Things are starting to shape up around here. If you can change your mindset to overlook the vast amount of weeding and yard work we still have yet to do, and focus on things that fit into a small camera view, things look quite beautiful.
(do you know what kind of flowering tree this is?)
(mushroom hunting has gotten a little too close to home! ‘Fix patch of dry rot’ has all of a sudden moved up on the priority list!)
Have a good weekend! I’ll be back next week, we have a lot to catch up on!
Besides that little patch of rain the other week most of our days have looked pretty much exactly like the above, sunny and beautiful. It’s hard to believe it’s not spring. I think the plants are having a hard time believing it’s not spring too. This picture was taken between Christmas and New Years when I had a rare moment of quiet. Usually I fill those up with household chores or work projects, but this day I indulged in doing something I’ve been wanting to do for a long while. Make a wreath.
Last summer I was so amazed by all the beautiful flowers we had here. I cut many and put them in all sorts of arrangements around the house. I left many outside to admire, but I also cut this stash above, hung them upside down and left them in the garage to dry. I’d never made a dried flower wreath before but I went off of instinct and bunched up little mini bouquets, wrapped them in floral wire and attached them to a grapevine wreath base. I realized about half way through that I didn’t have enough flowers to make the wreath as full as I wanted too, but I didn’t wallow in my imperfection. I just tried my best to enjoy my hour outside being creative with the winter sun on my back.
Mixed up in there are purple and white statice, yarrow, love in a mist seed pods, lavender, and scabiosa seed pods.
I plan on drying a lot more flowers next summer to play around with more wreaths. I even planted a new kind of poppy seed that are grown for their decorative seed pods. We’ll see how they grow.
Do any of you have any bookmarked images for dried wreath designs? Or know of any other flower that looks great dried? I’d love a little inspiration.
I just wanted to interrupt Citrus Week for a moment to show you what is now blooming on our mantle. A beautiful nectarine blossom. As if this odd 70 degree weather isn’t a reminder, this blossom let’s us know that while we are in the heart of January now, spring will soon be on it’s way.
The thing about gardening is that once you figure out a few things and start to think that maybe you’ve got a handle on this whole ‘growing food’ thing, you get humbled. Then you start a blog and make your random musings public and then you find out you’re wrong and you really feel like you have mud on your face. So it’s confessional time.
Let’s start out with the zucchini’s. I was totally wrong. Those little lady flowers do need to be pollenated by bees that have also visited the male flowers. I found this out soon after my posting when I on my ‘useless male’ high horse went out and clipped off all the male flowers for quesadillas. The next day I found a poor shriveled four inch dying zucchini. The thing with these squash are that they grow really fast, so those woman flowers don’t get a chance to open up until the zucchini are already five or so inches long. If it doesn’t get pollenated it shrivels and dies, if it does get pollenated, it keeps getting bigger.
Want to hear about our garlic failure too? Remember all that lovely hardneck garlic we picked? Yep, well, we picked it too early and half of it rotted. That was a very grim discovery. There’s so much moisture in those garlic heads that you really do need to wait until the plant dries up and browns before you pick it, or, it rots.
Next up. Fenugreek. I don’t know what we did wrong with it. It looked great when it first sprouted, lovely green with pink edged leaves. Then it got kind of spindly, then kind of brown. Were we giving it too much water? Too little? Did we plant them too close together? Are they supposed to look spindly? Anyway, somehow it’s unhappy, but there are a handful of big seed pods forming so at least we’ll have a little bit for making Indian food.
So there you go. Just a few garden failures of many I suppose. Scott attended a weed class this past weekend (more on that soon) and the woman teaching was announced as having 22 years of experience. It sounds like a lot, but the teacher said, “Really, it’s not that much experience, it means I’ve only grown tomatoes 22 times.” When you put it that way, it really doesn’t sound like that much. I guess we’re all just learning as we go, really.
Any gardening confessionals you need to make?
So by now, my regular readers are rolling their eyes saying, “Another weed post, Kendra? Give it up already, let’s talk about real vegetables.” Well, I can’t seem to give my weed obsession up. And I found another place to cater to it. You may have noticed it on my sidebar, but I have a link now to Learning Herbs. It’s a pretty neat place where they teach you all about how to make herbal goodies out of things you have growing in your own yard, medicines, teas, food recipes, etc.
The owners, John and Kimberly, has compiled an ebook which you can get for free if you sign up for their newsletter and its pretty interesting. It’s all about how to make home remedies. They even have good uses for lavender which is my all time favorite fragrance and flower, and it just happens to be blooming right now.
Their first newsletter has a recipe for how to make dandelion lemonade with dandelion flowers. Our flowers are all gone by now, but I’m going to save this for next year. They say, “dandelion blossoms steeped as tea can help relieve headaches, menstrual cramps, backaches, stomach aches and even depression.” Cool stuff isn’t it?
This is my absolute favorite flower thats in my garden. Each year I look forward to seeing this little thing blossom. Of course I’ve completely forgotten the name of it, but next time I go to the nursery I’ll write it down. It grows tall, slender stems with these small little red flowers on top. They are so elegant and full of color, like jewelry in my flower garden.