Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Notes From The Country - Progress

 The snowstorms of a month ago are but a distant memory. The gardens have gotten over it and moved on.
 Here's a song to listen to since this is a country post and it contains roses. 

The columbines are in full bloom. (Our state flower)

Red ones too. I prefer the the blue.

Arrays of iris are blooming as well

Is it possible for a flower to be angry? Well grumpy at the very least - I mean look at it's little face.

Pinks: aka perennial Dianthus

And the peonies seemed to explode into bloom overnight

And are delightfully ambrosial

Many of the roses are beginning to bloom as well. I love old fashioned heirloom roses, primarily because of their fragrance, but I also love the look of an old fashioned rose. Either single petaled or packed full of layered petals, they are unique.

Such as this old Alba rose. The others have not bloomed yet. But they are dreamy. And smell heavenly. And are varying degrees of pink. And, unlike many modern roses, most of mine only bloom once a season. In June. So for a few glorious weeks the air is redolent of rose perfume. Then they vanish. They do produce rosehips, which are a bonus, but definitely fleeting.

This one that borders the potager does actually bloom all season - for the most part. It is a very large, hardy shrub rose called William Baffin and hails from Canada, eh.

This is my hedgerow. Hedgerows have very ancient beginnings, are basically living hedges or barriers made up of densely packed shrubs, and are prolific in England which is where I got the idea for mine. My little hedgerow actually serves as another smaller windbreak next to our Upright Juniper windbreak and borders the "path" down to the gate where beyond are the alpacas...and ghosts of goats and horses....

My hedgerow (I love that word) is made up of lilacs, an upright cranberry shrub, and old garden roses.

I love this one. Pretty in pink.

This is a single petaled rosa glauca with blue-green leaves.

As all the flowers, trees, and shrubs come into bloom, the birds become abundant as well. 

I love doves. For their symbolism and coos. This is Lucy, Ricky, Ethel and Fred. Don't question me.
They are regulars here is what I'm saying.

Always robins, bluejays, black birds, crows, finches...nothing as pretty as a cardinal but I live in Colorado. We have plenty of hawks too.

and house sparrows. They have the most beautiful song in the spring during mating season - the males of course.

As for the vegetable garden, there is progress it just doesn't look like it. Tomato plants and seeds are in the ground. We'll see who wins this season. Veges or weeds.

Hmmm. Not much help here.

Speaking of roses. As I was out watering this morning (because it is another unseasonably warm 90 degree day), I cut several.

Ok. More than several. More like a quart or two. And like any sane gardener/cook would do, I made rose petal vinegar....

and this concoction. It started out as the beginning of rose petal liquor, because I had enough rose petals and happened to have some 190 proof Everclear sitting in the bottom of the cupboard...doesn't everyone? As I was browsing, I found some interesting articles on bitters. These recipes sounded more interesting to me because they involved roots, herbs, spices as well as natural flavorings. Anyway, I just started throwing things in - dandelion roots, ginger, citrus peels, lavender, other herbs, mace, cardamon, and, of course, the roses. There are a couple more steps in the process, so check back in a few weeks. I'll either have an interesting cocktail to share, or not. 

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