that they were coming through, and blocked it off with a brick. So far so good, no signs as of today.

What really makes me mad, is that I can’t believe how dumb I was — I know how rodents love bulbs! When I plant, I dip every single bulb in a rodent repellant solution.

Well, that’s my bulb lesson for this season. Don’t make the same mistake that I did! 

To end on a pretty note… I’m looking forward to seeing tulip beauty very soon — can’t wait!

Love, Holly ~
Your Queen Bee at The White Pear

The Blight!

Looked inside your boxwoods lately? If not, you should!

I love a beautiful boxwood hedge! Last March 2014, I lost 35 of my Buxus sempervirens Suffruticosa — the boxwood that is most susceptible to the blight!

Yes, we have boxwood blight in Oregon! It was identified for the first time in Oregon, late 2011 and has been identified as a new fungus species — Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum. 

At first, I was told by three sources that we didn't have the blight in Oregon, so I thought maybe mine was just stressed from not enough water or too much water — neither was the case. I also called the Boxwood Garden for help and the owner told me very strongly, "We do not have the blight in Oregon" — and instead sold me two bags of fertilizer for $80!

With no known cure, I was heartbroken. My boxwood hedge was planted in 2010, and was looking quite beautiful — I was just getting ready to do my first shearing into a squared-off hedge.

Boxwood blight starts out as dark spots with white centers on the leaves. The leaves quickly turn brown, then straw color, then fall off. The defoliated stems develop black lesions, and the entire plant eventually dies.

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The sticky fungal spores are spread by both wind and water (rain or sprinklers) over short distances and also spread by human activities such as pruning — warm, wet weather facilitates its spread.

 

Here's what I did to get the problem in control, nurse the sick and soon to be sick plants, and save the boxwoods I had left:

• I removed and discarded all the infected plants and put them in the garbage —  not the yard debris can.

• I went through each boxwood that looked somewhat healthy, and opened up the middle and base and cleaned out the inside — at times getting on my belly to view from ground level the base of the plant to get them cleaned thoroughly. 

• After cleaning each plant, I dipped and swirled my pruners and Hori-Hori knife in bleach for about 20 seconds. The Hori-Hori knife helped me push out the diseased foliage through the open base. I also worked with multiple pairs of gloves — and my bare hands — so as not to spread the disease. Although tough on the hands, it was easier to wash my hands after each plant cleaning.

• After cleaning out all the plants, including the dirt below each plant, my husband had the task of spraying the plants every seven days with Green Cure Fungicide, given to me by my kind neighbor and fellow gardener, Marcia. I buy mine locally here in Portland, OR at Roots. In case you can't find it in your area, here's the website. http://www.greencure.net/

On average, it took about 20 minutes to clean each plant — and I cleaned 48 plants! The entire cleaning process was extremely tedious, time consuming, and cold in the month of March — lots of frustration and tears. 

But, great news — my efforts paid off! Check out the photo on the right that I took just yesterday — they're on the mend. I'm now going through each plant this fall, making sure they're clean and sprayed...:-)

If you need additional information on who to contact if you think your boxwoods may have the blight, send me a comment in the comment box below. Please don't reply to this email, other readers may benefit from the information.

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear

Happy Fall! Colorful foliage of the Cercis canadensis "Forest Pansy." See my healthy boxwood hedge below the tree. The gap on the bottom left corner is where I lost two boxwood plants.

Happy Fall! Colorful foliage of the Cercis canadensis "Forest Pansy." See my healthy boxwood hedge below the tree. The gap on the bottom left corner is where I lost two boxwood plants.


Colorful Smoked Trout Salad

Crave Salads? I do! A few evenings ago, I was having a salad craving — not my usual fare, but a new and exciting one...:-). If you love delicious, nutritious seasonal salads, check out my Colorful Smoked Trout Salad that I cooked up the other evening.

As much as possible, I use vegetables that are homegrown, especially tomatoes — makes a more tasty salad. Late summer/early fall is the best time to enjoy this salad, because of the abundance of homegrown vegetables. My salads are usually made as a dinner meal for my husband and me, so I make a big salad in a big bowl!  

