Archive | June, 2014

Lemon Lavender Rhubarb

22 Jun

So at the market the other day, we saw a guy selling a jam from this trio. He wanted way too much for a little bitty jar, so we didn’t get his preserves, but it did give me the idea of trying this at home.

We have been getting a lot of a rhubarb each week, because Beth loves it and it’s something she can eat on her diet. Both Rhubarb and Lemon are “free” for her, and lavender is an herb, so also free, so this whole thing is not only tasty, but perfect for her Ideal Protein diet.

So basically what we did was to cook the rhubarb as normal- chop it up and throw it in the pot, but this time instead of adding water, we used lemon and zest. For about three pounds of rhubarb, I zested two lemons and juiced them, plus a little extra lemon juice. Cook the rhubarb down as normal.

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Cook down the rhubarb till all the little chunks are softened and falling apart on their own. At this stage, it can be chunky so long as the chunks mash when you squeeze them, because we usually stick it in the blender and whir it down when done.

But for this, I wanted to also infuse the rhubarb with lavender, so I made a little bouquet of about 6-8 sprigs of fresh lavender (choose ones if you can that are just beginning to open their first few flowers, but the majority are still buds, for the most essential oils). I tied these together with a rubber band and set them in the pot.

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Gently stir them in so that the flowers are covered in the rhubarb mush, and cover for 3-5 minutes.

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The longer you steep, like tea, the more lavender flavor you will get. Don’t go too far though, as some of the lavender flavor gets a little too intense, with an almost metallic after taste if you leave it in too long.

Once it is steeped to your liking, take the lavender out and compost it, I usually just gently try and squeeze as much of the rhubarb mush out of the now cooked flowers as I can, and throw the mush in the blender. Sweeten to taste, then blend till smooth, and jar up the goodness! I have no idea how long this stuff lasts… Beth eats it almost as fast as we make it, lol.

Beth usually has this with her Chocolate Pudding at night. I put some in a bowl with banana slices and almonds, and it was really good that way too. This is different, but if you like lavender as a flavoring, give it a try!

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Chrysanthemum coronarium

14 Jun

I got these as greens at the local Japanese supermarket Uwajimaya’s. We used some of it in soups and salads, and I planted a couple stems too. One survived, and is beginning to flower now with these pretty little yellow and white zoned flowers. Pity it sounds like this is an annual… Maybe I can get it to seed for me.

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Ismene festivalis

13 Jun

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This just started looking last night, June 12th, 2014. Not bad for a buck and a half! seriously, these and the Iron Cross shamrocks under them were bulbs in the half off sales at the end of winter get rid of ’em quick sales, lol. I noticed these bulbs were good, so I took a chance on them. I honestly didn’t think these Ismene bulbs would bloom this year, but it looks like of the 3 that came up (there were four, so I did loose one bulb… But still, pretty good odds!) and every single one that came up has a flower spike.

It will be interesting to see how long each of these flowers last, hopefully like their cousins the Amaryllus, these will last quite a long time. Today’s cool rainy weather should help with that!

Oh and the bonus, they are fragrant, at least at night! Not too surprising, since these really do look like a tropical moth plant.

I doubt these are hardy, but then neither are the shamrocks, or the milkweed in the center of the pot. They all will need to come in for the winter. If I let the milkweed go, the bulbs should be good stored dry in he pot over winter, though the shamrocks might stay green if kept watered. We will have to see what they do at the end of the summer.

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Update- a few days later, and several more flowers on multiple stems are now blooming! I love these, I’ll definitely keep growing them, even if they don’t attract any pollinators, lol.

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In that last photo, you can see how the rain has made beads of water on the crepe paper thin petals, beautiful! Smells good too 😉 I wonder if we have any moths around interested in these? Been a bit wet to sit outside at night to find out though.

What’s Blooming- June 11th, 2014

11 Jun

Yesterday was gray, but this morning is bright and sunny. Summer is just around the corner, or already starting if you ask the garden, lol.

