Easter Odds and Ends

I couldn't let Easter slip by without wishing everyone a wonderful holiday. Whatever your religious persuasion, Easter is the beginning of spring activities in the garden and out, so start your -- lawnmowers -- and get ready for another season of flowers and fun in the sun.

I was planning a new herb profile for today (valerian), but I think I'll settle for sharing a few odds and ends that I've been tracking lately:

Hot pepper wars -- According to The Wall Street Journal, the race to develop the hottest pepper is heating up for real. If you've ever tried a Scotch bonnet pepper (habanero) you know it's a scorcher, but it pales in comparison to the capsaicin busting varieties being developed today. Here's an example: The newest (hottest) pepper on record is the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T. It rates a 1.464 million on the Scoville heat scale (concentrations of capsaicins). Compare that to the habanero -- which can be plenty hot. It rates a mere 100,000 to 300,000 on the Scoville scale. Yikes. For a rundown on the latest and hottest in peppers, you can find the article here: The Arms Race to Grow World's Hottest Pepper Goes Nuclear

Here's another goodie you may want to track over the course of the year:
Example of an Indoor Vertical Garden
Vertical landscaping Italian style - If you've been toying with the idea of vertical gardening, there are some really fun and satisfying projects out there that focus on herbs, succulents, vegetables and even mosses. From expensive setups that pump water through a series of plant kiosks, to DIY approaches that uses discarded shoe caddies and old tires, there's something downright clever about making use of wasted space to create a tiered landscape. Hey, I applaud any strategy that makes room for more plants.

The idea of making cityscapes a little greener with vertical gardening is catching on, too. In Milan, Italy, they're embarking on a pilot project that will add exterior plant landscaping to a couple of skyscrapers. Actually, the idea began back in 2008. You can see some of the spectacular artist depictions of what they want to achieve here: Vertical forest’ Skyscrapers Coming to Milan.

The project is slated for completion this year, so you'll probably be hearing more about it as the drama unfolds. Now, wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall as they're installing all those hundreds of trees, shrubs and plants?

Before I sign off to baste the ham and start preparing deviled eggs, I wanted to thank you all for being regular visitors to The Herb Gardener. You make writing a pleasure.

Last minute tip:   Don't toss that decorative parsley. Chop it up and place it in ice cube trays.  Fill the trays with water and freeze.  When frozen, remove the parsley cubes to a freezer bag and use them in your recipes.  No waste.

Photo 1 - By Scott Bauer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo 2 - Par Spaceo (Travail personnel) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( ou GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

1 comment:

  1. Decorative parsley? There is nothing more nutritious than this beautifully modest herb. With bountiful medicinal properties she is used as a garnish to also neutralize bad breath after your meal (which is why this particular 'decoration' accompanies dishes containing egg, garlic or fish to name a few.
    Thankyou for you gifts, little parsley!


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