December 31, 2011

70 year old apple tree still bearing fruits, no pesticides

This unknown apple tree variety somebody have planted before World War II and since then it bears beautiful fruits. This means it's at least 70 years old - or even might be older. Nobody remembers people who possibly have got this great idea to plant it. 

You see... People are gone, but apple tree is still feeding us...
No pesticides ever! were applied on this apple tree.

Apples can be picked in October or November, store well untill February.

What's interesting they don't rot the way we are used to - if the apple is gone, entire fruit turns dark brown.
When picked in November the color is green, then slowly turns yellow - like on the photo.  

Maybe you can recognise the variety?

December 21, 2011

Eco Christmas Decorations

These recycled Christmas decorations are easy to make, original, eco-friendly and beautiful...
Spotted last week on the exhibition of Christmas decorations in Wilanow Palace Orangery. 

Recommended further reading Christmas Decorations from Williamsburg

So simple, so easy to make...
Wish you fun while making it! 
Recommended further reading Christmas Decorations from Williamsburg

December 17, 2011

A Subversive Plot: How to Grow a Revolution in Your Own Backyard

Being as much self-sufficient as possible is best for all of us. Roger Doiron from Kitchen Garden International  gave an excellent speach at TED recently, where he brings closer why do we need to have kitchen gardens...

Watch this video:

December 12, 2011

No winter... old wood... gravel...

No sign of winter... little rain... temperatures ascillating still around freezing point. Farecast says it will get warmer next week...
Good, last two winters are enough for 5 years at least....

December 8, 2011

Poinsettia saved after last Christmas

Poinsettia saved after last Xmas. A friend wanted to toss it to trash. I wanted to save it. It survived and gives nice color brackets already....
Save your poinsettia after Xmas - how to do it I wrote here.

My previous second year poinsettia looked different - more pinkish. It didn't survive for the third year. Possibly because I pruned it before it went completely dormant...

December 6, 2011

Xmas cactus aka Schlumbergera blooming naturally for Christmas…

Sometimes people wonder how commercial growers make xmas cactus to bloom right for Christmas. Don’t let fool yourself!! Schlumbergera’s biological clock makes it bloom from November. This is really annoying to hear all these stupid stories aimed at keeping us ignorant!
I admit – I was also a victim of listening all these weird arguments i.e. I have stopped watering in the summer, which should never be done. Luckily plant survived, but it was not too happy.

Finally I think I understand how take care of that little wonder, so it’s happy and blooms profusely.  
Xmas cactus aka Schlumbergera is thermo-photoperiodic. This means that it blooming is triggered by certain temperature and day length. Actually she is so sensitive to any kind of light that even if lamp light may cause no blooming. So, if your xmas cactus is standing too close to a lamp that is on in the evening that might be one of the reasons she is not blooming.

Fertilizing xmas cactus - it is known that xmas cacti doesn’t need too  much fertilizing, 2-4 times in the period of spring-summer is enough. Use 20-20-20 fertilizer and stop it one month prior expected blooming.
There is information that it grows best in the soil mixed with peat or leafmold. It likes watering with tea and you may mulch it with used tea leaves. Such treatment causes no need for repotting.

Repotting - Xmas cactus likes tight pots, so you don’t need to be in a hurry with repotting. While you repot don’t use pot that is too big both in diameter and depth.

Pruning - right after blooming or early in the spring if you would like to root the cuttings. I never cut the segments, rather twist them.

On the photos you can see my new xmas cactus – love it for the color. 

December 3, 2011

Eco friendly, recycled textiles... jute pillows... rooster again...

I always liked jute for its natural and somewhat rough look. Recently on one of the coffee grain sacks I am recycling I've read "Save Amazon, use jute", so I got curious and searched why is it so.
Beside aestetical and pracitcal values, jute plants is very efficent in carbon dioxide (CO2) assimilation and it clean the air by consuming large quantities of CO2. 
One hectare of jute plants consumes about 15 tons of CO2 from atmosphere and release about 11 tons of oxygen in the 100 days of the jute-growing season. Studies also show that the CO2 assimilation rate of jute is several times higher than that of trees.

