Hot Pink Rose, Harvested for Petals

Gardening

This hot pink rose unexpectedly bloomed in my garden this year. I expected it to take a bit more time establishing itself, as it was placed near some tough competition. I picked the fragrant, hot-pink bloom to dry the petals so that I can try drinking rose petal tea!

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Can you spot the yarrow leaf in the background?

Pea Blossoms

Gardening

The peas were productive this year, much better than last year when they were eaten by beetles down to the stems. I think it worked better this year because the plants were spaced further apart. These peas came from seeds I was lucky enough to get on clearance last fall, and despite this, they managed to germinate at a decent rate. The blossoms are bright white and the peas are the variety you have to take out of the pod to eat.

Cactus Blooms

Gardening

I repotted a broken-off segment of my christmas cactus early in the spring. This must have confused it somehow, because it bloomed in the summer!

The flowers are this hot pink-red color. They don’t have much fragrance, but are certainly beautiful to look at!

Each flower lasts a few days before dropping off. There were a large number of flower buds on this house plant.

Fragrant Valerian Flowers

Gardening

Valerian, an herb mentioned by the ancient Greeks, is generally grown for the root part, but the Victorians knew that it smells amazing and used the flowers in their perfumes. These little, white flowers fill the entire garden with their fragrance! I know they’re blooming just by stepping out the back door. If you are in the US, make sure you clip them before the seeds form to prevent them spreading where you don’t want them, as they’re not a native plant.

Chive Blossom Butter

Cooking and Household, Gardening

When the purple chives bloom, I love harvesting the flowers to make chive blossom butter. A handful of chive flowers, their green parts removed and their flowers separated into little bits, plus a softened stick of butter, gently folded together while taking care not to crush the flowers. Plop the butter mixture onto some wax paper, form a stick, then chill until solid again. Delicious on homemade bread!

Delicious Dandelion and Violet Salad from Garden Weeds

Cooking and Household, Gardening

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Not all weeds are unwanted. Some are delicious. I use dandelion and violet flowers in my cooking when they are available. I use some caution with harvesting violets, for while they are common and easy to find, I want them to stay in my garden and become even more numerous. I only harvest a small amount of violet leaves or flowers at a time, and I take extra care to spread the harvest across the entire garden so I don’t wipe out one plant. With dandelions, I am far less careful. I can pick all of the dandelion flowers and find more again tomorrow. I think my neighbors would prefer that I pick as many of my dandelions as I can.

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I believe that part of making a tasty meal is making it look appealing. This salad consists of dandelion flowers, violet flowers, and spinach all from my garden, and also some carrots and button mushrooms from the fridge. It tasted great with a light Italian dressing I already had in the fridge. Yum!