SWAP: Thank you Tara! Thank you everbody!

gottagarden(z5 western NY)June 8, 2009

Just wanted to say it was a great swap and wanted to thank everyone for the fantastic plants and great food.

It was a fun day and it didn't rain :-) I'd rather have it cool than get sunburned again.

Tara, you and Scott are the best hosts. We appreciate your generosity and hospitality.

Now I just need to find homes for all those plants . . . .

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gail14054(z5 NY)

Thanks to Tara and Scott!!!

I had a wonderful day and got lots of new and exciting plants to tend to. My next project is to find homes for all of them.

P.S. Due to encouragment from fellow gardeners, the "Name" of the "Dirt Dessert" has been changed to "Compost".


    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 11:19AM
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Wow, the swap was like having a year of birthdays with all the presents exactly what you wanted! I had a really fabulous time. It was great seeing folks again and meeting new ones. Tara, your place looks beautiful and you and Scott are just so generous to invite us all into your home.

Thanks everyone for the wonderful plants. It is so much fun adding them to my inventory, and learning about all my new treasures.

The food was delicious. Who brought that yummy chicken salad with the walnuts, and can I get the recipe? By the time I got home, I was wishing I had brought home a doggy bag - heehee.

If anyone is interested, I have a complete list with the info, of the stuff I brought and I can email it to you. Also if there is anything on the list you want next year, let me know and I will make a list and get it ready for plant swap 2010!

Thanks again Tara and everyone.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 7:03PM
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Thank you Tara for another successful swap! It was fun seeing everyone again. It is like a family reunion. And of course it is great meeting new people too : ) The food as usual was delicious.
Thank you all for your great plants!! I got some stuff planted after work today, but there is so much more to do!

The peonies are already in planted in their new home. I know they are going to be fantastic in years to come.

Was the salad the one with mayo? If so Hilde made it.

Already looking forward to next year,

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 9:46PM
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Tara, Thank you so much for doing the swap again , it must be a lot of prep work but it does not go unnoticed. It's great to see everyone again and also to meet new folks. remy, your a trip. Rosalinda, I think our gardens are going to look alike soon plantwise. You have inspired me to take cuttings of everything I see now. Penny and husky, the garden invitation is always on the table. I think after I find homes for all these wonderful plants I have to start digging and dividing for next years swap! I'll try to post more this year. Glen.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 9:56PM
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garden_frog(Z6 Western NY)

No thanks necessary. I really do enjoy it every year and really look forward to it. You all are a big reason why my gardens look the way they do!!

Gail, LOL on the compost!

Rosalinda, yep, the chicken salad was Hilde's recipe and I have to agree, it was DELICIOUS!!!

Remy, I agree, it does feel like a family reunion now!

Glen, I never got to see your addition pics! And where is my invite to see your garden? I think we need to do a tour of yours, Penny's and Hilde's since they are all close together!!

I haven't planted anything yet, but I will be. Hopefully I can get some stuff planted by our open house this weekend! :)

Thanks everyone for coming, I look forward to the swap every year and really enjoy it.

Let me know what you all thought about the purple trail site. I liked that everyone could see who was coming and what they were bringing to the pot luck, etc. ahead of time and it was definitely easier for me, but I know there were some technical issues with it as well. So let me know what you thought so I can keep it in mind for next year! And if anyone took any pictures, please post them to the site! (I know Linda already posted one!)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 8:59AM
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gail14054(z5 NY)

Regarding the Purple Trail site, I tried to view Linda's photos, but all I saw were the ones from last year. I may be doing something wrong.

Did anyone else have any problems?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 11:26AM
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garden_frog(Z6 Western NY)

There's just the one photo of Anika that she posted.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 9:40PM
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garden_frog(Z6 Western NY)

Who brought the yummy cookies? I've been craving them since I ate the last of them on Monday! They were delicious!! Can i have the recipe?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 10:05PM
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As a new commer i want to thank everyone for being so nice and welcoming, i would have posted earlier but honestly i have been gardening every chance i get! every plant i got was perfect and healthy and transplanted well, THANK YOU ALL! what i have come to love about gardening, is that you never stop learning about new plants and new ways of doing things. i work in a tiny country hospital, and live in the woods. i don't get to meet a lot of new people. i feel very lucky to have met all of you, Tara you are a perfect hostess. Who every made the Texas caviar please post the recipe. If anyone gets around Letchworth State Park this summer pls look me up, come see your plants. cathleen

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 10:16PM
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Thank you Tara for hosting again this year!
With the pressure of listing you house, I know it must not have been easy to get everything ready, and your garden always looks so nice when we come.

Many thanks to everyone who put so much effort into the exchange, especially Rosalinda, who puts SO much effort into labeling her plants fastidiously.
And print-outs! And a slide-show! Wow.

Kathy, I know I am really going to enjoy those two columbines I received from you, especially the "William Guinness" variety. I have wanted that plant for years, but had never actually made the effort to order it.

Thank you, Brenda for sharing your beautiful dahlia bulbs again.

Remy, you are indeed a hoot. Thanks for enlightening me to the difference between a Valuable Verbena and a noxious weed! I also look forward to finding out what kind of "mystery perennial" I brought home this year!

And Kathleen, it was a pleasure meeting you. I am SO glad you "live in the woods." I consider myself pretty lucky to have made off with a tray full of May apple, Trillium, and Solomon's Seal. Native plants bought at the nursery are very hard to find, and very expensive when you do. Thanks for sharing.

Not to marginalize the delicious main dishes at all, but those lacy chocolate dipped cookies were my favorite, and I had two helpings of that dirt dessert, err.. compost.

Jerry (not Paul)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 8:35AM
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hilde_wny(z5 NY)

Thank you Tara and Scott for being such great hosts for the swap! I loved it last year and I loved it this year! I love to meet all of you fellow gardeners, talk and learn and laugh. I feel that it was over too soon and that I wanted to talk more to many of you.

Brenda and Cathleen, thank you so much for the pre-swap plants, you are so generous!

In time I hope to have a much larger list of varieties to offer at the swap. As for a garden tour: Can a tour of my garden wait until I have cleared out a lot of the "problem" areas and weedy areas in the back? :-) My garden is a never ending project, and I have still some big ones left!

Rosalinda e-mailed me and asked for the recipe for the chicken salad. If anyone else is interested, I will be more than willing to give it to you. I enjoyed all the dishes at the swap, and asked for a couple of recipes. In fact we had "compost" for dessert today, including gummy worms!

Kathy I forgot to get the names of two of the plants that I picked from you, and I have no idea what they are. Could you tell based on a picture? One might be a Columbine.

I have planted half the plants already, but everything that is not in the ground is in a pot, so they should be OK until they are in the ground. Thank you so much and good luck with your gardens!


    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 12:00AM
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French Lace Cookies
The cookies are easy to make but a bit attention demanding, read the instructions before you get started so you are familiar with the process.
Heat over to 350 degrees and move rack to top of oven. Line 2 large cookie sheets with aluminum foil and have a flat tray covered with wax paper prepared to cool the cookies (a cooling rack will not work as well for these, I use another large cookie sheet) One batch makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.
Mix -
1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter at room temp
1 slightly generous cup of finely ground nuts (walnuts, blanched almonds, hazlenuts, or pecans - each gives a slightly different taste to the cookies - for the plant swap I used my home grown walnuts with a small amount of pecans)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 level tablespoon flour
Chocolate chips (though you can use any flavor such as white chocolate, butterscotch or anything that appeals to you, though you can also leave the cookies plain)

In a heavy pan, preferably a cast iron one, combine all the ingredients (I usually add the flour to the nuts in my food processor as I grind them up) except the chocolate chips over a medium low heat. Stir constantly until the mix becomes a thick paste, like cooked farina or oatmeal. Don't let the mix boil, just get thick. Turn the heat off.

Using two teaspoons make rounded little balls of the mix and drop them onto the aluminum foil and flatten each ball slightly. Only bake one pan at a time, and only make 6 to 8 cookies at a time, spacing the cookies far apart, as they will spread. The first time you do this you might want to make a test batch with just 2 cookies to see how far they spread and how fast they cook. The cookies take about 6 or 7 minutes to cook. The biggest problem with these cookies is they burn very easily, so you can't have your attention distracted or do anything else whilst you make these. Once the first batch is in the oven get the second batch ready.

