The Styled Ramblings of Heavy Petal's Bruce Bailey

Posts tagged “Garden

In praise of wildflowers…

I must admit I am the worlds worst blogger…maybe second worst. I guess one has to blog to be the worst?

I wanted to do this posting because I want people to take a moment and think about how many ‘wild flowers’ you have in your garden. Maybe hybridized wildflowers? Echinacea, agastache, columbine, baptisia, coreopsis, helenium, monarda, rudbeckia, solidago just to name a few. I could go on about grasses, but I am not going to prattle on about that. grassesandpenstemon10660698_10202005519094144_822764017_nboutelouha

I recently got re-involved with a landscape designer who asked me advice about plants that work here in Eastern Washington. She is more experienced with plants of Western Washington and our climate and soil type are truly different, a good friend and someone who listens to my offbeat opinion at times. I pointed out that winters here can be drought seasons, our soil is higher in PH, and she should be using plants that are tough as nails. She liked what I had to say and knows that I will speak up when I see something out of sorts. Her design had a good selection of hybridized and non-hybridized wildflowers, some great coloration, and even a few things that would be successful but unexpected.


This past spring I was happy to spend some time in both Seattle and Chicago with an outstanding plants-woman, Miriam Goldberger. I received her book, “Taming Wildflowers” in a swag bag – one of the many books I wanted this past year. I had been talking to Miriam for a couple of years. I really respect that she has carved out such a wonderful place in such an extreme climate…and I complain about my zone 5. I cant imagine living on the plains of Southern Ontario.

Her book…what can I say? It’s a sumptuous introduction to the exploration of wildflowers, their relationship with pollinators and how to incorporate them within your own garden – and you probably were in the first place! I think there is so much outlined in the precious tome I was given. Seed starting, which plants are great for cutting and more .

“Taming Wildflowers” helped me clarify the world of a relaxed romantic vision I may have been searching for. Helped me make some decisions about the incorporation of flowers/meadow into my own personal garden. I have been looking at a bit of blank slate on sixty percent of my 2.5 acre lot. I have come to the decision about using white clover as a lawn, and letting certain perennials such as echinacea, sanguisorba, and baptisia drift about with grasses, some native shrubs, tough as nails lilacs (I have 76 that need to get into the ground) and a variety of deciduous trees I have been hording.10580290_10202005515694059_2120644694_nratibida


Hey Julia! Where’s the Boeuf?

Going into fall and winter meals tend to get a little more rich and little less health conscious.

I am finding myself going through recipes and adapting things. Recently, I found myself looking at a classic dish and how it’s made. Boeuf Bourguignon, the classic French dish we all associate with Julia Child and her renaissance of cooking in the late fifties and early sixties.

braise the beef first, remember to pat it dry before you do otherwise it will not brown


Use 1-2 Lbs beef. Usually a nicer cut of meat, but something reasonably priced.

Cut the beef into into “cubes” or nice healthy sized pieces.

Pat it dry and brown it in a pan. We all saw the movie and know this by now.

You want to seal in the natural juices this way and it keeps the meat nice and tender.

After the meat is browned pot on a plate and place it to the side.

I use one tablespoon Chile Olive Oil in the pan.

It has a good flavor without tainting the meat with too much olive.





getting your vegetables to start caramelizing is so important

Take at least a half a dozen large scallions and peal them.

Cut the top and the bottom off the scallions and peal the dry layer off.

Place the scallions into the pan just browned the meat in and start to get them caramelized.

At this time also add the 1/2 pound smoked bacon, get them both cooking. Personally I don’t like to have too much grease in the pot.

While the scallions and bacon are slowly sizzling clean the carrots. Use them as this a rustic dish, some people say no carrots. Use at least two pounds carrots. Scrub the dirt off and then quarter them lengthwise. I like to use a couple of colors of carrots as well.

Garlic- my preference is roasted and minced. 1/2 teaspoon.



Mix one cup tomato bullion, one cube with one cup water. Some recipes call for one tablespoon tomatoe paste, but who wants to open a can of paste for one tablespoon? I also like that the tomato bullion has chicken in it as well. Meat flavors are great fused.

Get your meat rolled in flour.

Add the bacon to the bottom of the pan you are using. I would recommend Le Creuset 6 3/4 quart Oval Dutch Oven. Start to place the carrots around the edge like a nest. Pace some of the meat that you have rolled in flower in the bottom of the pan.

Add some of the scallions in with the meat and add the garlic sort of here and there.

simmer on the stove top

Add more meat and carrots, and then more scallions. Build this up. Layer it all.

At this point what you need next is 1 cup Madeira, 4 cups Burgundy wine, the 1 cup of tomato bullion, 2 cups beef stock and three tablespoons butter.

Place the pot on the stove and turn it on to medium high.

Pre-heat the oven at 325-350 degrees depending.

While the oven is preheating, slowly add the Madeira around the outer edges and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Next add the tomato bullion. Just get it in there and let that simmer 5 minutes as well.

Go ahead and add the three cups Burgundy, bringing it up to a boil and place your butter on top. (I add fresh ground pepper on top at this point as well.)

place the lid on and allow to simmer more before placing inot a preheated oven

Cover it and let it simmer rapidly for about 20 minutes.