Smoked-Trout-Salad-2-1500-500.jpg

Here are the ingredients for two dinner servings:

• 6 oz fresh smoked trout
• lettuce mix - I grow three different varieties. I fill my large bowl with lettuce — enough for two dinner servings.
• Sun Gold tomatoes - Use as much as you like; I use a small handful. Grown by my recently widowed friend, Kenny. Super sweet tomatoes and super sweet friend. 
• 1 small Persian cucumber, unpeeled — you can use another variety, but I love the crunch of Persians. 
• 1 small firm avocado. (I don't like soft avocados in a salad!)
• 1.5-2 tbls Garlic Expressions Vinaigrette Dressing — I love this dressing, made with healthy, fresh whole garlic cloves. I buy mine at City Market in NW Portland, OR.
http://www.garlic-expressions.com/
• fresh ground pepper

Wash, spin-dry lettuce, and shred in bite size pieces; place in refrigerator for 20 minutes to crisp. Shred smoked trout in chunky pieces, set aside. Cut tomatoes in halves, or quarters if using larger tomatoes. Slice cucumbers 1/4" thick. Cut avocado in chunks. Place all ingredients in a large bowl except smoked trout. Pour dressing on top; start with 1.5 tablespoons and add more if desired. Lightly mix all ingredients together. Serve on individual plates or bowls. Top with smoked trout and fresh ground pepper. I like to serve with a crisp dry white wine and artisan crackers. Enjoy!

Yumm — homegrown tomatoes!

Yumm — homegrown tomatoes!

Note: If you live in Portland, Oregon, as I do, I buy my fish local at Newman's Fish Market at City Market, in NW Portland. This is their retail space. Newman's Fish also sells wholesale to some of our finest restaurants in Portland. They have beautiful seafood and a beautiful website: http://newmansfish.com/.

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear

Garden Makeover On A Budget

On a budget? Here's what my team and I did...  

To stay on budget, there were no design drawings, instead lawn paint was used to outline the pathway and planting berms. My goal was to design a beautiful garden with a sense of order, while retaining the integrity of the surrounding woods.

Left is a photo of what we started with...  

• Old weedy grass on a slope.
• Trees covered with ivy; one dead.
• Encroaching blackberry and ivy.
• No defined planting berms.
• Random mix of plants.

The makeover...

• Removed all grass — too time consuming to rejuvenate and too expensive to maintain.
• Removed dead tree — dangerous, more sunshine.
• Bridged the slope — gravel pathway with edging that crosses the front yard to the back.  
• Designed a small patio with inexpensive concrete blocks and gravel — charming & inviting.
• To connect patio to pathway, added a stack of 3 steps.
• Shaped planting berms on both sides of pathway using a blended soil mix.
• Transplanted existing plant material and added colorful evergreens, perennials, and annuals.
• Medium dark hemlock for top dressing.
• Concrete blocks and edging from The Home Depot. 
• Gravel, soil, and top dressing from Woodwaste Management in Portland, OR.
• Plant material from Portland Nursery and Cascadian Nursery in Hillsboro, OR.

A simple, garden makeover on a budget — beauty, definition, and purpose, while retaining the integrity of the surrounding woods. 

Looking towards the woods.  Photo by Holly Stickley

Looking towards the woods.  Photo by Holly Stickley

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A place to contemplate life...:-)  Photo by Holly Stickley

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear

Transforming A Boggy Muddy Mess into a Beautiful Side Garden

Hillside springs eroding the soil - water flowing down a lengthy side garden - a pile of mud on the sidewalk - a boggy muddy mess!  

Homeowners Bruce and Maureen envisioned a beautiful side garden, but first had to fix their boggy muddy mess; my challenge du jour.  To remove the excess surface water, we designed multiple French drains and dry wells, and covered the unsightly drains with decorative rock to simulate a natural creek bed, curving it around 10 existing, highly cherished, adult blueberry bushes.  All was a success, as fall, winter and spring came and went, and the ground never became a bog, nor was there ever a mud pile on the sidewalk below.

This summer, the fun part began with a garden design around the creek bed with new and existing plant material.  The biggest challenge was to safely relocate the blueberry bushes that were bearing fruit at the time.  All was a success, except that days later we were hit by hot 90+ degree weather, so some of the plant material took a bit of a hit, but quickly bounced back with more normal Portland summer temperature (80's) and some supplemental hand-watering. 

