Thursday, April 26, 2012

Roses of Yesterday and Today

This was the title of a fabulous catalog of Old Fashioned Roses from California - one that I used to order from every year to add one or two fragrant species to my garden. Im thinking that it could also be a title for a chapter in my own garden story - as so many of the roses I have planted, tended and loved are now truly "Roses of Yesterday".   

William Baffin once made quite a splash on the arbor. I cut him back two years ago when he seemed hopelessly riddled with fungus and disease, and I do believe he is trying to make a comeback this year.

Too many to count,  I remember most fondly a pale pink Moss Rose with a fragrance like sweet clove that once rested against the white fence , and of course Constance Spry, the very first David Austin rose,  that I saw climbing robustly in nearly every garden on a trip through  England.

 My "Constance" embraced the post of a dovecote  in my garden for years, but finally decided she was done living with me abut 3 years ago. A very vigorous Honeysuckle has since  taken her place.

Missing Constance,  I ordered a new one last spring,  and she is settling in a little reluctantly I think. We shall see . . .

Roses before Peonies? 

The star Rose in my garden today is this Rosa Rugosa  "Belle Poitevine". She is blooming as never before, and in April ! She is said to be from Bruant , France, 1894, and of unknown parentage - how romantic is that?

Speaking of unknown parentage - this white rose has been with me for about 20 years and continues to thrive, growing to over  8 feet tall if I let it . I have forgotten the name, and while most years it resembles a very large bush sporting hundreds of wads of  limp wet white tissues, this year it looks like it has real roses!  Hooray !

I'm harvesting petals every day for potpourri , the most deliciously fragrant chore you can imagine.
It started out as a way to keep ahead of the soon to emerge Japanese beetles, clipping the open blossoms each morning, when I realized  that the more flowers I clipped, the more bloomed the next day. 

I did get a bit of a scolding yesterday from a very busy little bee - one of many that are every bit as happy as I am with these voluptous pink blooms.

The petals are drying in the loft, filling the old barn with their perfume. When dry, they will join a sweet symphony 
of other herbs and spices in a Potpourri to enjoy for years to come.  
 A perfect way to make the Roses of Yesterday remain The Roses of Today.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Egg and I

Every Spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment - Ellis Peters

Which came first? The chicken or the Egg?

Every - bunny is into eggs this time of year - the symbol of new life, and  a most important element in our Easter celebration. But the best thing about eggs is eating them. 
 The egg is on my top 10 list of favorite foods.

Poached or soft boiled, the creamy whites and bright yellow yolks need only a slight sprinkle of salt and pepper to accent their delicious flavor.

 As soon as the chives poke their tender green shoots 
through the warm soil, 
I know its time to scramble some eggs for lunch. 
Adding the newly green leaves of lemon thyme
 make it better yet.

Egg cups are perfect holders for 
seedlings of chives and cress.
Plant the seeds right in the egg shell.

Of course, you can also use an egg cup for it's intended purpose, to hold and serve your soft boiled egg -  this little knitted chicken will keep it cozy and warm while you butter the toast.

The baskets are ready for the Easter Egg Hunt. 
They wont be empty much longer

The hunters have assembled and are ready to go . . .

With the egg tree in the center, the children's table is set for
 Easter Brunch. Individual egg cups are planted with grass to hold the carrot place tags, and the Peter Rabbit china sits on egg-shaped place mats. That egg hunt has stirred up quite an appetite - lets eat!