Monday, June 3, 2013

Welcome June! Let's Stroll

Hi everyone!!! I know I'm a bit late celebrating the arrival of June but, I've been as busy as a bee trying to get the garden in order. It seems, Spring just doesn't want to cooperate.

Before we begin our yearly stroll through the garden, there are a few things I would like to remind you about. First and foremost, June is National Rose Month!!! If you remember, last year the Rose was also Herb of the Year. I had such fun pinning gorgeous rose images and delicious rose recipes in celebration of the Rose that I thought I would share a glance of my Pinterest board with you. (and, although my roses bushes are just beginning to bud, alas, no blooms yet:)

However, lots of other happenings are going on in the garden this year so, if you don't mind, I'd like to share some of those. But first, yes, there's another reminder, June is also National Candy Month, National Dairy Month and Ice Tea Month. There's a bit of a mixup when it comes to Donut Day which is also celebrated in June. The Salvation Army, the reason why there is a Doughnut Day, usually celebrates on June 1st. However, it seems they may have gone a bit commercial this year by teaming up with Krispy Kreme and/or Dunkin' Donut so, rumor has it this Friday may just be Donut Day!!! As for you Cognac lovers out there, I know there are some, Cognac Day is tomorrow!!! P.S. Don't forget to pop by Mary's @One Perfect Bite and wish her a Happy Birthday on June 4th:

Pennsylvania Dairy Farm

I know you must be wondering how the Robins are doing. Well, the first nest of Robins are long gone although, they are still close to home because I see them hanging out in the pines every now again. The "duplex" nest only got "tenants" on one side. For the life of me I still haven't figured out why mom and pop built two nests but none the less, nest #two has three new hungry babies.

And poppa robin makes sure they have lots to eat. Just look at this mouthful!!!

The fountain has gone to the birds too. I haven't set up the fountain to spout water yet but it doesn't seem to bother any daily bathers. I'm a bit surprised there was only one Dove in the fountain when I took this picture. Usually those two are inseparable!

Here's a glimpse of the Yellow Finch hanging out at the fountain. I took a really cool video, with my brand spanking new camera, which really captured the finches stuffing their faces on the bird feeder. It's so funny! I wanted to share it today but I just haven't figured out how. BTW, I LOVE my new camera! It's a Nikon Coolpix 9400 and it zooms 18X! I'm not sure what that all means but I know from my new experiences "playing" with it that it is way cooooolll. (who knows maybe my foods pics will look more appetizing someday, although, I doubt it:)

A few years ago, Marion just had to buy this plant one day while we were at Home Depot. I'm not much of a HD fan but Marion has such a problem passing up a bargain. We believe it to be some sort of Heather or Broom. We're really not sure. Anyway, it hasn't done much through the years but for some reason, this year it has decided to "spread its wings." (yes that is inspector Robin sitting on the fence:)

The aroma that fills the air around the Heather plant is indescribable. A bit heady and yet sweet. We love it! It was one of those sickly plants the home stores dispose of at the end of the season so I'm pretty sure it only cost but a few dollars. (quite frankly, it wouldn't have been a plant I would have taken my trusty scissor to if you remember that escapade a few years back:) Anyway, here's a close-up of the flower. Isn't it pretty?

I'm not a huge Columbine fan but once again, Marion is. Marion insists that she is one day going to win Publishers Clearing House and when she does, she often says she is going to give all the money away! (she says this at least twice a week and believe me, she means it!) In order to stay "active" in the PB drawing, she often orders things through the mail. As a matter of fact, not to get off the subject but today a loofah back scrubber came in the mail. She already told me she won't use it but she must stay active. I must admit though I do appreciate the surprise famous name brand recipe books she orders. I would never buy them!!!

It has taken a few years for the Columbine to flourish, yes she's been entering this drawing most of her adult life which in Marion's case has probably been since she's 75. Now at the age of 93, I do believe it is high time she won!!! But as you can see, this Columbine is spreading quite nicely. (that must be that sleep, creep, leap theory Katie speaks of. The leaping took a while though?) Patience in a perennial garden is more than a virtue:)

This is an Oriental Orange Poppy bud.

This is the flower. Isn't it spectacular!!!

We can't ignore the California Poppies. There is a bed of these and Bachelor Buttons dancing in front of Marion's window.

And finally, my most favorite bloom of all in the garden so far this year. The Peonies!!!

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Carnations. Well, for some reason, the Carnation beds are slow to rise this year; very slow. So slow that I fear they may not bloom. Under normal circumstance, I might have been quite upset but, when the Peonies started blooming this year, I could hardly contain myself. Since I've already used the word spectacular once this post, I guess all I can say is "They leave me speechless!"

I am so taken by their presence and aroma, that I have actually looked in to some way of preserving both the flower and the aroma of my Peonies. I'll have to get back to you on both though. I'm sure it can be done. I've read about many ways of preserving flowers in some of the vintage cookbooks I have. Rose recipes are quite abundant. I think one of my favorite ways to preserve the essence of summer roses is with a Rose Bowl. In times long ago, women would gather the roses from their gardens and layer them in what were called Rose Bowls or Sweet Jars. The "jar" can be of any sort that you like. Vintage tureens make wonderful sweet jars. Here's a recipe from The Handbook of Natural Beauty by Virginia Castleton.

It looks like the Picnic Game is a go this year. I was reading the comments you left on my last post and it seems most are in favor of the playing the Picnic Game once again this year. The way I figure it, if we have problems with people claiming the letters, we might be able to double up on some. Heather, our Girli Chef has kindly offered to help promote the Picnic Game this year so I'm sure that will be a HUGE help. If you know someone/anyone you would like to have tote a goodie to the Picnic, be sure and tell them to check out my post on June 18th, International Picnic Day for the "rules" and of course to choose a letter. I too will do my best to remind those who have played before that we will be "playing" again. Kristy, can we ever forget, Kristy's Gugelhopf Twister, has also offered to help. That is a great relief to me just in case I've lost my Picnic Game organizational skills in the past 7 month blog hiatus, lol.

I would like to take a moment to thank you all for your heartfelt comments regarding my daughter Michele's chemo treatments. I'm happy to report she is still in high spirits and doing as well as can be expected. As she says, "she is taking one day at a time" and cherishing each moment with the kiddies and her husband Jason. Her friends are truly amazing and I am so thankful for them and you:) Louise

1. Top Rose from Graphics Fairy-Royalty Free Images
2. It's Only A Boob-Michele's decision