Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tropical Hibiscus

In the September 22nd post on this blog we featured a number of "Hardy Hibiscus". You may check that out by checking the archives on the right hand side of this blog.  

Here is a picture taken yesterday of our Master Gardener holding two blooms from her tropical hibiscus "Jaz."  This plant was recently moved into the greenhouse and should continue providing such blooms for some time.

Other interesting tropicals, but not ours.

This site has a great deal of useful information but the comments about identifying hardy vs. tropical may not be too helpful. http://www.trop-hibiscus.com/gindr.html  

Garden centers tend to group all hibiscus together. You can tell if yours is probably a tropical if it has glossy, deep green leaves rather than the dull, medium green, heart shaped leaves of the hardy variety.  However, there are several hundred varieties of hibiscus and they are easily crossed with one another. To further muddy the issue, the "Rose of Sharon" varieties tend to be hardy, but can have the double flowers, colors and deep green leaves of the tropicals. 

A 7 minute YouTube video of how to prune a tropical hibiscus.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Productive Backyard Tree

 This is the Meyer Lemon tree in our back yard.  I didn't get a picture of it before our Master Gardner aggressively pruned it a couple of days ago, but it is about 6 feet tall as shown here. This year it had a very heavy crop of beautiful fruit

These are ripening in an upstairs room after we picked them on Nov. 14.

And here are some of them on Nov. 22 when we decided to try our hand at some Meyer Lemon Marmalade.   

Lemons, water, and sugar.. that's it.

The fruit tree is often grown in China in pots as an ornamental.  It became popular in the US in the '90's when Martha Stewart and some famous chefs began to feature the fruit in their recipes

It is thought to have originated as a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange and was brought to the US in the early 1900's.   
It set up very nicely, and as to taste... well.. we will be making another batch.  Not amazing, but enjoyable to us at least. 

The Recipe we used is HERE on our Dropbox 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Kroger Signup Reminder

In case you haven't done it... this is a reminder to link your Kroger Rewards card to ABCS.  This must be done each year.  Both Kroger and Randalls provide very modest funds to ABCS each year related to the purchases made by customers who have linked their rewards cards to our ABCS organization.  All of these funds are used for Matzke Park.

Signing up with Kroger also gives you weekly emails with Kroger Special coupons, etc.  On this site you can designate ABCS as your Community Rewards organization.

Randalls (Safeway, Tom Thumb)  ABCS is still registered with their Good Neighbor program and it is only a one time signup for you at a store.  It automatically renews each year.  Just provide their customer service desk with this number:  1969   This is the Randalls number for our organization.   

Kroger's program is similar but you must "re-link" your card each year starting in August and you must have registered for a Kroger online account. To register our charity with Kroger:

1.  Click HERE which is  www.krogercommunityrewards.com
2.  Sign in if you already have an on-line account.. and click on Community Rewards to provide our number 82607.  

If needed, click on Create an Account.  This will also sign you up for online coupons, etc. I believe. You will need to provide your card number.. if you don’t have it call Kroger at:  1-866-221-4141.

3.  Once your Account is established sign in and click on Community Rewards to provide the ABCS charity number for Kroger which is:  82607