After a couple of minutes baking, turn the cookie sheet in the oven so they cook evenly. If they are cooking too quickly (browning too much at the edges before the centers cook) turn the oven down to 325. Check the cookies every couple of minutes. Reverse the cookie sheet as you feel necessary. You want them to be lightly browned with bubbles over the entire surface of the cookie, don't let them get too brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and drop 3 chocolate chips on each cookie. Let the cookies sit in the pan and the chips melt. Start the next batch cooking. After a couple of minutes spread the chocolate gently over the top of the cookie using the back of a spoon. (don't forget to rotate the batch in the oven.) Move the cooked batch of cookies on their sheet of the foil onto a flat surface to cool completely and when they are cooled (this only takes a few minutes they cool quickly) carefully peel them off the aluminum foil and place them on the wax paper lined cookie sheet or tray. The cookies are very fragile so be careful. Place the tray with the cookies in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate. When you have a single layer of cookies finished and the chocolate has hardened, cover them with a layer of wax paper. Start the second layer on top of the first and continue to bake, spread chocolate and cool. Use a paper towel to smooth out the used aluminum foil and put it back on the cookie sheet to reuse. I usually have a third piece of aluminum foil in use so I have one batch in the over, one batch with chips melting/cooling and one batch being made into balls ready to go in the oven.

I know these instructions sound complicated and too detailed, but hopefully they will save you the burnt cookie learning curve :o)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 10:23PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Hey Tara and all!
I have been very late in posing my thanks to you, Tara, Scott and all of our swappers because I have been busy PLANTING out all my new babies.

My little Hen and Chicks from Rosalinda were the last to go in as I wanted to make sure they weren't disturbed once planted. My Pensemons are loooking really good. SInce I have a few xeric areas, the Penstemons filled in the blank spots to a tee.

The Baptisia seedlings look like they have already grown several inches and the Pulmonaria must be very happy in its new home as it didn't wilt at all when I planted it out. My little tomato plant has already grown quite a bit too and is getting very bushy!

All the plants were so healthy and a very welcome additon to my garden!

The food was great as always and I still want the recipe for the chocolate fudgie tart!

We may have to wait a while for a tour of my little garden since so many of my plants are a bit more tropical in nature and not blooming yet. Now that the weather is beginning to co-operate I am hoping that they will start to take off but I am really looking forward to seeing Glen's Garden and Kathy's garden too!


    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 7:08AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Disregard the request for the Chocolate Walnut Tart. I haven't had time to check my Roadrunner email until after I posted and I have Nan's recipe. Thank you for forwarding it to me and thank Nan again for me too.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 12:42PM
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Hi Penny,
You didn't get the hens and chicks from me. If they are the solid chocolate color ones, they were Nan's, and I think Hilde had some dark tipped green ones.

I have been planting away, but have hardly made a dent yet, though everything is potted up. It is so much fun having all these new plants to add to the gardens. I have lots of garden pics at this link for anyone interested -


    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 12:23AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Thanks Rosalind for the clarification. my hen and chicks are more maroon colored. So whoever brought them thank you very much. I have always wanted hen and chicks....kind of reminiscent of my childhood when I stayed at my grandmother's house. I have always been fascinated by them but never had any before. Until this year I had no idea that they flowered either.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 9:29AM
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husky004_(z5 NY)

Guess Im the last one to check in and say thank you Tara & Scott for another great swap...I got lost on the way home from Penny's and just got home lol, just kidding. No seriously, we are in the middle of having our kitchen redone and had to have some drywall work done so the computer has been covered in plastic. Thanks to everyone for the all great plants,Remy & Hilde for the heirloom tomatoes that are doing great, Brenda for my first peony, my grandfather had beautiful ones but I still remember my mom throwing her bouquet of them out the car window cause they were crawling with ants and Penny for all the great hummingbird plants. Hilde, Im not sure what you took from me but I had husker red penstemon and two different columbines, some sweet autumn clematis, balloon flower, cosmos, candy lily and some english daisies, it think that was about it. Again it was a great time, one of my favorite days of the year, getting together with good gardening friends.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 11:16PM
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husky004_(z5 NY)

Oops I forgot, thank you again Remy for the cardoons, they were delicious, I didn't even share them with Bob. You got me hooked, I'll be checking Wegmans for them in the fall. And to everyone else for the great food.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 11:19PM
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