Welcome to MonPetit Bleu! The little blue garden created with love over the past 17 years using what was here, what was given to me, borrowed or traded and bought at the best possible price, transforming into a beautiful, lush and relaxing garden paradise.

WHAT IS HYDROPONIC GARDENING

Aquaponics 4 You

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

PETS AND OUR YARDS

Mowed my lawn for the first time this year. 
So amazing to me what a dogs urine can do for the grass. 


I was always told that it is the ammonia that a female dog excretes in her urine that makes the grass grow so tall.  I have a male chihuahua, which would blow that theory out of the water if not for the fact that our aging neighbor has been letting her female out in the front all winter and she has come to visit our yard and sidewalk daily throughout the entire winter. Anyway spring has sprung and I am looking forward to more sunshine and green things growing. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

SUPER BOWL IS SUPER BIG THIS YEAR

This year it seems like the Super Bowl has become almost like a Holiday. I guess it is because we live in Washington state and there are a sea of Seahawk colors abounding everywhere you look. People are wearing the shirts, selling blankets, cups, hats, socks, every imaginable item, even cupcakes and donuts.  With that said I hope you enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday in the way you want to. For me I am heading down to a local pub called The Lantern and sit by the fire, have my food served to me and my friends while we watch the game, the half time entertainment and the much anticipated commercials.

Here are some chili recipes from ABE'S MARKET

Nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen during the Big Game. Make the following recipes ahead and keep them warm until kickoff. The use of an all-natural slow cooker sauce made entirely of vegetables and seasonings speeds up prep time considerably. Using lean ground beef, turkey or all vegetables ensures a low-fat delicious meal! Take an extra 25% off Jesben Slow Cooker Sauces with code SNOWDAY until 2/1! 
Super Bowl of Chili - Three Ways! Beef, Turkey and Veggie

SLOW COOKER SUPER BOWL OF BEEF CHILI
Ingredients
1-2 lbs lean (90%) ground beef
1 jar (24 oz) Jesben® Italian Tomato, Peppers & Herbs Slow Cooker Sauce
1 can (approx. 15 oz) red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can (approx. 15 oz) pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
3 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin

Instructions
Place meat in slow cooker.
Add beans.
Sprinkle spices over beef and beans.
Pour entire jar of Jesben® Italian Tomato, Peppers & Herbs Slow Cooker Sauce on top of meat, beans and spices. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours or until meat is fully cooked.
With large spoon thoroughly stir cooked chili, breaking up ground beef into chunks and then into smaller pieces with back of spoon.
Serve in bowls and enjoy!
Makes 8-10 servings


SLOW COOKER TURKEY CHILI
Ingredients
1-2 lbs ground turkey
1 jar (24 oz) Jesben® Italian Tomato, Peppers & Herbs Slow Cooker Sauce
1 can (approx. 15 oz) black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can (approx. 15 oz) yellow corn kernels (rinsed and drained)
3 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin

Instructions
Place turkey in slow cooker.
Add beans.
Sprinkle spices over turkey and beans.
Pour entire jar of Jesben® Italian Tomato, Peppers & Herbs Slow Cooker Sauce on top of turkey, beans and spices. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours or until meat is fully cooked.
With large spoon thoroughly stir cooked chili, breaking up ground turkey into chunks, and then into smaller pieces with back of spoon.
Serve in bowls and enjoy!
Makes 8-10 servings


SLOW COOKER VEGETARIAN CHILI
Ingredients
1 lb chopped portobello mushrooms
1 lb diced extra firm tofu
1 jar (24 oz) Jesben® Italian Tomato, Peppers & Herbs Slow Cooker Sauce
1 can (approx. 15 oz) cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can (approx. 15 oz) dark red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
3 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin

Instructions
Place mushrooms and tofu in slow cooker.
Add beans.
Sprinkle spices over veggies and beans.
Pour entire jar of Jesben® Italian Tomato, Peppers & Herbs Slow Cooker Sauce on top of vegetables, beans and spices. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Stir thoroughly and keep warm in slow cooker until ready to eat.
Serve in bowls and enjoy!
Makes 8-10 servings

Note: If you prefer less heat, chili powder can be reduced in any of these recipes by 1 tablespoon. On the other hand, if you like your chili hot, add a dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper to taste. Also, feel free to get creative with your ingredients!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

THE THREE WISE MEN...WERE WISE







3 wise men bearing gifts

Did you ever wonder why they brought MYRHH? 