Agastache aurantiaca
Agastache ‘Grape Nectar’
Antirrhinum majus ‘Rocket’
Aruncus dioicus
Bacopa monieri
Barbarea vulgaris
Begonia ‘When Sparks Fly’
Belloperome guttata
Bidens humilis ‘Pirate’s Pearl’
Brassica oleracea
Campanula carpatica ‘Blue Chip’
Campanula persicifolia
Campanula portenschlagiana
Campanula rotundifolia
Cardamine hirsuta
Cerinthe minors ‘purpurea’
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum
Chrysanthemum partheniacum
Chrysanthemum (Chinese green)
Cineraria hybrid
Circaea alpina
Claytonia sibirica
Coreopsis auriculata ‘nana’
Corydalis lutea
Corydalis scouleri
Cuphea cyanea ‘Carribean Sunset’
Cuphea ignea
Dianthus gratianopolis
Dicentra formosa
Digitalis purpurea
Digitalis sp
Eriophyllum lanatum
Escholtzia caespitosa
Festival roemeri
Fragaria vesca
Fuchsia campos-portoi
Fuchsia magellanica ‘molinae’
Fuchsia speciosa
Fuchsia triphylla ‘Fireworks’
Fuchsia triphylla ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’
Fuchsia triphylla ‘Mary’
Fuchsia ‘Marinka’
Fuchsia ‘Belle of Salem’
Fuchsia ‘Celebration’
Gallium aparine
Geranium robertianum
Geum macrophyllum
Glyceria grandis
Heliotropium arborescens
Heracleum lanatum
Huechera micrantha ‘Palace Purple’
Huechera sanguinea ‘Firefly’
Huechera sanguinea ‘splendens’
Huechera (green elephant)
Huecherella ‘Cracked Ice’
Impatiens capensis
Incarvillea delavayi
Juncus effusus
Lamium maculataum ‘Pink Pewter’
Lamium purpureum
Lactica muralis
Lapsana communis
Lathyrus (Clark Beach)
Lavendula angustifolia
Lavendula viridis
Lespedeza thunbergii
Linaria purpurea
Lobelia erinus ‘Chrystal Palace’
Lobelia erinus ‘Sapphire’
Lonicera x brownii ‘Dropmore Scarlet’
Lonicera japonica ‘Pink Ice’
Lonicera ‘Sulphurea’
Lychnis coronaria
Medicago sativa
Mimulus guttatus
Mitraria coccinea
Myosotis laxa
Myosotis pauciflora
Nemesia ‘Compact Innocence’
Nemophila ‘Penny Black’
Ocimum basilicum ‘Magic Mountain’
Oenanthe sarmentosa
Osteospermum ‘Summertime Sweet Blue Sunrise’
Osteospermum (white with purple eye)
Oxalis deppei ‘Iron Cross’
Oxalis nelsoniana
Oxalis oregana
Oxalis triangularis
Pelargonium hybrid (tricolor leaves)
Pelargonium hybrid (zonal scarlet)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Hisker’s Red’
Pentas lanceolata
Philadelphus coronaria ‘aurea’
Philadelphus lewisii ‘Goose Creek’
Philadelphus (mom’s old one)
Plantago major
Potentilla anserina
Primula acaulis
Ranunculus repens
Rosa chinensis ‘mutabilis’
Rosa ‘Climbing Peace’
Rubus dioicus
Salvia coccinea ‘Forest Fire’
Salvia coccinea ‘Lady in Red’
Salvia coccinea (tall form)
Salvia elegans ‘Honeymellon’
Salvia microphylla ‘Cerro Potosi’
Salvia microphylla ‘Hotlips’
Salvia patens ‘Cobalt’
Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’
Scabiosa japonica alpina ‘Ritz Blue’
Sedum spathulifolium
Sidalcea hendersonii
Stachys cooleyae
Sisymbrium ‘Bressingham Blue’
Tellima grandiflora
Tolmeia menziesii
Trifolium alba (red dragon type)
Urtica dioica
Viccia hirsuta
Viccia sativa?
Viola adunca
Viola cornuta
Viola x wallichiana

What’s Blooming- June 5th, 2014

5 Jun

It’s been a nice couple of days, somewhat overcast but with the sun coming through to make it warm. A little muggy at times, and still oddly chilly in the shade, but definitely hinting that spring is making way for summer.