Take off of burner and put into 325-350 degree oven for 3 hours.

At this point add the last cup of Burgundy and place back inot oven for another 45 minutes.


I had to peak at it in the oven…steaming hot!

Make sure to get yourself some nice crusty bread or rolls to eat with this. You will need it to wipe every little spatter off your plate!


2 lbs top cut beef

1 tablespoon Chili Olive Oil

1/2 pound smoked bacon

2 pounds carrots, get a good variety of colors.

1 pound scallions. Highly recommend those that are large with several cloves inside.

2 cups sliced mushrooms (no they were not mentioned because I did not use them, but you can)

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tomato bullion cube

2 cups beef stock

1 cup water

1 cup Madeira

4 cups Burgundy wine

3 tablespoons butter (your preference of salted or unsalted

Fresh ground black pepper


Good kitchen help is hard to find. LB likes to help clean up!

Where Plants Rock- Bruce Bailey


Bruce Bailey is the owner of Heavy Petal Nursery in Moses Lake, WA, or, as he likes to call it, God’s Country. With majors in art, art history, and history Bruce finds expression in the garden art he creates along with the customers he cultivates through an unconventional selection of gardening products that ensure a unique shopping experience. New varieties and surprising introductions of garden worthy plants, as well as old fashioned and unjustly forgotten favorites are all on display. His boundless energy and dynamic spirit are in evidence in all of his endeavors, whether through painting, his plant selections, garden design, home interiors or speaking at garden shows.

“Bruce Bailey does not let living in zone 5 define his gardening or his life. His adventurous style is evident in every plant he selects, and every garden he designs. When I met Bruce, my first impression was one of boundless energy, and a mind always at work. His careful observations of nature–and nature expressed in gardens–informs his plant choices, and once formed his opinions are not hidden. Bruce’s educational background in art history and design, and he is an accomplished interior designer/decorator in addition to his ability of paint pictures with plants. Even plants for sale in his nursery are presented in a painterly manner.”

Linda Beutler – Author and Curator, Rogerson Clematis Collection

Deborah Silver recently mentioned Bruce in her blog Dirt Simple

Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Heritage Radio Network, We Dig Plants with Carmen Devito & Alice Marcus Krieg


Bruce’s speaking engagements for 2012

Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, Washington

Portland Yard, Garden, Patio Show, Portland, Oregon

Arkansas Flower and Garden Show in Little Rock, Arkansas

Boise Flower and Garden Show, Boise, Idaho

Other regional speaking engagements are also on the calendar.



A Container Named Desire– Containers, Care, and Combinations

Pump Up VolumeOutstanding Plants for Summer Containers

Painting Your Desert Garden–  Using foliage to bring color into your high desert garden.

Harmonizing Your Home and Your Garden– Color, Balance and Enhancement
New for 2013

Upcycling into Your Garden– Found objects, trash to treasure, and creating follies in your garden.

County Garning as Fashion– Marie Antoinette, Marie Louise of Savoy, Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastron, Georgiana Cavendish and the flowers they loved.

Flowers of Downton Abbey – a look at Edwardian gardening

Follow Bruce on twitter @WherePlantsRock

Visit his nursery website

You can contact Bruce Bailey

Daffodils at Garden Home Retreat

It is spring once again and the harbingers of the season are just exposing their bright faces in Arkansas.

This spring I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak at the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show. I decided to stay an extra day to explore the beauty of the area and my host was none other than the hospitable gallant, P. Allen Smith.

Allen, as he likes to be called, picked me up at 7:30 in the morning at my hotel. He had just finished filming two segments in the studio and had a full day ahead of him. I was originally scheduled to have dinner with Allen on Friday evening, but filming had gone long into the day for him and his crew. Honestly, I was tired from my day of traveling but I did not want to admit it. Allen was wondering if I would care to come up to his Garden Home Retreat and see the farm and the early daffodils that were just breaking forth.

How could I refuse such and invite?

I quickly answered yes and Saturday morning could not come soon enough. As a gardener I relish spring and the earth awakening. As a designer I had been looking forward to the opportunity to see the layout of the farm, gardens and the interior of house.


Like a ride from “Wind in the Willows”, a half an hour to get to Allen’s home, set amongst the trundling landscape of Moss Mountain, and I arrived. Allen takes pride in welcoming the public into his home. He is very gracious and at ease amongst the padocks, meadows, Southern Shortleaf Pines, and oaks. Of course what caught my eye was the beginning of the daffodils. Now I have heard a couple of numbers, but it is an estimated 275,000 daffodils been planted in the meadow that lies like a carpet in front of the traditional Greek Revival farmhouse.

A glorious morning of sunshine, blue skies and unseasonable warm temperatures made for an impressionistic landscape. One could just smell the honey laden perfume of the myriad of yellow blooms as the day warmed.

I must admit I am very grateful for the time Allen took to show me his lair. Retreat is not just implied, but is modus vivendi overlooking the Arkansas River Valley.

Time does not stand still, but is certainly savored at Allen’s Garden Home Retreat. Daffodil Days will be starting soon. March 9, 16, 23, and 30. I would book sooner than later because of the unexpected warmth.

Thank you Allen and staff. I look forward to the Garden2Blog event in May and experiencing yet another season of Arkansas.