Sunday, June 10, 2018

all the flowers


I'm not sure why exactly, but the blooming season has been extraordinary around here these past weeks. Some say it's because we didn't have that last regular killer cold snap, others say it's because we had measurable spring snow/rain at the perfect time. Regardless, all this beauty and fragrance has been the main topic of conversation among neighbors and gardening friends...and even strangers connect over "oh-those-lilacs" (which actually happened to me recently at the grocery store). Usually it's bad weather and devastation that bring people together but here it's been all the flowers.


Dusk is the best time for lunaria and blue pansies.


Going back in time, dandelion cupcakes were made.


About 3/4 cup of dandelion petals were added to the flour/flower mix.


Finished off with a basic buttercream frosting and a few more flower petals. I don't usually bake much but Jan loved these, I took some to a get-together and there are still some in the freezer...so it was worth it.

 
Right outside the bedroom window, the elder blossoms were breathtaking.


I filled my moonbag with enough flowers to both dry for tea and make a syrup. I made the handstitched bag with home/plant-dyed cotton and linen moon squares using a bag pattern by India Flint.


Elder flowers and Gertrude Jekyl roses drying on screens -- I left the roses intact this year as an experiment to see if they hold their color and fragrance better or worse than loose petals.
 

The bag's inside is pretty stitchy.


An elder flower syrup began by infusing flowers in water for several hours, then simmering the strained liquid combined with an equal amount of sugar for a half hour.


Cocktail. Two tablespoons of elder flower syrup topped with club soda. On the rocks. 


The bee yard. This new colony is expanding fast -- I've already added a second story and a third is going on soon. On the other side of the garden, the beehive in the tree trunk reached full capacity and swarmed twice (both swarms went to good homes). The colony left behind must love how roomy the tree trunk is now because it is thriving as well.

 
 Have you ever seen a yellowhorn tree?


A few days ago, I plucked blossoms off sage flower stalks. Since they were already past their prime, it took a lot of stalks to get enough blossoms for sage flower pesto.


A very small batch but definitely worth the effort -- just under a cup of sage blossoms, a few chive blossoms, about 1/4 cup walnuts, a clove of garlic and some nice olive oil went into the food processor. The last ingredient of 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese was stirred in.


The pesto had a subtle sage flavor and was delicious. Pretty sure I'll be making more pesto with different flowers all summer long.


I am liking learning from and connecting with flowers on a daily basis. I am trying not to complicate things by setting goals or collecting lots of recipes because then it turns into something else. I just want to go visit whoever is blooming in the garden and see what happens.

I hope you get to visit all the flowers. xo


21 comments:

Els said...

Ahhh Peggy, always fun to see what you do with all those flowers !
(there's abundance here too ;-) !)

Ms. said...

What abundance dances in your space and on this post.
Always a pleasure.

taiqi said...

Glad to see a new posting on your blog. I always learn so much. I enjoyed making my India Flint bag also. Made mine with blue Yukata cotton fabrics. Happy summer. Looking forward to more of your postings.

HollyM said...

I live to see how you use all the wildflowers. Some I’m not familiar with, the yellowthorn for one. I’d like to find an elderberry. I’m not sure if they grow here. The sage pesto looks yummy. I have the herb sage but don’t get those flowers. I think I’ve seen it as a perennial.

Kathy -MIQuilter said...

You've been busy! I enjoy reading (and learning) all your potions and stitching. I love, love your moon bag! I'm hoping in another week or so my world slows down so I can have something to blog about!
Your flowers are beautiful, I also love how flowers glow at dusk.

Joanne S said...

Last year I saw your moon squares which I think you were making into a quilt.. Started making circles with moons but with commercial fabric. I have a few jars out in the sun right now--trying for plant based colored cloth for any future circles and squares.

You are an inspiration for me. Now I want a bag like yours.

Loved your report on the bees.

Deb said...

Lovely garden and very inspiring post too. Love the Moon bag and all the lovely Boro style stitching. The sage flower pesto sounds wonderful and those dandelion cupcakes look delicious.

Peggy said...

Hi Els! Yay, abundance everywhere!

Peggy said...

Michelle, thank you -- so glad you visited!

Peggy said...

Hi Janet, those bags are genius, aren't they? I want to go to the group page and see everyone's, haven't been there for a while...happy summer to you, too! Maybe I'll see your bag on the FB page?

Peggy said...

Hi Holly, there are just so many flowering plants to get to know right now! I don't know how far north elderberry grows, you're in Canada, right? But we have some below 0 degrees (F) winter temps every winter here in Colorado so it seems like it should grow there, too. It's a wonderful hedge plant.

Peggy said...

Hi Kathy, thanks so much. Things are slowing down a little here now. I welcome the intense heat of summer to help me stop everything and just water & weed and sew & cook and maybe dye & knit, too. I'll watch for your posting!

Peggy said...

Hi Joanne and thank you! The bees are doing so well, I can't help but think that maybe-just-maybe planetary conditions have changed/improved. Hope springs eternal. You're right, I started making those squares for a larger piece but they were pretty slow-going the way I make them. It would be much faster to not turn the edges of the circles under -- maybe a simple blanket stitch around the cut edge instead, I will play around with that in the future. Hope you make a bag!

Peggy said...

Hi Deb, thank you so much! Stitching the bag created a lot of quiet time and I miss that now. Thinking about which unfinished stitchery of mine to work on next, it has to be something simple -- just the cloth, the needle and the thread with no decisions to be made...

Joanne S said...

My sage plants have started making flowers--so now I have pesto to make.
thank you for the recipe--Last year was their first season and no flowers.

ARTISUN said...

Your moon bag is gorgeous, I also took India's bag class but am still stitching my squares together. Your blog is such a wonderful learning place for me as to what is possible with plants. Thank you and looking forward to more posts.

Deb G said...

So beautiful, all of this. Your bag inspires me to get going on one I have planned. Just made lemon-loganberry-lavender cupcakes.

Dee Mallon said...

late to the party here, but worth showing up for! the shots of your garden always make me swoon, but those purples are to die for. It makes sense that you want your response to your plants to be free-flowing... one might even call it an organic relationship. This year, as a side note, in New England, the rhododendron were spectacular. Nobody knows why.

Chip Butter said...

I will agree that it has been an extraordinary year for growing things, for whatever the reason. I so enjoyed visiting all your beautiful blooming friends. And, a big wow on your moon bag. I love all the stitches!

stickyfingers said...

hi Peggy, i'm catching up, really late, but loving your postabout the flowers - i've made gallons of elderflower cordial/syrup in the past and really enjoyed the product as well as gifting it to friends- i keep missing out due to poor health or travel just whenth blossom is out! - if you get the chance, another year, elderflower "champagne" is really good too, start saving some strong screw-top bottles just before the season! the sage flower pesto sounds good too - my sage plant is still growing, but when it gets bigger i will allow some to flower and try that - i have been using sage, in food, to relieve menopausal hot flushes with good effect recently, worth a try in my opinion! i hope the growing season has been good for you

Peggy said...

Eva, thank you -- elderflower champagne is on my list for next year! And thanks, too, for the reminder to save bottles. It's been a successful year (so far) for us in Colorado -- the relentless heat was great for growing as long as we watered! Hope your garden was good as well.
P.S. Black cohosh tincture taken before bedtime really helped me with my hot flashes at night.