Posts Tagged ‘Flowers’

Still Blooming!

It was minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit here last week, but on this afternoon’s walk through the yard, I noticed these little beauties still blooming strong:

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Faery magic is alive and well in this yard! What’s really weird is that the hot pink hat, flower pin and scarf I felt oddly inspired to wear today match the primrose. Someone’s having a Midwinter giggle, scattering beauty across the frozen ground.

December Blooms

It’s 3 degrees Fahrenheit outside, but blooming bright and cozy inside Faery Hof:

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Flowers in November: Some Beauty on a Gorgeous Day

Getting back to more of the garden variety garden posts, here are some flowers still blooming today, plus a bouquet I made David’s mom this past Saturday.

Zinnias:

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Veronica:

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Cosmos and sedum:

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Mums and sweet alyssum:

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Saturday’s bouquet with blackeyed Susan’s, lavender, cosmos, sedum, zinnias, yarrow, foxglove, and bachelor’s buttons. We’ve also got wild violets, snapdragons, calendula, nasturtiums, and more still smiling in the yard — at least until this coming Friday’s hard frost. I enjoy it while I can!

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Blessed Be …

and be the blessing!

 

 

Autumn Beauty: Asters, Mums, Bouquets and Cocoa Spice Cake

Just a few pretties from the yard and kitchen:

mums-and-asters

On Friday, that bed above got an infusion of spring daffodils and giant hyacinths. Fortunately, an unusually late first frost has allowed the trough below to make up for its very late planting. We’ve enjoyed so much lettuce already, while the rest of the greens and mustard race the frost faeries.

fall-planted-crops

Although the temperatures are back up again, a cool weekend encouraged this experimental cocoa spice cake with chocolate ganache from the delightful cookbook, Afro Vegan. This one uses coconut milk and mashed avocado for creaminess, and with cayenne, ginger and nutmeg, it was, indeed, spicy enough to delight some foodie friends and their other guests:

cocoa-spice-cake

Bouquets abound:

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And here you can see Sunday’s flowers with Saturday’s cake:

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Wishing everyone a glorious week!

Late Summer in the Garden

The days are getting shorter, and the light has softened, dipping slightly lower in the sky. The blooms of summer have subtly shifted into more of an autumn palette — still bright and yet somehow tinged with more golds, reds and brownish pinks. Here are some photos from today and yesterday.

Zinnias begin to come into their glory as we move into Autumn:

zinnias

The first of several green striped cushaw squash made an appearance, alongside some marigolds and at least two more winter squash buddies. These cushaw squash grow to the size of toddlers with almost zero effort:

Green striped cushaw

Garlic chives bloom at this time of year instead of in spring like their purple cousins. Here you can see this popular insect spot, alongside purple leaf shiso (great in a hazelnut pesto!), eggplant, tomatoes, parsley, bush basil, zinnias, and cosmos.

garlic chives and shiso

The sweet potatoes in the Haus Am See trough are getting ready to bloom alongside lettuce, purple cabbage and zinnias, and some of the perennials are finally starting to take root. The trough further back currently has another white scallop squash plant, lettuce, cosmos and calendula, but I recently seeded it with cold hardy Lucullus chard and giant winter spinach. Once those come in, the squash might go. I can’t keep up with the single one I have growing out back — not sure why I planted a second! The sunflowers all over the yard continue to attract dozens of goldfinches, bees, and silly squirrels and chipmunks who climb the stems.

blue house troughs

Blackeyed Susan’s really shine at this time of year:

black eyed Susan's

… and sedum has begun its shift from white to pink to deep reddish brown:

misty sedum

I will leave you with yesterday’s bouquet speedily put together between thunderstorms and carefully delivered to David’s mom. As I stretch the seasons of bloom, I believe she’s up to about 35 weekly bouquets per year — not bad for a former wasteland in zone 5b, but I am determined to do even better!

late August bouquet

Blessed Be … and be the blessing.

Spring Bulbs!

Ahhhh, the long awaited, much anticipated spring bulbs are blooming. Hyacinths and early daffodils have been out for awhile, but the tulips have begun their show, along with the later blooming white daffodils. Some pics from today:

red tulips

It’s beginning to look a lot like Beltane! Those red tulips have been here longer than we have, and they normally bloom on May 1, right along with the dandelion and wild violet show out back. We’re over ten days ahead of schedule this year. For years I have told David that if I could just get enough intentional plants in the ground, then the wild edibles would look charming. Indeed, they finally do, echoing the daffodils and hyacinths sprinkled around the yard in shades of yellow and purple:

dandelions and violets

 