I have heard so many explanations for this but none really get to the actual reason. Myrhh is a rare essential oil used for it's autoimmune properties.

Only a wise man 

would know that an infant born in squalor would need some extra protection against bacteria and possible infections

 even the Son of God. 

I personally took Myrhh capsules for 2 years as I had also read that it was

  • good for ulcers and 
  • other stomach conditions and as a 
  • breath freshener. 
  • To my delight I have rarely been subject to any of the viruses that come around since that time.

It is an anointed plant one that is so valuable in this time of penicillin resistant strains of bacteria.

A valuable gift and one that will be appreciated by everyone... even Jesus.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

SALTED PUMPKIN PIE

How does SALTED PUMPKIN PIE sound?

 
 
Interesting at the best. With the landslide of recipes now that are including salted caramel on them, I thought that a salted pumpkin recipe would resonate somewhere in there. But here is the real scoop on it.
 
This Thanksgiving my sister prepared a beautiful dinner for all of us. A total of 21 people.

The atomosphere was as always full of excitement and laughter.

Anticipation of game time afterwards for the kids and of course game time all day for the guys.
The first indication that something had gone terribly wrong with the dinner preparation was noted in the last few steps. She was putting together her own variation of the Waldorf Salad made with marshmallow,cranberries grapes,and celery when it was noted that something was off.
Salty, the whip cream was salty. At first it was perplexing. But then quickly realized that there had been a great error.

EVERYTHING THAT HAD BEEN MADE WITH SUGAR WAS SALTY AS THE SUGAR BIN HAD BEEN FILLED WITH SALT INADVERTANTLY!

At first there was a little finger pointing, but no time for that, the dinner had to be served and she made a spectacular recovery. No one would have ever known as the dinner was perfect. Served with love and enjoyed by all.
The testing of all the desserts came later.

What would the SALTED PUMPKIN PIE taste like?

How about the PECAN PIE?
We decided to let the young men try it as they are the consumers of most of the pies anyway.
THE VERDICT came...guilty on all accounts! All the pies including the pecan, because the pecans had been rolled in salt, were tossed into the garbage.
 
The amazing thing is that it did not ruin our day, it was like the story of the Grinch who stole Christmas, and these last few lines:
 
 
He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?"
"It came with out ribbons! It came without tags!"
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

It's not the food that makes our gatherings wonderful and blessed it is the love that is shared.

Looking forward to our traditional big family Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Natural Christmas

Make it simple make it natural! If you are wanting something a little different this year I highly recommend going simple.
Here are some natural gift ideas and recipes to boot! 
Take the stress out of the season, and bring back joy!

a simple paper hat for a Christmas tree decoration




Mix up a bag of fun for the holidays - no cooking required! With just a few vegan candies and snacks, plastic baggies and a festive tag that you can download and print, you can make these cute snack bags that are perfect stocking stuffers, secret Santa bonuses or class treats!

Supplies
plastic baggies
label/gift tag (free download)
Ingredients
Dandies vegan mini marshmallows
pretzel sticks
vegan chocolate chips
red licorice
almonds
goji berries 
Instructions 
Toss a handful of each ingredient into a plastic baggie. Seal the top. Download, print, and cut out the gift label. Fold, and staple the label to the top of each sealed baggie. 




