I love roses and keep adding to my collection each year. The roses have been bursting with blooms lately and I admire them daily. I thought I would share a few recent pictures of my blooming beauties.
Monthly Archives: June 2010
It was months ago that I decided to attempt starting perennial seeds by using a winter sowing method that I had read about in my Northern Gardener magazine. I posted (here) about getting everything set up and flower seeds planted in these plastic milk jugs in the dead of winter.
Over the next few months, I set the milk jugs out in the snow and let nature take its course. As things started to warm up in the spring, I opened the jugs up during the day to allow the germination process to start, triggered by the moisture and warm rays of sunshine. The seeds eventually started to sprout and I had lots of little seedlings.
It finally feels like summer to me. The kids have all returned from various camps and grandparent visits. Our evenings have opened up somewhat and I am not dashing here or there to sit and wait at practices, rehearsals or lessons as often.
The good news about this is that I have more time to be outside working and enjoying our farm and the simple pleasures of gardening. Moments like these, for example, when you are digging around in the flower bed and look over and see a beautiful butterfly enjoying your plants.
The bad news is that I usually write my posts while I am sitting at practices, lessons, rehearsals, etc., so I have less time now to blog about all the stuff we are doing around here! Summer is short, however, and things will be back to the usual high-speed chaos before you know it. In the meantime, I will continue to do my best to steal a few moments to provide updates…maybe on rainy days when I am forced indoors. 🙂
Like most people, we have more rhubarb than we know what to do with. After all, there are a limited number of things you can do with rhubarb, and all of them involve a LOT of sugar to tone down the sharp flavor. During the harvesting period of spring through the end of June (in my zone 3-4), our daughter usually makes us pans of rhubarb crisp, rhubarb muffins and rhubarb cake to enjoy. She loves to bake and we love to eat her creations.
This year I decided to attempt preserving some rhubarb to enjoy past its short season. My first project was to make some simple rhubarb jam. My husband’s co-worker had an easy recipe for refrigerator jam.
Simple Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
6 c. diced rhubarb
3 c. sugar
Combine and sit at room temperature for 4 hours.
Heat mixture to boiling for 10 minutes. Add 3 oz. package of strawberry gelatin.
Pour into canning jars.
I am not an expert at canning, or anything else for that matter, but I am trying to learn more each summer as I try to preserve food from the garden. I boiled the jars of jam in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes just to seal them up.
The resulting jam was very tasty and the consistency out of the fridge was good.
The next recipe I attempted was this ginger rhubarb chutney recipe that I found over at tigress in a pickle. I discovered her blog a few months ago, along with her companion site, tigress in a jam. These sites are great resources if you are looking for a collection of recipe ideas for preserving your garden bounty. In addition to standard pickling and jam recipes, you will find unique and creative recipes with some wild flavor combinations.
Anyhow, this sweet, tangy, and intensely flavored chutney turned out delicious. After finishing a batch, my daughter and I took some fresh bread with a piece of cheese and put a scoop of chutney on top to test it out. I loved it and to my surprise, she did too! Over the weekend, we smoked some pork chops and covered it with the warm chutney, which was also a great pairing.
What other ideas are out there for using or preserving all that rhubarb?
Although my husband might disagree, it is my firm belief that you can never have too many perennial gardens. So, after a few years of threatening to expand my gardens, I decided to go ahead this year.
I always start my landscaping projects by laying out a garden hose in various shapes and looking out the windows in the house to see how it will look.
I tried many different variations this time to try to find a shape that I found pleasing.
Some time in January, my 87-year-old grandmother, who has always lived on her own, was hospitalized and underwent major surgery. Eventually she was moved to a nursing home to recover. She has been there ever since. It turns out that recovery does not happen as quickly in an 87-year-old body as it does in a younger one.