Who Is Anastasia?

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New Castle, Indiana Zone 5, United States
When I was 55, I decided to embrace the things I love and hold precious and dear, regardless of anyone else's thoughts and opinion. I am a visual folk artist who loves flowers - my own flowers, grown and/or painted by me. I love good, hearty, exotic foods, and I love to prepare them myself. I love the secret garden situated in my backyard, regardless of how overgrown and wild it gets. No longer able to afford a vacation, this will have to be it for the time being. In the winter months, I still enjoy it. Anyway, here I am sharing my art, favorite recipes, cocktails, gardening tips, and just my usual vents and bantering. After all, I'm old enough to say whatever the heck I want to now ...


My Book Available on AMAZON

Stacey Torres ART Prints

Stacey Torres ART Prints
A very limited selection of reproductions from my paintings can be found here

August 9, 2009


This week, the Hardy Hibiscus are finally beginning to strut their stuff. It's been a fairly cool/damp summer, and I didn't know what to expect. I planted Lord Baltimore, who is red; Lady Baltimore (shown above), big pink and blousy in a small bed with Silver Beacon Lamium, Casablanca lilies and a butterfly bush about five years ago. Now, there is a third one growing in the middle that is pink with a red center ... How do you think THAT happened? I've asked Lord Baltimore, but he just lets his branches languish and spread all over the place, as if he owns it - even reaching across the little path. Lady Baltimore simply blushes and bows gracefully! I love these things!!!

They are so easy to grow, low maintenance. Just let them candelabra all over the place, and in early Spring, cut them back to the ground. The only thing I can't figure out is this huge, woody clump they leave behind when you cut it. I don't know whether to leave it alone, chop it up, or what - it gets bigger each year. This can't be normal; and no one has been able to give me a reasonable explanation on how to care for it. Anyway, I love them, and they love me. I call Lord and Lady's Baby "Pink Diva" ... it's probably a boy ... Oh, well.

Early this summer, Rural King had some of their leftover plants on a clearance rack. These were supposedly water plants for ponds and water gardens. One of them was a Hibiscus moscheutos var. lasiocarpos (native rose mallow a/k/a Marsh or Swamp Mallow or Wild Hibiscus). They are actually hardy, and are supposed to grow near water. It was a cheap boxed plant soaking in water, about 6" tall. Well, I have no water near me, and my garden is lucky to get a drink from the watering can once a week. But, I bought this cute little thing, planted it and forgot it (sounds like an infomercial). Today, I saw the perky thing peeking from behind a butterfly bush. It's now about 12" tall, but very full and lush, and it has the nerve to have a little bud on it. I didn't expect it to survive, let alone bloom in year one. When it does, I'll share a picture. It deserves a place of honor in my garden - anything that survives, gets to stay.

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I would love to hear from you regarding this post. Please feel free to leave your comments. All the best, Anastasia a/k/a Stacey

The Backyard --Today's Vacation Spot

The Backyard --Today's Vacation Spot
A simple garden meal in the shade. No, it's not my backyard, but it looks identical to the one I grew up with at our home in Queens. Looking for an original pic of it to post soon!

Old Fashioned Tips