January 2007

January 2007

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rain, rain, go away

We had so much rain yesterday, my flowers are water logged, drooping, sad, and broken. And so am I. I need to find stakes that are at least 5 ft. tall to stake my flower with next year. These are my poor drooping phlox, spilling their sad, pink tears.

My false sunflowers were glorious - reaching for the sky. Now their stems are broken off where they were staked. I'll cut them and put them in a vase, but I am so sad. This happened last year, too. I thought I had them staked better. Live and learn....

Russian sage is not happy. I may still be able to save it if I tie it up better.

These are photos of my liatris - before and after the rain. More heavy rain is predicted for tonight.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swamp Milkweed

A few years ago I planted one swamp milkweed in a garden at the edge of my father's pond. It has since spread like, well - a weed! It loves the wet soil and does very well in the heavy clay. I don't mind that it has spread around the pond, it's a beautiful plant. Much prettier than the regular milkweed. The monarch caterpillars love it just as much, too. I brought one plant home with me and put it in my flower garden, where it is thriving. It has yet to spread and when it does, it may end up in one of my neighbor's yards. Not to worry, they can just mow it down. If you have a butterfly garden, I suggest you plant a swamp milkweed in it! The bees love it too, as you can see, although my picture is a little blurry. This bee was all over this flower like, well - a bee to honey :)
Clicking on the title of this post will take you to a site with more information on the swamp milkweed.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Garden surprises

Imagine my surprise this morning as I was eating breakfast in my garden, minding my own business, when I looked behind me to see Miss Rose of Sharon peeking at me through the fence. She lives on the other side of the fence in my neighbor's yard but decided to go rogue and come over to say hi. Or, she may just have wanted to return home. My neighbor's shrubs are wanderers from my Rose of Sharon, as are many of her flowers on the "other side." A happy gardener is one whose neighbor doesn't mind an invasion of wandering plants.

Another pleasant surprise, this time as I was eating lunch in my garden - a Swallowtail butterfly feasting on my butterfly bush. It was all over this blossom, swinging up and down when the breeze blew, hanging on tight. I don't usually get swallowtails, they tend to enjoy the country fare, not my city plot. Usually I just see monarchs, whites, and fritillaries.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Raspberry Morning

Tuesday was a perfect morning for picking raspberries. Mine are almost done but I did manage to get almost a quart. It was so peaceful -the only sound was that of the birds singing good morning as the sky was turning pink with the rising sun; the grass moist with morning dew - then I looked at my watch, darn - time to get ready for work. Back to reality...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lemon Lavender cookies for tea

The weather cooled down enough for one day for me to light the oven. Here are my Lemon Lavender Shortbread cookies. Delicious. Hubby won't eat them though - they have flowers in them! Good - all the more for me :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lemon Lavender Shortbread recipe

I haven't posted in a while. Between end of the school-year activities and the current heat wave we're having, I haven't been sitting at my computer. I wanted to share this recipe now that the lavender is in bloom. If it ever cools down, I may consider lighting my oven. This recipe is from the Country Living Gardener magazine.

Lemon Lavender Shortbread
4 sticks (1 lb) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons dried lavender, finely chopped or ground
finely ground zest of 2 lemons

Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the vanilla, flour, and salt. Beat on low speed until well combined. Stir in lavender and lemon. Divide dough evenly into 4 pieces, wrap each in plastic wrap. Press each piece into a flat disc. (This makes it easier to roll out.) Chill at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
Heat oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator and let warm 3 - 4 minutes. Roll out 1 piece at a time on floured surface. Using a cookie cutter dipped in flour, cut out desired shapes and transfer to baking pan. Bake on center rack 15 - 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.