Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Garden Tuesday; Protecting the Carnations

Not last year but the season before, the flower garden was filled with wispy carnations. (that's them in the back:)

By the time May arrived, the Red Petit Carnations that Marion “just had to have” were in full bloom.

And the others were just brimming to pop!

So, in June, pop they did!

This year I’m not taking any chances. Between the wicked weather and that “darling” rabbit, I figured it was high time I prepared with a vengeance.

In case you don’t know, Carnations, are my very best favorite flowers. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love all the flowers in the garden and most flowers in general. However, Carnations which also go by the name Dianthus, Pinks, or Gillyflowers, are the cream of the crop for me.

I have an assortment of Carnation plants on order from White Flower Farm but they haven’t arrived yet. So, when I saw a few plants at Lowes yesterday, I “just had to have them.” I bought two:)

I know, this one looks a bit “trapped” in its wire “cage” but, I’m not taking any chances. If you look real close, you may notice I’ve also sprinkled dried jalapeños in the cage. Just in case that rabbit tries to nibble at those tasty leaves, he/she will be in for a hot surprise! Not to worry, there’s plenty of other nibbles strewn throughout the garden but the carnations are off limits! I’m not going to be able to leave those “cages” on for very long but I figure I’ll leave them protected until I get back from Idaho:)

In medieval times, cooks used Pinks as food seasoning, sometimes they made conserves, other times they candied them. The flowers were preserved, made into vinegars, syrups, cordials and wines. At times, the flowers were made into a sauce for lamb or mutton while Tansy, a sort of sweet omelet, was also colored with pinks.

To make Syrup of Clove Gillyflowers
Clip your gillyflowers, sprinkle them with fair water, put them into an earthen pot, stop them very close, set them in a kettle of boiling water, and let them boil for two hours; then strain out the juice, put a pound and a half of fine sugar to a pint of juice, put it into a preserving-pan, set it on the fire, keeping it stirring till the sugar is all melted, but do not let it boil; then set it by to cool, and bottle it. The Complete Confectioner by Hannah Glasse

I found the neatest recipe for Pink’ Pears in The Miniature Book of Flowers as Food by Jane Newdick and Mary Lawerence, that I would like to share with this Garden Tuesday.

And just in case you have an over abundance of Carnations in your garden this year, there’s always Gillyflower Wine:)

To make Gilly-flower Wine: Take two ounces of dried Gilly-flowers, and put them into a pottle of Sack, and beat three ounces of Sugar-candy, or fine Sugar, and grinde some Ambergreese, and put it in the bottle and shake it oft, then run it through a gelly bag, and give it for a great Cordial after a weeks standing or more. You may make Lavender Wine as you do this.

Want to join Garden Tuesday? Just pop on over to Pam’s!

Happy Garden Tuesday everyone. I know the weather isn’t cooperating much today. Soon…:)

1. January 29th is Carnation Day (a previous post with lots of Carnation tidbits)