To build the new planting berms, we used a 4-way garden soil mix, and a dark compost for top dressing, both from Grimms in Tualatin, OR.  To build the dry creek bed, we used a mix of rock sizes from Smith Rock in Portland, OR. 

No more boggy muddy mess… in its place, a beautiful garden…yea!  

Check out the before and after photos below...Enjoy!

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear

Transformed side garden with dry creek bed.  Looking up towards the woods. Photo by Fred Stickley / StickleyCreative

Transformed side garden with dry creek bed.  Looking up towards the woods.
Photo by Fred Stickley / StickleyCreative

What we started with.  Looking up towards the woods.  The existing short rock wall was hidden from view by shrubs in need of selective pruning. Photo by Fred Stickley / StickleyCreative

What we started with.  Looking up towards the woods.  The existing short rock wall was hidden from view by shrubs in need of selective pruning.
Photo by Fred Stickley / StickleyCreative

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A garden hose works great to lay out the path for the dry creek bed. 
Photo by Fred Stickley / StickleyCreative

Going over plant care with Bruce and Maureen.  I love this part of the design process! Photo by Fred Stickley / StickleyCreative

Going over plant care with Bruce and Maureen.  I love this part of the design process!
Photo by Fred Stickley / StickleyCreative

Polygonatum

Polyga... what? 

l have been in love with Polygonatum odoratum var. pluriflorum 'Variegatum' for over a decade.

Who could resist this lush perennial beauty: elegant upright architectural form; arching stems dangling pairs of dainty bell-shaped white blooms; young stems tinged with purple...very cool.  

Polygonatums grow best and have a sense of place in a woodland or naturalized garden.  They are easy to grow in part to full shade, and prefer moist, humusy well-drained soil, but can tolerate dry soil and drought.  Every year, I'm in awe of their beauty and hardy persistence in returning to my garden, spreading ever so slowly by rhizomes to form dense colonies and filling in quickly amongst my ferns, hellebores, and climbing hydrangea....yippee!

In Spring, their bold foliage (to 4" long) emerges a soft green with creamy white tips and margins, turning to yellow in the Fall.  Late Spring, Summer flowers have a lily-like fragrance, followed by blue-black berries in Autumn.  Three seasons of delight!  That's a win, win, win in my small-space garden.  Perennial Plant Association’s 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year!  Enjoy!

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear

 

Polygontum odoratum var. pluriflorum 'Variegatum'

A colony of Polygonatum odoratum var. pluriflorum 'Variegatum'  Photo by Holly Stickley

 

Garden Transformation On A Budget

It can be done... a garden transformation on a budget!  

Of course, everyone's budget is not the same, but here are a few ideas to keep costs in check and still produce big results.

For Peg's garden transformation below, Peg hired The White Pear for an overall design to map out the bones of the garden.  I highly recommend having an overall design, whether drawn by you or a professional.  When you're organized and have a vision it saves time and money.

In Peg's garden, we started with old bumpy, weedy grass, a strip of bamboo, and an old shed.  Even though Peg loved grass, it was costly and time consuming for her to maintain a healthy lawn, so we took out all the grass, and the old shed.  In doing so, we now had room to create berms for beautiful plant material, and curved pathways that lead you gently around the garden.

From Left to Right & Down: • New patio area and planting berms.  • Before - old shed and old grass.  • After we removed shed.  Bedroom window is exposed.  Light now filters into the house. • New shade berm in bloom; more lovely than the old shed. • Before - old grass and a strip of bamboo. • In progress - leveling ground, shaping the berms, patio area, and pathways.

From Left to Right & Down:
• New patio area and planting berms. 
• Before - old shed and old grass. 
• After we removed shed.  Bedroom window is exposed.  Light now filters into the house.
• New shade berm in bloom; more lovely than the old shed.
• Before - old grass and a strip of bamboo.
• In progress - leveling ground, shaping the berms, patio area, and pathways.

To stay on budget, we used 1/4 minus gravel for the patio floor and pathways.  In the future, Peg has the option of installing a more permanent flooring material, if she desires.

To stay on budget, we used as much existing plant material, if it made sense to the overall design; moving plants around and adding more of the same plant material for cohesiveness.  Be organized with your plant shopping list and determine a color palette to avoid impulse buying.  You don't want to end up with a mismatch of onesie twosies.

