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?

Mint Harvest

Gardening

I give my mint patch a hard pruning every midsummer, and sometimes another in late summer or early fall to keep it under control. Unchecked, mint can become invasive in North America as it easily crowds out all other plants that may try to grow. Luckily, mint makes lovely tea and mintcakes! I harvest bundles and dry them in a dark room, then I strip the leaves from the stems and store them in a jar for cooking and tea the rest of the year. It’s important to label all your jars with the ingredient and the harvest date so that you don’t let anything go to waste.

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I can taste it already! No, really, there were many more of these bundles unpictured and now my hands and my home all smells strongly of delicious mint!

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.