In contrast with the production of the fastest growing wood plant which needs at least 10 to 14 years from plantation to harvest, and produces only 8 to 12 ton per hectare annually. Because the biological efficiency of jute is much higher than that of wood plants, the use of jute instead of wood to make paper pulp will lower substantially the cost of production of pulp and paper and save forest resources.

In the environment conscious world today, the jute gained the name of Golden Fibre. It is biodegradable and therefore environment friendly, so the products merge with the soil after sustained use. It enriches the soil with organic substance and helps to grow better crops. Its fumes are non-toxic and produce no residue.

This makes me even more happy to work with jute. Now I am working on jute pillows - some designs are still "cooking":) while I just have almost finished new pillow Rooster. The fabric 100% natural jute, pattern is inspired by Polish folk art from Lowicz region.
It needs sewing still... but have a look at the current stage... 

November 30, 2011

Luxury hand knotted pure linen tablecloth...

Since already some time my hands were itching... my world was in need of better decoration... and I have had an overwhelming feeling of artistic expression of something hidden in me...
I hope you will also like things I will design and produce...

I was planing to start making some home decoration items like designed by me burlap hand printed throw pillows or that tablecloth, maybe also some other items. Possibly Etsy shop will be coming soon, but before that happens you may see available items at

Photos speek for themselves, no narration needed... 

Luxury linen tablecloth, hand knotted lace. Click each photo to enlarge and see details.

Size 110cm x 220cm / 44" x 88".
Only one available now. Brand new. 100% natural pure linen.
These tablecloth is hand knotted - it takes 3-5 weeks to make it. I am not sure when next one will be available.
Very easy to care and maintain - delicate machine or hand washing using color detergents, no ironing needed.
Price: 89 $
Shipment by post mail to anywhere in the world: 20$
Secure payment via Paypal
If you are interested send me an e-mail: ewamariasz (at)

November 27, 2011

Best leek and potato soup with martini and ginger

This beautiful soup was prepared by Aska, friend of mine when I visited on Wednesday… I wanted to share with you the recipe, because this leek and potato soup is very easy to make, tastes delicious and you can serve it to elegant occasions as well.  
Beside I loved the way it was served. See this wonderful folk patterned, flax doily? 

Chop1 leek and fry it until the moment before it gets golden colour. Add 3 cups of martini bianco – then, oh God! – cook over low heat until martini is almost gone.
Chop 3 cups of  potatoes and add to leek with martini. Fry it little.
Add 2 cups of boullion.
Then herbs – here we come! Nutmeg, carum (caraway), ginger, cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt to taste.
After potatoes fall apart cooking is done, only mixing/blending is left.
Tastes best when served with parsley and 3-4 spoons of cream/yoghurt. 

Bon Appetit!

November 25, 2011

The Freddie Mercury Rose - thank you for remembering

Today is the 20th anniversary of the death of Freddie Mercury - a great tenor, who chose singing rock. Until today I didn’t know that Freddie fans gathered £2,000 for the creation and registration of a new variety named in 1993, two years after his death. Radio bless you for remembering! I regret that I failed to find further information on what type is Freddie Mercury rose - maybe you know something?

Photo courtesy of Lomyx

Photo courtesy of nick_c

Photo courtesy of A Friend Of Queen

But in my search, I found many beautiful photos, including pictures of the beautiful statue standing in Montreux, Switzerland, and an interesting picture of rose pinned to the door of the house, where he lived on 1 Logan Place in Kensington, London. 

The Freddie Mercury Rose is yellow with a pink tint. It was chosen since Freddie’s favorite roses were yellow. 

