Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fashionably Late

It's a busy time in the garden. My Foxglove finally bloomed - planted her last year and had to wait until this week for the show.
Foxglove, you were so worth the wait. Please fell free to scatter your seeds so I can enjoy these beautiful pink bells for many years to come.

And just when I'm feeling pretty good about my green thumb, my sunflower plant does this:
Sunflower, you suck at life. A squirrel eats one of your blooms and then you just give up. Why can't you be more like Coreopsis?
Elsewhere in the garden, Jackson admired the new rose bed:
I'm digging up a corner of the lawn to make more room for roses. That's "Quietness" and "Aunt Honey", both Buck shrub roses. (You can also see our new rain barrel.) Eventually this entire corner will be a flower bed - probably for more roses and hydrangeas. Aren't hydrangeas the best?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jam Session

I wanted make jam on my day off. Then I found out I would need a bunch of canning equipment I don't want to buy right now (save that for blueberry season). So I decided on freezer jam - totally simple, and I figured there's no way I can screw this up.

Strawberry Freezer Jam
2 cups strawberries, hulled and mashed
1 packet Ball Freezer Jam Pectin
1 1/2 cups sugar

Mix sugar and pectin. Add strawberries and mix 3 minutes. Ladel into 8-oz. jars. Let stand 30 minutes. Refrigerate some (use within 3 weeks) and freeze the rest (use within 1 year).

Easy and delicious - the most time consuming part is washing the strawberries. This is basically the recipe straight from the pectin packet, although it says 2 cups mashed strawberries = 4 1-lb. packages. No way - I actually managed to get 7 1/2 cups from 4 packages, and I ate a few, too.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Can you hear it? Off in the distance, what is that? It sounds like ... drums? He, he, he...

"Distant Drums" is pretty much perfection right about now. It currently has two of the biggest, most colorful, delicious smelling blooms. When they first started to open, the sweetness was so concentrated they smelled like candy. Mmmmm.....

"Honeysweet", on the other hand, isn't feeling so well. The canes have some pretty bad winter damage and a lot of the leaves are looking a little ragged. I pruned her back pretty hard this week.

It just so happens that this weekend at Great Lakes Roses, Roger Lindley gave a talk on Insect and Disease Control. Swell! So I chopped off a few sickly leaves and headed down, hoping he wouldn't tell me my rose is doomed. Diagnosis = rose slugs. No big whoop.

I managed to exercise a bit of self control this time and didn't come home with any new roses (unlike a few weeks ago, after the Buck Roses talk when "Quietness" and "Aunt Honey" managed to jump into my car). I did spot some new roses to add to my wish list - "Iobelle", another Buck rose, and "Fireglow", a Canadian Parkland (Morden) rose. Dare to dream.