When To Prune Hydrangeas

Lately, I've been receiving a lot of questions on when to prune hydrangeas.  Here's the skinny on pruning hydrangeas:

There are 4 categories of hydrangeas that are popular and are marketed extensively in the United States.  The categories are: Hydrangea macrophylla, Hydrangea arborescens, Hydrangea quercifolia, and Hydrangea paniculata.

• If your hydrangea blooms on new growth (green stems and succulent all the down to the base) prune in the late winter, early spring.
• If your hydrangea blooms on last year's wood (brown stem) prune right after they flower.
• If you have a Bigleaf Re-Bloomer like 'Endless Summer', you can prune anytime.

This past Winter we filmed a video on Pruning Pee Gee Hydrangea, which blooms on new wood.   Below is a photograph of this year's summer blooms, taken a few days ago after a couple of days of rainfall, hence the drooping giant blossoms..:)

Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora'    Pee Gee Hydrangea     Photo by Holly Stickley

Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora' Pee Gee Hydrangea 
Photo by Holly Stickley

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to drop me a comment in the comment box below.  Give it a little time to show up; the computer has to think...:)

Enjoy and always love hearing from you.

Till the next time...

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear


Holly's Pad Thai Noodles

Hello Garden Friends!

So, lately I've been obsessed with making the popular Thai dish, Pad Thai Noodles.  My husband, Fred and I, discovered this tasty dish, many moons ago, when we lived in N. Hollywood, CA.  Our favorite Thai restaurant was Thai BBQ in the Valley on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City.  We use to love sitting next to the giant fish tank.  Thai BBQ is also right down the street from the famous jazz venue, the "Baked Potato."   At the Baked Potato, on any given night, you might catch a well-known music celeb hanging out and sitting in.  When we visit family and friends in LA, we try and have Pad Thai Noodles at Thai BBQ, and after dinner, check out the music at the Baked Potato; brings back many fond memories of our early life as a married couple..:)

Holly's Pad Thai Noodles Photo by Holly Stickley

Holly's Pad Thai Noodles
Photo by Holly Stickley

For the past 20 years, we have not found a Pad Thai Noodle that we've liked as well, so I've decided to perfect my own, to our taste.  It may not be perfect for your taste, but it is easy to play with the ingredients.

It is really not difficult to make.  It looks like a lot of work, but just make sure you chop all the ingredients before you start cooking, because one ingredient leads quickly to the next.  I like to cook mine in my cast iron wok, but a skillet will also work.  The lime and cilantro are optional, but for me it wouldn't be Pad Thai without them, so don't forget to squeeze and throw some cilantro on top.  And, it makes great left-overs for lunch.  Enjoy!

Holly's Pad Thai Noodles

Serves 4 as a Main Dish / 6 as a Side Dish.  
I like to enjoy the preparation, so I give myself at least an hour to prep and cook.  

8 ounces dried Rice Noodles (don't use fresh for this recipe)
2 tablespoon Fish Sauce

1 tablespoon Tamarind Concentrate

1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar

2 tablespoons Cane Sugar

1 tablespoon minced Garlic

1 tablespoon minced Shallots 

3 tablespoons Soy, Peanut or Canola Oil

3 large Eggs (2 is fine if you're cutting the recipe in half)

8 ounces cooked chicken or shrimp, cut into bite size pieces

3 - 4 dried Chile Peppers, minced
1 cup julienned Carrots

4 ounces cubed firm Tofu
1/2 cup Bean Sprouts 

1/2 cup chopped Scallions
1 tablespoon minced fresh Ginger

1/2 cup unsalted Roasted Peanuts, chopped and divided (half for garnish)

Cilantro for garnish

1-2 whole Limes cut into wedges

1.  In a large bowl soak Rice Noodles in warm water to cover until they are softened, about 20 minutes; drain.
2.  In a small bowl, combine Fish Sauce, Tamarind, Rice Vinegar and Cane Sugar.
3.  In another small bowl, combine the Garlic and Shallots.
4.  Heat 1 tablespoon of Oil in wok or skillet until it shimmers.  Add Garlic and Shallots; stir fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds.  Add Eggs, stir-fry for 1 minute until just set and cooked through, but not browned.  Remove from wok.
5.  Heat remaining Oil in wok.  Stir in Chicken or Shrimp, Tamarind sauce, and Peppers; just bring to boil.  Add Carrots and stir for about 10 seconds.  Add Noodles, Tofu, Bean Sprouts, Scallions, Ginger, scrambled Eggs, and half the Peanuts.   Cook stirring, until noodles are evenly coated and no excess sauce remains in the bottom of the wok.  Garnish each serving with remaining Peanuts, Cilantro, and a Lime wedge. 

Anyone else have a yummy recipe that you've been perfecting that you'd like to share? 
Also, check out the links at the bottom of this post.  You can comment, like, and share.  This is the best way to comment back to me, not through email.  If you click on the rectangle icon, a comment box will show up below the post.  Give it a little time to show up; the computer has to think...:)

Enjoy and always love hearing from you.

Till the next time...

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear

Enclosure in the Garden

Enclosure in the Garden:  Partially enclosed spots in the garden to read, relax, contemplate your garden, and watch the neighborhood children play.  It is natural to want to feel safe, cozy, surrounded by beauty, to look out onto the world, not to feel like someone is looking over your shoulder.  I created such a place on my tiny front porch.  My 25" round 'Amanda bistro table' is nestled in one corner of the porch.  I bought the table a couple of years ago from my friend Amanda for $30 at her garage sale, so it holds a special spot in my heart.  I love this little table.  There have been many locations for the  'Amanda bistro table' - off our office door to sit with a cup of tea in the morning, out on my front lawn to play cards with my friend Steve, and now out on my tiny front porch - my favorite place, because it has the best "garden enclosure".  The table is surrounded by a 10 year old Privet shrub, a purple flowering Clematis 'Etoile Violette'  and an Euonymus japonicus 'Green Spire.'  I have a hurricane candle sitting on the table at all times for warm candle glow during evenings of gazing out and chatting with my neighbors.  On the table, I usually have a pair of Felco Pruners, and my Japanese Hori Hori (Dig Dig) Knife, so if I feel like it, I can jump up and snip blooms to bring inside the house or dig out a weed.

Hori Hori Knife, Felco Pruners, Garden Gloves

Hori Hori Knife, Felco Pruners, Garden Gloves

So, find a place in your garden that you can partially enclose.  It could be as simple as a chair surrounded by your favorite potted plants, but add a small table, because it will extend what activities you can do in your small special place - you have to have a place to set your glass of wine down or to write a blog post on your laptop...:)   The fresh air helps me think better and eases the stresses of life.  This is what I love about living outdoors - Enclosure in the Garden! 

Anyone else have a special place in the garden you'd like to share?  And, please check out the links at the bottom of this post.  You can comment, like, and share.

Enjoy and always love hearing from you.

Till the next time... 

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear