Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Few Blooms

Can you see the butterfly. I chased him around for 30 minutes and waited and waited for a perfect shot... but this is the best I could get of him. He is enjoying the milkweed.

I found myself out in the yard doing a little at a time. By the end of the weekend I had weeded both of the front garden beds and cut and manicured the plants. These photos were all taken before I finished my work.


I was thrilled when I caught the Okra Hibuscus blooming. It was a surprise since I never saw the bud there. It is blooming about 6" from the ground. Last year they were 3-4' tall. But this year I just spread the seeds plus the plant reseeded itself last year.

I love the big pom-pom like blooms on the zinnias. These are my favorites.

To my surprise I also found more snapdragons coming up from seeds I threw out in the spring. Found three blooming right here together and all three are different.

Portulaca is coming up everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I don't remember it jumping all over the place like this has. I'm happy about it though because this is such an easy plant and tolerates all of our weather challenges.

My first bloom on my hosta. It is only a few inches off the ground. I'll tell ya what - I just can't get down on the ground and get a photo without blurring. I'm too old to get down on the ground to get photos.

The shade garden is showing off now. Looks like it needs to be enlarged already. That will come next year.

This is Bill McNight Dahlia. It looks HOT.

Hope you all have a great day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Finally Rain

As much as I have whined about no rain I had to share. These clouds yielded this...

Sorry it's so dark but it got real dark. Lots of rain.

And expecting more rain today.

Hope you are having a good day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer Solstice

Happy Summer!!! The longest day of the year. Here in the south it has been summer feeling for a while now. Rain is in the forecast though for the next 5 or so days. That makes me happy. My garden hose broke last week and my plants went 7 or 8 days without water and they didn't look so good. Finally got the hose on them and they are going to make it. I didn't have time to get the camera out this morning so I have no blooms today.

Thought I'd leave ya with a poem today to welcome summer.

SUMMER

Summer season brings

Colors to the face of earth

As season's birds sings



Summer season is

Warmest of all the seasons

Weaving dreams of bliss



Season of summer

Fills heart and soul with laughter

Like blooming flower



Summer brings shimmer

By benevolence of nature

In beams of glimmer



Summer's arrival

Signals fun and festivals

And soul's revival



Summer is warmer

Shining brighter is the sun

Solace is water



Summer's diverse sounds

Is the nature's symphony

Without doubt astounds



Summer is the best

To feel the comfort of breeze

Which needs no attest



Summer is the peak

For the soul of sun to shine

And it is unique



Summer is for fun

Soaking in sweat and water

And is never done



Summer holidays

Sprinkles delight everywhere

In so many ways



Summer is the time

To think of spring and autumn

As it is sublime



by Mittur Ramprasad

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Couple of Blooms

I found a few things in the garden that wasn't burn up from the extreme heat and dry conditions. The gardens really are needing attention but this ole girl isn't feeling like giving them any lately. I'm just gonna leave ya with some pics of my flowers.










Sometimes its best to not say much... but to keep my thoughts close... going thru some stress right now.


I updated my other blog today.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Apple Blueberry Brown Betty and Tequila Lime Chicken

I have been enjoying cooking on the weekends lately. This weekend I tried a recipe I printed off of one of my favorite blogs. Sue shares recipes every week and they are so yummy.

This weekend it was the Tequila Lime Chicken. I got the chicken drunk. This is not my photo nor my plate - I borrowed it from Sue - go here - http://oodlekadoodleprimitives.blogspot.com/2011/06/things-i-miss-tequila-lime-chicken.html and check out the recipe. I promise you will love it. But let me say that I altered the spice a little reducing the amount of chile powder and cumin.



I am enjoying the recipes using blueberries this year. I found the recipe for Jays Apple Berry Brown Betty in this issue of Food Network Magazine. Those hot dogs on the cover look so yummy and that probably why I picked up this issue.... oh but then again it was just time for another mag.




Jays Apple Berry Brown Betty

1 stick unsalted butter melted divided in half
4 golden delicious apples peeled and cored and cut into pieces
2 cups blackberries or blueberries (of course I used the blueberries)
1/2 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
2 T all purp flour
6 crushed sugar cones (ice cream sugar cones)
1/2 c packed lt brown sugar
1/2 nuts
1/2 kosher salt (I didn't use since I used salted butter)
Ice Cream or Whipped topping (optional)

Preheat oven 350. Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Toss the apples, berries, granulated sugar, 1/2 t of cinnamon and 1/4 t of nutmeg, lemon zest and juice, flour and 4 T melted butter in a large bowl. Pour half of berry mixture into the buttered casserole dish. Prepare topping - combine crushed sugar cones, brown sugar, remaining cinn and nutmeg, nuts salt and remaining butter. Put half of the topping on the berries in the pan. Add remaining apple/berries and then the remainder of the topping. Bake until the apples are soft and is brown. About 40 - 45 minutes.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cottage Flora Thursdays and FF

Joining Fishtail Cottage for Cottage Flora Thursdays and Tootsie Time for Fertilizer.




Finally a cloud came up. I was watching and hoping and praying that this cloud would settle over my house for a little while and it did. We have been so dry here in the south. The governor has declared a state of emergency for the drought conditions initiating a state wide ban on burning. There have been fires due to the dry conditions.