With plenty of time before Spring, now is a great time to think about designing your new garden.  Take time to enjoy the process and not rush to finish a plan, shop for new outdoor furnishings, and sew new outdoor fabrics for a fresh look.  Come Spring, with a plan, you'll be ready to shop, install, and enjoy your new garden transformation!

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear

Top 10 Gorgeous Ground Covers

Struggling to find just the right ground cover?  Check out my Top 10 Gorgeous Ground Covers and see if one or two or ten strikes your fancy...:)  Enjoy, and as always, love hearing from you! 

Chester on a carpet of Purple Goose-Leaf.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Chester on a carpet of Purple Goose-Leaf.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

1.  Purple Goose-Leaf
    Acaena inermis 'Pupurea'

A stunning low growing ground cover from New Zealand.  3" tall by a 12" wide.  Scalloped leaves 3" across with 11-15 tiny purple-brown leaflets creates a carpet of delicate fern-like foliage.  In the summer, tiny globe-shaped flowers (brownish-green sepals with white anthers), rise above the foliage on short stems.  Plant between paving stones, on a garden wall, and on banks and slopes.  Gorgeous mixed with bright gold foliaged plants.  Plant in full to partial sun.  Needs a well-drained location.  Drought tolerant once established.  Evergreen. 
Zones 6-9.

2.  White Nancy Dead Nettle
     Lamium maculatum
      'White Nancy'

In the foreground, Lamium White Nancy.  In the background, a sea of White Star Creeper creeping along the paving stones.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

In the foreground, Lamium White Nancy.  In the background, a sea of White Star Creeper creeping along the paving stones. 
Photo by Holly Stickley.

White Nancy produces milky-white clusters of small, hooded flowers in late spring and sporadically throughout the summer.  Just 6" high, spreading to 18".  Stunning silvery leaves with narrow green margins.  An eye-catching ground cover even when not in bloom.  Plant in partial sun.  Needs regular water.  Semi-evergreen.  Zones 3-8.

3.  White Star Creeper
     Isotoma fluviatilis alba

I love both the blue and white star creepers.  Tiny green leaves form a dense carpet 2-4" tall, spreading 12-18" wide.  Delightful tiny star-shaped flowers smother this plant all summer long.  Plant in full or partial sun. Needs weekly water or more in extreme heat.  Evergreen.  Zones 5-9.

Angelina Stonecrop.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Angelina Stonecrop.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

4.  Angelina Stonecrop
     Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'

Brilliant chartreuse-yellow, needle-like foliage spreads quickly to form a low mat-forming ground cover, 4" tall by 24" wide.  In late spring, flat, broccoli-shaped flower heads with upward-facing, starry-crystalline blooms emerge.  Gorgeous planted around perennials and annuals with dark colored foliage.  Adds bright color to flowering borders, containers, and dry slopes.  Amber-orange winter color in northern climates.  Best in full sun.  Drought tolerant once established.  Evergreen.  Zones 3-11.

Red Creeping Thyme.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Red Creeping Thyme.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

5.  Red Creeping Thyme
     Thymus praecox
     'Coccineus'

Early summer brings a blanket of deep lavender-red blooms on this fast spreading, semi-evergreen ground cover.  Just 3 to 6" tall by 12 to 18" wide, the foliage is intensely fragrant when crushed.  Charming when planted between paving stones and trailing over edges of pots.  Tolerates light foot traffic.  Plant in full sun and well-drained soil.  Water regularly when top 3" of soil is dry.  Evergreen in the south.  Semi-evergreen in the north.  Zones 4-8.

Veronica Georgia Blue.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Veronica Georgia Blue.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

6.  Veronica Georgia Blue    
     Veronica peduncularis      
     'Georgia Blue'

A mass of long-blooming small blue-purple flowers blanket this low-growing purple tinged, medium green foliage for months, and sporadically throughout the year.  A great weed-suppressor or cover for spent spring bulbs.  And, it's nice to have a ground cover that blooms late winter, early spring.  Plant in full to partial sun.  Needs regular water.  Evergreen.  Zones 4-9.