Here are a few gift ideas as well; 
Organic and Natural Gifts Under $25

Foot Care Candy Mint Foot Polish
By: Deep Steep
$7.01

Canal Street Daisy Nail Polish
By: Scotch Naturals
$15.00

Small Herbal Healing Kit
By: Elemental Herbs
$24.00

Chocolate Bar Variety Gift Set
By: Wild Ophelia
$10.25

Spice Tin Gift Box
By: Sauce Goddess Gourmet
$24.00

Small Change Pink/Vanilla Burp & Bib Set
By: Kee-Ka Organics
$25.00

Eco-dough
By: eco-kids
$19.99

Wool Felt Jewelry Kit
By: Artterro
$22.00







Thursday, September 25, 2014

THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO DO LANDSCAPING

the path gets a layer of sand
I have been busy landscaping. It's fall and the weather is perfect for it. I don't know why I even try during the summer, it is just so futile. Even though the temperatures have still been in the upper 80's there is a crispness to it that allows one to start early and work long into the day and evening if necessary without getting sun drenched or drained.  Take a look at some of the bounty at MonPetitBleu...
newest addition to the garden
mosaic
the perfect combination of grasses, evergreens and flowering shrubs
the hedge before getting a trim

Friday, August 22, 2014

ONE EASY GARDEN VEGETABLE THAT ANYONE CAN GROW AND GET A HUGE CROP OUT OF

Long title right? But it's true. A friend of mine brought in a bag of these little gems one year and told me how to plant them, the first year I had a ton of them. I reseeded them as she told me how to by popping off the little cluster at the very top of the plant before I dug up the vegetable and sticking it in the ground again. I got so many that I then knew why she brought them in. So the next year I didn't reseed and guess what, that's right they came back anyway. So  I decided to start using them and again big surprise they are delicious. So do I have your interest stirred a little? Have you already guessed? Well if you guessed shallots you would be right. I use them now in place of onions and they are so flavorful I don't know why I never used them before. Be sure after you dig them up and  cut the long green stock off,  to put them in a cool dry place to dry and then peel the parchment like covering off just like an onion and enjoy!

Friday, August 8, 2014

ONE DELICIOUS TREAT FROM YOUR GARDEN THAT YOU ARE THROWING AWAY

zucchini flowers

Fried Zucchini Flowers

Yes thats right it is the flower of the Zucchini that contains the essence of Zucchini.
This delicious treat is a delicacy in France and the flowers are sold at the open street markets.This year I developed my own version of Fried Zucchini after trying several different recipes.
This one is very simple and proves the old adage, LESS IS MORE to be true. So go out and pop these little beauties off your zucchini plants while you can.  Don't worry you will still get zucchinis to eat as well.

You will need:
Zucchini Flowers (Gather as many flowers that you can harvest sometimes I just cook two)
Olive oil
flour
salt and pepper
cover bottom of small nonstick pan with olive oil, add flowers, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then with flour. Cook for a couple of minutes on medium to low heat, turn and repeat. Sit down at your garden table, eat very slowly and enjoy the bliss. It is the essence of zucchini.



Here is another treat and original recipe from Mon Petit Bleu!

Raspberry Sauce/Jam

3-4 cups fresh raspberries
fresh raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 packet CERTO
rinse raspberries and place in bowl, add sugar and mash add CERTO and mix thorougly. Pour into small jars and put in freezer or use immediately on toast, waffles, crepes, ice cream.
cherry tomatoes

Saturday, July 26, 2014

HOW TO CREATE A GARDEN PATH...3 steps

THE GARDEN PATH

step one:
The first step in creating the garden path is to visualize it. To do this ask yourself these questions:


  1. What is the purpose of the path?
  2. Is it functional or decorative?
  3. What are any unmovable structures that have to be incorporated?
  4. Will you be able to dig deep enough to put in a solid foundation?
  5. What is the look you are going for?
  6. Does that look incorporate into the rest of your garden and home.
  7. What equipment will you need?
  8. How much manpower?
  9. What materials will you use to create it?
Those are just a few many more will come up as you go along.
step two: is visiting as many gardens as possible to get the look and feel you would like for your own.
step three: is doing what I call a dry run and place stones or string along the future path to get a better visual of its functionality and feng shui of it.
video

Saturday, July 19, 2014

THE ZEN OF DROUGHT TOLERANT GARDENING

This week I have been on the prowl for drought tolerant gardens. JACKPOT! I have come across some of the most amazing drought tolerant plantings that you have got to see. These gardens have been beautifully designed with functionality and water conservation in mind. Which as you probably have guessed is the Zen of it. Take a look at the simplicity of these gardens that require very little else from you except your love and appreciation of their beauty.
As you scroll down to gaze at these beauties notice the similarities in all of them.