November 23, 2011

Shabby Charm give away

There is a beautiful give away on Shabby Chic - blog from Norway. Clothes are made of cotton and bamboo, other products wool and bamboo.
If you don't speak Norwegian, use google translator - I find it often helpful, even if its - let's say - not perfect translations.
From what I understood, you need to:
1. Choose the product you want (excluding bed cover) and write in comment section what you have chosen.
2. "Like" the Shabby Charm and Optimist facebook pages.
3. Wite on your blog about give away.
4. Ends 3rd of December.

November 21, 2011

Off white... magic

Yesterday I have visited such beautiful place.. I didn't want to leave it.... just have a look - how beautiful it looks in off white and other matching colors. Isn't it top class interior decoration? Lovely, cosy, elegant and little rustic. I feel that all November little worries go away... feeling warmer... beautiful place to live... OK, it is restaurant in a little, artistic village 140 km away from Warsaw... have a look...

This made me double inspired to change something at home. Interior decoration is my new focus after garden doesn't require that much work anymore...

Visit me again, as surprises and more beauty come soon, and in the meantime...

Happy home and patio decoration, while garden goes to sleep!

November 16, 2011

Parsley Italian Gigante – seeds to swap

Today added to seed network P. crispum var. neapolitanum ‘Gigante Italian’, may be same as ‘Giant From Italy’ and ‘Gigante di Napoli’.

This is truly wonderful Parsley from Northern Italy. Taller than average parsley, Italian Gigante plants have very big, deep green shiny leaves with an exceptionally mellow and sweet fuller flavour than standard plain Parsley. I love it.

I was searching for information about this variety history. No sure, whether it’s a heirloom variety. Maybe you know?

In seed exchange and seed saving initiative started by Patrick, I offer seeds from my own garden. If you have vegetable seeds from your own garden, let’s exchange!

If you are not familiar yet why Seed Network and collecting seeds from your own plants is important, read it here, at Patrick's blog.

My other seeds you can find here.

Recommended further reading Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes

November 12, 2011

Which metal rooster you choose?

I love these metal roosters as garden or home decorations and I'd love to buy one, but I can't decide which one. Maybe you can help?
The first one is bigger (about 24 in/60 cm) and more expensive ($130), but it has space inside where you can light the candle/tealight.

The second one is little less tall (about 18 in/50 cm), less wide, no possibility to light the candles inside, but it's cheaper ($33).
Which one you prefer?

November 8, 2011

12 most beautiful wooden porch ideas

Porches, verandas, terraces... I look for inspiration, because my own wooden porch is coming closer and closer to me (my house misses one - what a shame!).

I have already made half of the design and now there is a crucial moment of deciding the second half. Making something most simple, might be not necessary something making me happy... and at the end there might be not big difference in price as well.

While looking for ideas, I have collected large amount of beautiful pics and decided to share 12 most beautiful of them. From different countries, made of different wood, each in different style. Looking at each photo of these collection " 12 most beautiful wooden porch ideas" I see elements I'd love to see on my future porch.
Another question is what wood to use for decking? Pine? which means softwood or more hardwood, local wood or exotix? maybe ipe decking? ... thinking...   

I wonder what is your favourite?

If you see pphoto you like, there is a link to author's gallery for more pleasure :)

Happy outdoor living!

 Photo courtesy of Author Madsofa

  Photo courtesy of Author Miss Tessmacher

 Photo courtesy of Author MemaNH

 Photo courtesy of Author Tobym

 Photo courtesy of Author Professor Bob

 Photo courtesy of Author Emma T

 Photo courtesy of Author Patwalsh 2000

 Photo courtesy of Author Grant Mac Donald

 Photo courtesy of Author InAweOfGod'sCreation

 Photo courtesy of Author Joel Kluger

 Photo courtesy of Author Anantara Journeys

Photo courtesy of Author Universal Pops

Recommended further reading Porches and Sunrooms: Planning and Remodeling Ideas (Home Improvement)