January 2007

January 2007

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

What a glorious Memorial Day to remember those who are no longer with us. I think about our family and friends who brought so much joy to our lives and who influenced our lives in so many ways. Who would we be today without them?
I painted this stone 6 years ago after my grandmother died. It sits at the base of a rose I bought in her memory.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sea of blue

It's time to pull up all the forget-me-nots. They were beautiful this year. This photo was taken a few days after they had reached their peak. Their seeds will be scattered for next year's sea of blue show. Now I'll be able to walk down my garden path without weaving between and stepping over them all. (At least until the alyssum takes over.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

snowball viburnum being eaten alive

Does anyone know what these bugs are that are eating my snowball viburnum? I purchased this shrub in 2005 in memory of my grandmother. Every year, it gets defoliated but I never can find anything eating it. This year I finally found the little buggers, and they are little. I've seen articles about the viburnum leaf beetle, but these don't seem to be changing shape or size. I've been spraying every couple of days with a soap insecticide with no luck. Any advice? Will I have to get rid of my snowball bush?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spring Greenhouse Garden

This is an updated picture from my earlier post titled A Daunting Task. It always amazes me how a garden can go from looking dead to looking lush and colorful in a matter of a few weeks. I almost have this garden under control now. Can't wait for the orange poppies to open. My butterfly bush isn't looking very healthy this year, and it's my favorite one. Hopefully some of it will bloom this year. The pink azalea is doing great as are the creeping phlox.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Edible Violets

For those of us with violets still in bloom in our yards, did you know they were edible? Here's a few recipes-
Violet Syrup
Fill any size glass jar with violet blossoms, cover with boiling water, put a lid on the jar and let sit for 24 hours. Strain the liquid, discarding the flowers. To each cup of liquid, add the juice of 1/2 lemon and 2 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil, pour into sterilized jars and seal or cap.
This is a good, light flavored syrup for pancakes. Or, pour a couple of spoonfuls over ice, add cold water and stir. A delightful, colorful beverage.
Violet Jelly
Violet Jelly is a wonderful, pretty, dainty jelly to use on English muffins or saltine crackers. To 2 cups of violet syrup, add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 package of powdered pectin. Bring to a boil, then add 4 cups of sugar. Bring back to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour into jelly jars and seal. (I used small baby food jars and I stored them in the freezer.)
Sugared Violets
Beat 1 egg white until frothy. Pour some superfine sugar into a bowl. Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Holding violets by the stem, dip the flowers in the egg white and then in the sugar. Cover top and bottom of flowers. Place on cookie sheet. Use a toothpick to straighten the petals, if necessary. Place in 200 degree oven for 40 minutes or until sugar crystallizes. (It turns frosty white.) Remove from cookie sheet and place on another piece of wax paper to cool. When cool, cut off stems. Store in airtight container, placing wax paper between layers. Sugared violets should keep in this manner a year or more. Use to decorate cakes and desserts or just serve as candy. (Lilac blossoms can also be sugared.)
Violet Leaves
Violet leaves are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. They can be eaten in salads or cooked like spinach. Gather the bright green leaves when they are young and tender. Wash thoroughly. Use any way you would use raw spinach.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Another victim of ants

This was my clematis a couple of years ago. This year - dead as a doornail! Suspect - ants!! Ants are destroying my gardens. Does anyone have a solution to keep ants from building their nests under my prime flowers? And, to make matters worse, while pulling out my poor dead clematis vines, I was stung by a bee. Someone, please - remind me why we do this??