There is a gracefullness in their height and their small foliage that brings the eye up.

Also present in each garden is the contrast between textures, the soft grasses next to the coarse textured flowers like lavender, golden rod and yarrow.


color is the other Zen ingredient or the lack of it and subtleness of what little there is. Notice the pale almost whisper of the Russian sage purple.

An excellent border made entirely of Yarrow.

Soft tall grasses surrounded by Shasta Daisy's

Here are some contrast of texture and colors to create a serene and secluded sitting room for taking it all in. Also very Zen is allowing yourself to be in the moment of your garden.

A potted garden to added some moisture to an otherwise water free garden is the crowning touch to this garden.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

HOW TO GET RID OF THIS NASTY WEED WITH THIS ONE WEIRD TRICK!

FINALLY A NON CHEMICAL SURE FIRE WAY TO GET RID OF THIS ONE NASTY WEED!

This really works!

carpet before removing
BOOyah! After 6 years of fighting with this nasty little weed known as "Morning Glory" I have finally rid it from my garden totally! Not one to rush out and buy chemicals. I began with natural weed killers, you know the ones. Vinegar, soap suds etc all without success as this innocent looking little weed is resilient to almost everything. This little guy has a very deep deep root system and sprawls out like fingers into all of your garden and into any neighboring gardens. I read somewhere that if you deprive it from any light it will die off. So here's what I did.
#1 I removed my veggie garden from that area first of all.
#2 I then dug out about 4 inches of soil, carefully removing any of the weed and relocated the soil to other areas of my yard.
#3 I then laid an old carpet down that fit the area perfectly and covered that with sand and on top of that created a small patio.
For six years this patio stood and up until this year I continued to attack any signs of the weed as soon as it's little head emerged. This year I removed the brick and the carpet as the "Morning Glory" is no more! She has sung her last song.
morning glory in someone else's garden
We have victory. If you have patience and persistence you can defeat most any weed in your garden and in your life.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ONE SIMPLE INGREDIENT TO CREATING A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN

In my previous post I gave you a general idea of what it takes to create a beautiful garden, with the secret to a beautiful garden. In this post I am going to give you the one simple ingredient, that is the binding force behind all the creative ideas...it's Magic! Before you turn away in disbelief, please read this excerpt from THE FRENCH GARDENER, by SANTA MONTEFIORE... perfectly describing this magical process that all true gardeners are familiar with and rely on to create visions of beauty in their own backyards.
"with a little magic, it will flower in the spring" "Why do you always say magic, Jean-Paul/" Miranda asked. "Do you mean nature?" 
"Magic is love, Miranda. If you love someone they grow in beauty and confidence. They flower before your eyes. A woman who isn't beautiful becomes beautiful in the warmth of love. The garden is the same. With love it will grow better and brighter and more abundant. There is no secret to love or magic, just the limitations of our own courage and self-belief." 

No gardener could argue with that, nor could it be said any better way. So as you begin to create the vision of your garden, do so with love. It may take time to develop a true love and the creation of beauty that you envision, but with a little magic and time it will appear right before your eyes.

*excerpt from the French Gardener, printed with the permission of it's author Santa Montfiore.

Friday, June 27, 2014

THE SECRET TO A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN

A great summer read!
The secret to a beautiful garden lies in the perfect blend of colors and textures. The word itself "GARDEN" can be used to describe the "garden variety" the "garden salad" both of which suggest a perfect yet ordinary combination. To create such a thing one must experience many such gardens. Whether it be by visiting them or through anothers' eyes, the more you absorb the more you begin to see how each color and texture compliments the other. Santa Montefiore in her book "THE FRENCH GARDENER" describes with such grace and detail the perfect garden that one can feel and smell the earth while reading.....THE SUN HUNG LOW in the sky turning the clouds pink like tufts of cotton candy. Long shadows fell across grass already damp with dew. The air smelled sweet, of fertile soil and thriving flowers. Tiny dragonflies hovered in the still, humid air, their wings glinting in the light. The cottage was quaint, symmetrical with a tall roof that dwarfed the walls below it. It might once have been a barn or grain shed, positioned as it was in the middle of a field. The roof tiles were brown and covered in moss, the chimney leaning a little to the left. The top of the roof sagged slightly as if it had grown tired with age. Roses tumbled over the door where the paint had already started to peel. It looked sadly neglected, forgotten at the bottom of the garden by the river, hidden in a small copse. A fat pigeon settled down for the night, cooing lazily in the gutter, and a couple of squirrels scurried up a chestnut tree and crouched in the crook of a branch to watch her with suspicious black eyes.....she also goes on to say... the grass was already glittering with dew, the air moist and cool. They wandered through the trees in silence, listening to the whispering sounds of nature. "I love evening and morning best," said Jean-Paul, his expression settled once again into solemnity. "I love the transience of it. The moment you appreciate it, it is gone."   
Now that is the perfect description and explanation of a beautiful garden. Although neglected it continued to blend with nature and the beauty of it was captivating. The appreciation of the transience of the garden is vital to it's creation, because one must also realize that it will return.
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR SANTA MONTEFIORE

Sunday, June 1, 2014

THE GARDEN PATH

I have a series of paths throughout my yard and just finished creating a new one in my front yard that connects to my back yard. My friend was over yesterday for a visit and is always interested in seeing my garden and the changes taking place throughout the seasons. When I showed her the "new path" she said, "what's it for?"  My response was, "to walk on." But as I thought about it a path is so much more than that. I have a path that is covered in pea-gravel, my son and I dug out the path  4 inches deep and layed the foundation of the path and the black ground cover to prevent weeds from popping up. We then carried wheel barrow after wheel barrow of pea gravel to the path until it was finished. It took a few years to settle to the depth that I wanted it to be, but now, I love the sound and feel of it when I walk on it to my back yard. It is like an opening song for the main event, "My Garden."
Paths create a whimsical feel to your garden and the flow, they tell a story, and they lead you to secret places. A path is so much more than just to walk on.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

MEMORIAL DAY MANIA IN MY FRONT YARD

I went crazy in my yard this Memorial Day.
I made up my mind to complete a front yard garden project that I started one year ago. Last year I killed the grass around my shade tree in the front yard and never got around to digging it up. When weeds started to populate the barren area I couldn't stand it anymore. The weather was perfect, not too hot, a little overcast and a gentle breeze and some tunes from KPND radio station, which btw did not play one song twice all day)



Total cost of project $00.00 and  7 hours of muscle crunching and back bending. Luckily I am in good shape thanks to my own fitness program. The mania consisted of sod removal from existing path, creation of new path, digging up dead sod and turning it over, after weeding, and planting with existing plants in over populated areas of my garden.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

SPRING IS ALIVE...WINTER BROUGHT DEATH TO MY GARDEN

Sweet Magnolia
she's history:(
It was a hard winter. I have lived in this home for over 17 years, and have never lost plants and trees to the winter like this one. It must have been the late freezing spell that seemed to hang on forever that did them in. My Lavender was one of the fatalities. I grew them from little twigs that I bought from Burgess mail order. They were the size of shrubs for the past seven years or so. Perhaps they have a life span?? Luckily I have been growing little starts in a separate garden space that I have found shooting up in the cracks of the brick path. Lavender is hardy, that is why I am so surprised. I also lost most of my grasses, but they are tricky, I never know if they will come back or not. A couple other little bushes are nearly gone, but still some life in them I may just leave them to see how they look. The other interesting occurance this winter brought was a miracle of sorts. The Weigela on the most western side of my house has never bloomed, and it is supposed to be a pink flower. This spring not only did it bloom but it's flower was that of a wisteria, yellow! Weird. Hope your winter brought you a miracle as well.
the end of my lavender

Thursday, March 20, 2014

IT'S BEEN A LONG WINTER...

March 20, 2014....Hello Spring!

This is something I want to do this year,  this is an awesome site with a great tutorial....
$One hundred dollars a month
green house diy