Because it went from very cold to 80’s in less than one week, we’ve got early and mid season tulips all bursting forth in rapid succession. These double tulips began white and then darkened to pink as they opened like peonies:

double tulips

And I love these peaches and cream looking ones hanging out by the yarrow, blueberry bushes and our driveway:

peachy tulips

Another regular showstopper from before we moved in — we’ve got two huge clumps of white daffodils that greet me first thing in the morning when I lift the blinds. I have no idea if squirrels or a human planted these and the random red tulips around the yard, but they’ve become old, familiar friends in a continually evolving neighborhood of plants:

white daffodils

And yes, the gradual creep of intentional beauty continues, as I’ve begun mulching and planting the very edges of the second yard. I really am taking over the neighborhood one bulb, fruit tree and perennial at a time. OK, maybe a thousand bulbs, dozens of fruit trees and hundreds of perennials at a time …

but it’s happening!

Bouquets and Bundt Cake

Good thing I woke up before six this morning, because despite having sessions, today turned into quite the productive day with two “firsts.” Earlier this week, David’s mom let me know that a friend of hers who was organizing a memorial service for their mutual friend would love for me to provide bouquets for the memorial service. Apparently, their friend was a huge gardener, and she never liked purchased flowers — only those fresh from the garden and a bit wild.

After doing a vase drop off on Monday, we made arrangements for a 2:30 bouquet pickup today. I felt quite honored to be part of a memorial service for someone I’d never met, and being able to provide the gift of flowers always makes me so happy. My garden’s not just about the food, although I gave away a huge amount of that earlier this week, too. Can you say, “Produce explosion”? I can and did, calling non-gardening friends, and my mulch and cardboard deliverers to come pick up bags of their favorite fruits and veggies.

But today was flower day:

bouquet 1

 

bouquet 2

All packed up and ready to go:

bouquets ready to go

Meanwhile, after a dinner of spiralized white scallop squash and garden fresh pesto with Black Cherokee heirloom tomatoes, another meal of curried white scallop squash soup, 16 cups of shredded squash now frozen, many given away and many more on the bush, I still have shredded white scallop squash to use. We have a neighborhood picnic on Saturday, so guess what’s in the “Brown Sugar Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread”? If you guessed none of the above, you’d be right. Oh, and I didn’t use an oven either. Well, not a normal one. I used my Sun Oven.

I took this recipe, which that blogger found here, and proceeded to sub out every single ingredient except the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. It looked and smelled good before baking:

bundt cake

But would it work? I almost never bake, and when I do, it’s only for potlucks or classes, usually with so many substitutions, it’s amazing I continue to consult my phone for the “recipe”! For those particularly interested in how I made this original recipe gluten-free vegan with half the sugar, here’s what I did:

I subbed white scallop squash (an ancient ancient Native American heirloom) for zucchini — not necessary, but it’s what I have. I will continue to grow this instead of zucchini, too. Way, way tastier and pretty!

I subbed Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour for the whole wheat flour.

Coconut oil for room temperature butter.

Olive oil for vegetable oil.

Half birch sweetener and half organic cane sugar, plus a tablespoon of molasses for brown sugar.

Ener-G Egg Replacer for the egg.

Two drops of citrus blend essential oils for the lemon zest. (I had lemon from our Meyer lemon tree, but, yes, I was too lazy to zest it.)

Real Salt for the salt.

1/2 pecans, 1/2 walnuts for the walnuts, because I ran out of walnuts.

Oh, and I doubled the recipe and put it in the bundt pan, as per the Sun Oven adaptation. My first bundt pan experience, btw. I begged it off David’s sister when she went through their mom’s kitchen supplies, because I had a feeling I’d use it sometime for a Wheel of the Year celebration. Or a potluck. 🙂

Sooooo, did it work?

Uh-huh! Here it is baked and turned over:

bundt cake ready to serve

I actually finished it for about 10 minutes in our convection oven to brown the top once I flipped it over and let it cool. I had sessions this afternoon and thus took it out of the Sun Oven a bit prematurely. They say you can’t burn anything in a Sun Oven, but some charred gf vegan brownies spoke otherwise. If I hadn’t been on the phone this afternoon, I could have flipped it over and babysat it to desired brown in the Sun Oven. It was just easier to finish it off inside rather than running back and forth during my little breaks.

Besides, I had a pot of soaked garbanzo beans waiting for their turn, because in addition to white scallop squash bundt bread, we’re also bringing chick pea “zucchini” “burgers” to the potluck. And pickles. Basically, we’re in curcubit heaven here. We’ve got cantaloupe, watermelon, three types of cucumbers, green striped cushaw squash, and Fairy Tale pumpkins all going gangbusters here. Oh, and did I mention we’ve got a bumper crop of white scallop squash?!

If you live in Goshen or Elkhart and you need squash, don’t be shy. 🙂