Thursday, October 22, 2009

Valentine Rose 1951

I planted two of these floribundas last Spring after admiring their velvety red blooms at the Antique Rose Emporium. One had the misfortune of being moved twice after planting, and both survived the Summer of Hell with only scant irrigation. Currently both bushes are covered in blooms. They nod quite romantically after it rains, and last well as cut flowers too. I am in love.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Alchemy and Pickled Okra

I love okra, and I won't try to pretend that it isn't slimy, but there is something magical about pickled okra. The slime makes the vinegar less astringent and since I like to add a lot of crushed red peppers, the slime helps with the burn (kinda like aloe vera).

I don't can, so these are refrigerator pickles. The clemson spineless and red okra were picked from my garden today. I stuffed the jars with okra, garlic, mustard seeds, jalepenos, and added some pickling spices. Then I boiled up some vinegar (apple cider, rice wine, and white) with mustard seeds, cumin, chile flakes, and salt. As it started to boil, this concoction was reminiscent of pepper spray (don't ask me how I know, but I would recommend that you never test out your pepper spray indoors). My husband fled the house with our toddler in tow. Between coughing fits, I poured the fiery solution over the pickles and left them on the counter to cool, before putting them in the fridge.

Less than an hour later I took out a jar to test a pickle and ended up eating the whole jar! They were spicy, crispy, and delicious!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Race Is On!

The garden was on life support all summer long, but the cooler temps and recent rain has revived the plants and now the questions are; will the banana peppers turn red? Will the Aunt Ruby's German Green Cherry turn gold? Will the recently planted Super Sugar Snap peas blossom and produce their deliciously crispy pods? Or will the first frost snatch them all?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Beautiful Song

My amazing Uncle Kevin composed this lovely song and I felt compelled to share it:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Paul Neyron Rose

Check out the huge blooms on this antique Paul Neyron Rose! That is a quarter that I am holding on the left.

This was the cabbage rose popular in the Victorian era. I think it looks like a peony. This rose survived the summer that we are now recovering from with just the occasional hand watering. I am planning to peg the canes which theoretically should cause an eruption of blooms.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Rebar Arbor

In March when I was 7 months pregnant, I decided that I had to have a rebar arbor (nesting for me was about soaker hoses and timers) my lovely husband poured the concrete and held the ladder steady while I tottered at the top. I hope that the arbor will be smothered in the Zephirin Drouhin roses that I planted at each corner. Right now it is covered with Heavenly Blue morning Glories and Scarlet Cardinal Vines.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Feeling very disappointed with the progress of my Spring plantings, I took a picture of my front yard intending to redesign it. The picture above was taken in the beginning of September. Then the rain came and the flowers started blooming!

The courtyard was transformed as well...