Golden Japanese Stonecrop.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Golden Japanese Stonecrop.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

7.  Golden Japanese Stonecrop
     Sedum makinoi 'Ogon'

I love this perennial for its delicate, bright golden-yellow foliage, and its tolerance of partial shade.  2" tall by 12" wide.  Insignificant tiny yellow starry flowers in spring.  Striking color accent in rock gardens, rock walls or containers.  Can take all but the hottest sun.  Moderate water every 10-14 days.  Herbaceous perennial.  Zones 6-9.

Black Mondo Grass & Lamium White Nancy.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Black Mondo Grass & Lamium White Nancy. 
Photo by Holly Stickley.

 

 

 

8.  Black Mondo Grass
     Ophiopogon planiscapus
     'Nigrescens'

Stunning purplish black, grass-like foliage.  Great for edging and in mass or with contrasting bright colors.  Produces dark lavender flowers and purple fall berries.  In my garden I've planted it underneath my berm of black bamboo and on another berm with Lamium 'White Nancy.'  Fabulous in mixed containers too.  Spreads slowly.  Plant in full to partial sun.  Needs regular water.  Evergreen.  Zones 5-10.

9.  Black Scallop Bugleweed
     Ajuga reptans 'Black Scallop'

My favorite ajuga.  Glossy, oversized deep purplish-black scalloped-shaped foliage.  In spring, short spikes of vibrant deep blue flowers makes a dramatic contrast with the dark foliage.  Mat forming, 3 to 10" tall by 3' wide.  Plant a foot apart to fill in quickly or space 3' for more gradual coverage.  A gorgeous ground cover for the garden floor or spilling over a container edge.  For the darkest leaf color, plant in full sun.  Can tolerate part shade.  Drought tolerant once established.  Evergreen in mild and warm climates.  Zones 4-11.

Dickson's Gold Bellflower and Black Scallop Bugleweed.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Dickson's Gold Bellflower and Black Scallop Bugleweed. 
Photo by Holly Stickley.

10.  Dickson's Gold Bellflower
      Campanula garganica           
'Dickson's Gold’

Dickson's Gold Bellflower is a gorgeous bright, gold-leaved bellflower.  Just 4-6" tall, spreading 8-10".  The foliage has interesting texture with its serrated saw-tooth edges.  In summer, starry lavender-blue flowers compliment the compact mounds of golden foliage.  Gorgeous planted alongside dark colored foliage.  Plant in full sun for gold color foliage, or partial shade for chartreuse color foliage.  Needs good drainage.  Regular water during the summer.  Herbaceous perennial.  Zones 5-7.

If you have any questions or would like to share your favorite ground cover, drop me a line in the comment box below.  Click the rectangle icon and give it a little time, the computer has to think...:)

Till the next time...

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear

Savory Sweet Potato Chips

I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for healthy snacks (mainly chips..:) that I can easily make at home.  I like to chip away without the guilt...:)  And, they're lots of fun to make with kids!

Below is another yummy nutritious snack recipe from my dear friend, Pam Mahon of Chow Bella.  Pam loves teaching people the benefits and healing powers of whole foods, inspiring them to make permanent changes in their diet and lifestyle.  And, she'll create a program uniquely suited to your lifestyle.  I highly recommend her.  She's awesome!  Check her out:  https://www.facebook.com/chowbellanutritionmadesimple

Savory Sweet Potato Chips from Pam Mahon of Chow Bella, Nutrition Made Simple:

Ingredients:
     •   1 large sweet potato, beet or favorite vegetable
     •   1/2 tsp sea salt
     •   1/2 tsp pepper
     •   1 tbsp olive oil
     •   Optional: see below

Instructions:
    •   Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking dish with parchment paper.

     •   Peel the skin off the sweet potato and discard.  Thinly slice the sweet potato so you have lots of thin strips of the sweet potato flesh.  Place the strips onto the parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Using your fingers, mix the toppings into the strips of sweet potato until evenly coated.

     •   Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges are just turning light brown and the strips are crisp.  Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Optional:  You can make chips with any vegetable - Carrots, zucchini, beets, fennel or potato.  Experiment using different spices such as garlic salt, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom or a packaged spice blend.  Try adding fresh herbs like parsley, rosemary, thyme, dill or cilantro for added flavor.  Herbs are loaded with health benefits.

Enjoy, and as always love hearing from you!

If you have any questions for myself or Pam, don't hesitate to drop us a line in the comment box below.  Click the rectangle icon and give it a little time, the computer has to think...:)

Till the next time...

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear