Category Archives: Pettit Basset Griffon Vendeen



Growing up on the plains

It has just been a part of my life.

My father always said that his mother,

A woman who kept house during the dust bowl

Putting wet towels around doors and windows,

Understood that wind was important to staying cool

In the summer.

And she never cursed it.

Rogers and Hammerstein even wrote it into

What would become our state song.

You know

“Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.”

I’ve always tried not to complain about the wind.

But these past few days have really tried my resolve.

The wind has been howling off and on.

One day it’s an unusually hot wind out of the south.

Then it turns on a dime and gives us a mid-April frigid north blast

Leveling my tulips for the third time.

With wind in the forecast for last Friday

I was fearful we might have to cancel a long planned fun morning

Of Debra and her camera in my garden.

But on Thursday she called to say she was coming.


Luckily my garden is somewhat protected

With old trees and a two story house

Covering it from the south and north.

It was still pretty

Shall we say breezy

When Debra arrived Friday morning.


For the photographer in Debra

My backyard is something akin

To a village of bouncy houses

For a three year old.

She just doesn’t know what to jump on first.

The parrot tulips in the pots on the patio

Drew her in

And the clicking began.


But the wind was wanting to play as well.

Some of the pictures were clear

Others blurred

And some take your breath away.


It did not detour her

Finally declaring she would just wait

“The wind will die down…it always does.?

She moved from parrot tulips

To the more protected Hellebores


To the tulip lined path

leading to the garden house.


The light and the wind

Dancing around.

Creating opportunities


And problems.

All of which were  joyfully accepted.

Her patience paid off.

As you can see by the results

I’m sharing here.

This reminded me of my grandmother.

Accepting what she couldn’t change.

Finding the good in what some would consider bad.

And just simply making the best of what you are given.

Some might call it Pollyannish.

Others perseverance

I call it grace.











Filed under Garden House, Garden Photography, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Hellebores, Parrot Tulips, Pettit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Shade Garden, tulips, Uncategorized


There’s a rhythm about fall that seems to be well, common.

At least among my friends.

With our first freeze predicted for Halloween

I began cutting basil on Thursday

And again on Friday.

Buckets of basil.


I always plant too much

Which means I have basil to spare

For months on end.

I use it during the growing season.

But by October it’s giant and going to seed everywhere.

Yet I feel that none of it can go to waste.

I either have to dry it

Or make pesto

Or find it a home.

Pesto is my first plan of attack.

So on Friday

When the weather men were issuing their threatening forecast.

My sister Ann called and said.

“So I’m guessing you’re making pesto.”

And I was.

She’s in the same place I am.

With way too much basil.

But she has the advantage of being able to feed her extra.

To her bunnies.

I on the other hand

Do not have hungry bunnies living at my house.

So when a friend dropped by with  a cape for Coco to wear for Halloween.


She was rewarded with bonus basil.

Others who dropped by were also given the chance

But most declined.

I thought of bagging it up in little bags and giving it out

To the 400+ kids who came trick or treating.

But there might be potential for misunderstanding there!

I’ve now made 3 batches of regular pesto

3 C. packed fresh basil leaves

1/3 C. grated parmesan cheese

6 cloves chopped garlic

6 T toasted Pine nuts

4 T olive oil

Put all ingredients into food processor.

Pulse till well chopped but not a puree.

Spray ice-cube tray with non-stick cooking spray.

Freeze.  Then store cubes in plastic bag.

It’s about a tablespoon or 2 of pesto.

And a couple of roasted red pepper and sun-dried tomato pesto.


3 medium red bell peppers 0r 1 jar .

12 sun-dried tomatoes – soaked and drained

1 clove garlic chopped

3 T roasted pine nuts.

a handful of fresh basil leaves.

A handful of fresh Italian parsley

Juice of 1 lemon

2 T grated parmesan cheese.

Prepare like basil pesto

I’ve also been roasting and freezing the last of the ripe tomatoes.


All of which is giving our house

A rather Italian aroma.

Now…what to do with all those

Peppers and green tomatoes.


And in the end

It didn’t even freeze!


The other fall ritual I love

Is sharing plants with friends

Kay and Tori came by on Saturday morning.


To dig the last of the ferns.

New plans for this area

Come spring.




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Filed under Basil, Fall Vegetables, Gardening Friends, Green Tomatoes, Herbs, Peppers, Pesto, Pettit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Tomato, Uncategorized, Vegetables


Some of you may remember

That last fall John & I had to put

Our beloved Scottish Terrier Peg to sleep.


It was tough

She was after all a great “garden dog”.

After an appropriate mourning time

We began the search for a new dog.

We both felt it was time to try a new breed.

So John googled all the traits we wanted

And came up with…

Are you ready

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

What a mouthful.

PBGV for short.

After searching for awhile

And through the magic of the internet

We were introduced to a 4 year old breed dog

Being “put out to pasture”  and in need of a new home.

So it was a week before Christmas Coco entered our lives.


She was instantly friendly

Did not shed

Eager to fit into our lives.

And after plowing through a pair of leather sandals

Followed by pulling a leather skirt off the hanger

And eating a giant hunk out of it.

She was on thin ice with me.

Since the skirt debacle she’s done little to no damage.

But that’s Coco in the winter.

The question remained for spring.

Will she be a good garden dog?


I am pleased to report she is a great garden dog.

She doesn’t dig.

Travels on the path most of the time.


And stays close by

Without being in the way.

She is friendly beyond our wildest dreams.

We marvel at how her tail is still attached

Considering how much she wags it.

She is the first dog we have ever owned.

Who likes me best.

Though John feeds her faithfully each morning

I’m the one who walks her

And for that reason she is with me every step

Of every day.




Up the stairs.

And back down.

Earlier this summer she did get a little

Too curious about the baby Thrushes

Growing in the Abelia bush by the kitchen window.

Mama Thrush would “talk” to her constantly

As she ran circles around their nest.


We were all relieved when they took wing

And flew the nest.

Well, maybe Coco wasn’t relieved!

So it seems I’m lucky once again.

A fun dog who loves my garden

But does not actually want to be a gardener.

One gardener per household is just fine with me

And apparently Coco agrees.









Filed under Garden Dogs, Pettit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Scottish Terrier