I thought while I was watching the cloud come up that I'd take a couple of pics before the rains come and knock down the blooms. The white dianthus with the red verbena is beautiful together. Your eyes aren't bad - the photos are blurry. Don't ask me...




And then the winds came. Ya'll it is still early in evening - not dark yet but the cloud overhead made it real dark.

Darla wanted to see my butterfly lit up. Isn't it pretty.

And it rained and...

then it rained some more... I'm not complaining. 

And it rained yesterday too. When I got home yesterday I caught a few pics before it started raining again. Everything was beat down pretty good. The red verbena is laying down.

The winds beat up the larkspur. I'm still not complaining. 

I hate to hurt your eyes. This the best out of 6 pics of the tiny balloon flower. Darla sent me the seeds. This baby was hiding behind the snapdragon. It was so low to the ground I couldn't get myself down low enough to get a good pic. Sorry. These ole knees are bad and I can't stoop down.

I dashed into the rain to get this one for ya. Had to hold it's face up for the camera. Why do dahlias hang their heads so bad. This ones wet so thats the reason it's hanging its head but I've noticed that about dahlias.

I am just so thankful to receive the rain on my pretty flowers. I heard them singing when the rain fell. All the ones that lay on the ground will perk up. Thats the good thing about flowers - they take the damage and will probably be prettier next week. Its time for pruning/deadheading and fertilizing. I wouldn't dare put any fertilizer on while we were so dry.

I hope you all are having a good day and have a wonderful weekend.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Muffins/Cake

I picked some blueberries this weekend and went searching for recipes. I went to searching for a good blueberry ‘anything’ recipe. I found this one in Southern Living Annual Recipes 2009 edition. It turned out so good. The only thing I’ll do different is add more berries. The lemon adds such a nice zest and to me it says summer. I think you will be delighted when you try this. To me this is much like a crumb cake or coffee cake.






Lemon Blueberry Muffins



4 C baking mix (plus 2 TB

Baking mix, for topping)

¾ C sugar (plus 3 TB sugar for berries)

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon plus 1/8 t for topping)

¾ C Mayonnaise

½ c milk

2 large eggs

2 tsp lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)

2 TB fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)

1-1/4 fresh or frozen blueberries

1 TB butter



Preheat oven to 400. Mix the dry ingredients and remove 3 TB to be used later on the topping.

Make a well in center of dry ingredients. Add to the dry ingredients mayonnaise and the next 4 ingredients and mix until moistened. Add 1 TB sugar to the berries and stir. Fold into the mix. Spoon into greased muffin cups filling almost completely full.

Topping: stir together 3 TB of the dry sugar-baking mix you set aside earlier with 2 TB baking mix, 2 TB of sugar and 1/8 tea cinnamon and 1 TB butter. Mix together and crumble over the top. Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes. Cool for 5 – 10 min before





What I did different: I added a tiny bit more of cinnamon. An 1/8 of a tea is such a small amount . I used about 3 TB of brown sugar added to the topping mix along with about ¼ c of nuts and more butter. I use real butter too when I’m baking, anything. Use more if you like. The brown sugar gives it a little more substance to the topping. I use a non stick pan and I spray it with Pam. Could not find the muffin pan so I used a square pan. I had to bake it longer because number 1 it is in a pan and not muffins and 2 because I reduce the heat when baking in a dark color pan. I ended up baking this 9 x 9 about 38-40 min at 375.

PSSSS... It is hot where you are. We are scorching here in the south. We have set records everyday for the past week but on Saturday it reached 103. Some areas slightly warmer. Rain is scarce. This time of year I wish I lived in Alaska.

Have a good day buddies.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fertilizer Friday

I'm hooking up with Tootsie at Tootsie Time for a party today that I'm late for. http://tootsietime.com/
Hey it's Friday and I've had a bad week. I haven't had time this week to visit and having my office computer down this week sure didn't help any. I'm ready for the weekend.

I'm so proud of the Larkspur. It has really impressed me and want it in my gardens every year now. It came up easily from seed I spread in February and seems to be tolerant of our drought conditions. But I do water regularly. Speaking of watering I am draging my garden hose almost everyday for 2-3 hour run. It's so bad here. We are over 16" below our rainfall and no rain in sight unless you call 20% a rain chance. I don't. I'm whining now so I'll go on. The heat is almost unbearable. We are breaking records here with temps of 100. It's HOT girlfriends. Needless to say I haven't done any gardening lately. Mostly staying indoors with the air conditioner.

 

The bougainvillia is awesome. I love the soft pink blooms.

Jean Marie Dahlia.

I forgot to check the name of this beauty. I am in love with it. Didn't think I would like the orange but it is beautiful in person. Let me tell ya that if colors could talk this one would be saying HOT too. While many of my plants can tolerate some dry conditions the dahlias can't. Everyday they droop. I do the best I can.

Can't really garden so I added a new character to the garden. It is beautiful at night all lit up blue.

The first couple of blueberries this year. I'm keeping the huge bush/tree watered well or I wouldn't have these. I will pick a big bowl full today before they drink more water.

Yesterday I had my hair done and this was in the restroom. I had to take a picture to share. I love it.

And this is what is says. Cute. (Speaking of hanging - oh well never mind...I wear my bra a lot...just saying)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

I'm out of here in 1 hour so if I don't get by today I'll come visit you the first of the week.