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 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