Agastache aurantiaca
Aquilegia formosa
Aruncus dioicus
Bacopa monieri
Barbarea vulgaris
Begonia ‘When Sparks Fly’
Belloperome guttata
Bidens humilis ‘Pirate’s Pearl’
Brassica oleracea
Campanula carpatica
Campanula persicifolia
Campanula portenschlagiana
Campanula rotundifolia
Cardamine hirsuta
Carex deweyana
Cerinthe major ‘purpurea’
Circaea alpina
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum
Chrysanthemum partheniacum
Claytonia sibirica
Coreopsis auriculata nana
Corydalis lutea
Corydalis scouleri
Cuphea cyanea ‘Carribean Sunset’
Cuphea ignea (small form and large)
Dianthus gratianopolis
Dicentra formosa
Digitalis purpurea
Digitalis sp
Doronicum orientale
Eriophyllum lanatum
Festuc roemeri
Fragaria vesca
Fuchsia magellanica ‘molinae’
Fuchsia speciosa
Fuchsia triphylla ‘Fireworks’
Fuchsia triphylla ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’
Fuchsia triphylla ‘Mary’
Fuchsia ‘Belle of Salem’
Fuchsia ‘Billy’
Fuchsia ‘Bouffant’
Fuchsia ‘Celebration’
Fuchsia ‘Marinka’
Fuchsia ‘Misty Pink’
Fuchsia ‘Queen Elizabeth’
Fuchsia ‘Walz Harp’
Galium aparine
Geranium robertianum
Geum macrophyllum
Heliotropium arborescens
Heracleum lanatum
Huechera micranthus ‘Palace Purple’
Huechera sanguinea ‘Firefly’
Huechera sanguinea ‘splendens’
Huechera (green elephant)
Heuchera (Plum Pudding?)
Huecherella ‘Cracked Ice’
Holcus lanatus
Lamium purpureum
Lapsana communis
Lespedeza thunbergii
Linaria purpurea
Lobelia erinus
Lonicera japonica ‘Pink Lonade’
Lonicera ‘sulphurea’
Lunaria annua
Lychnis coronaria
Medicago sativa
Mimulus guttatus
Myosotis laxa
Myosotis sp (small flowered)
Nemesia ‘Compact Innocence’
Ocimum basilicum ‘Magic Mountain’
Oenanthe sarmentosa
Osteospermum ‘Summertime Sweet Blue Sunrise’
Osteospermum (white with purple eye)
Oxalis deppei (tetraphyla) ‘Iron Cross’
Oxalis nelsoniana
Oxalis oregana
Oxalis triangularis
Pelargonium hybrid
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker’ Red’
Pentas lanceolata
Philadelphus coronaria ‘aurea’
Primula acaulis
Ranunculus repens
Rosa chinensis ‘mutabilis’
Rosa ‘Climbing Peace’
Rosa (mini peach shades)
Rubus dioicus
Salvia coccinea ‘Lady in Red’
Salvia coccinea (tall form)
Salvia elegans ‘Honeymellon’
Salvia microphylla ‘Hotlips’
Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’
Scabiosa japonica alpina ‘Ritze Blue’
Schizanthus grahamii
Sedum spathulifolium
Senecio hybrid
Sisymbrium ‘Bressingham Blue’
Sisyrinchium x californicum (Lemon Spike)
Stachys cooleyae
Tagetes signata (Disco Orange)
Tellima grandiflora
Tolmeia menziesii
Trifoli alba
Urtica dioica
Veronica prostrata ‘Heavenly Blue’
Viccia hirsuta
Viola adunca
Viola cornuta
Viola labradorica