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Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

We went from unusually cool weather to dramatically (and unseasonally) hot weather in the second half of last week.  As a result, I found myself doing emergency harvesting of lettuce and other cool season crops, but I also got to see this lily burst into bloom.  I couldn’t resist sharing it with you.With this early heat has come a lot of humidity, like a giant’s warm, moist breath very time you walk outside.  That brought us critters, though, that might stay closer to the creek ordinarily, like this baby Ozark Zigzag salamander.  No, really, that’s what it’s called.  The photos are blurry because it was so tiny and I was so close.Can you see the little salamander on the big thumb?  Maybe that’s the giant whose breath I keep feeling.

No, that’s my husband’s hand.  The salamander must be really tiny.

Don’t worry; we set him free in a safe location near where my husband found the little guy.

Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader, including photographs.

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A few days after I got out of the hospital some dear friends came to visit.  They gave my husband and me a break from each other and a chance to hang out with, shall we say, our own kind.  The wife of the couple walked around the yard with me, picking the spring flowers that I could not bend over to pick.  Our country yard is full of grape hyacinth, daffodils, buttercups, blue-eyed grass, and lots of other flowers I can’t identify, some wildflowers and some planted here decades ago and now naturalized. I’m reminded of Elton John’s lyrics:  “Lived here, he must have been a gardener who care a lot . . . .”  

My friend took some blooms home, and I added some forsythia and quince blossoms from branches that needed to be pruned to make bouquets.  As the flowers fade from both yard and home here, I want to share them with you.

quince with daffodils

daffodils

grape hyacinths actually smell a little like NuGrape

(Yes, Linda of Flourish Now, that’s an egg cup as a vase–told you I like using them that way!)

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As you select your seed for summer, consider planting a flower garden for your salads this year.

If you look closely in this salad, you’ll see two of my favorite edible flowers, borage and pinks.

Borage is the beautiful blue flower that is shaped like a star.  Borage flowers taste ever so slightly like cucumber or watermelon. The leaves are edible too, but since they are a little furry, they aren’t my favorite.  Pinks are in the same family as dianthus and carnations.  Just be sure only to eat flowers that you know were produced without pesticides.  In other words, please don’t bite into your carnation corsage!

In the foreground of this photograph are the unopened buds of chives.  Chives form puffy, porcupiney balls.  I pull the individual frilly petals out and sprinkle them in salad for a really mild onion or garlic taste.

Are you serving chicken salad?  Consider adding the purple tiny trumpet-shaped flowers of traditional sage.  For a splash of color, add the ruby red flowers of pineapple sage.

Other edible flowers include

  • nasturtium:  one of my favorite, both the flowers are leaves taste like mild horseradish; the leaves look like tiny lilly pads, while the flowers come in brilliant bright colors. Pull the petals out of the tough base.
  • calendula:  like a small golden daisy, calendula has sunset-gold petals that are lovely in salads and sprinkled on top of pasta.
  • violets:  violets are sweet additions to salads of baby greens or as edible garnishes on cakes and cupcakes; they can also be crystalized, but I’ve never attempted it.
  • pansies:  like violets, pansies are sweet, but I prefer them in salads.
  • rose petals:  sweet like violets and pansies, with similar applications.

Consider planting edible flowers this year.  You’ll love how they add vibrant color and new flavors to your meals!

Have you used edible flowers?  Which are your favorites?  Do you have questions about edible flowers?  Ask away!

Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader.  Short excerpts with full URL and attribution to Ozarkhomesteader are welcome. Please contact me for permission to use photographs.

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A dying garden can be depressing, but it can also hold the seeds of your future, literally.  This spring I let some red winter kale go to seed and then gathered the spiky seed pods to keep through the summer.  I scattered them on the ground a couple of weeks ago, and now I have a profusion of free red kale seedlings, which we should be eating within a month or two.

I also gathered seed pods from garlic chives.  I’ve sprouted some to add to salads.  Others I’ll keep to start a new garlic chive bed and to give away to friends for their own gardens.

Here is a cabbage that decided to grow entirely of its own accord.

And, voila!,  borage plants, all volunteers, with amaranth seeds, awaiting spring.

A volunteer cilantro plant awaits a Mexican or Vietnamese dish.

And here my husband collects flower seeds.

We even had dozens of volunteer tomato plants produce this year before frost hit.  Your garden  can give you so much, if you just give it a little time to show its offerings!

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