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Archive for June, 2013

There are a few constants about what we love best from the garden. 

peas, June 2013

peas, June 2013

One, of course, is tomatoes, but the other is peas. Last year was the first time I tried putting some in. To keep them from being grazed, they went into the spare half-barrels and as well as next to the sorrels. Two of the vintage, barrel hoops were put in, so they have something to climb. If they get too overgrown then we’ll just have to prune back the greens. (which are extremely tasty when steamed with a bit of garlic, so I’m somewhat hopeful that they’ll need to be cut ) They need a fair bit of watering, to keep the production up, but, if we’re lucky, things won’t be as dry this year and the rain-barrels will keep getting re-filled often.

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Quite frequently, over the winter, I kept hearing about lavender shortbread.

lavender shortbread

lavender shortbread

Lavender was one of those plants that I’d always heard was hard to grow, but it’s always done well on the property here and we have quite a bit of it. Since we don’t usually bother to dry any of the lavender bounty, I had to wait until ours had started to bloom to give it a try. Yesterday, I made our first batch. I already had an excellent basic shortbread recipe, but checked around to see what the typical amounts to add were. After some consideration, I went with a mix of fresh flowers and a small amount of leaves, finely chopped. Considering the strength of the lavender, and the delicacy of shortbread, I opted to go with significantly less than most of the recipes called for. I ended up with something close to 1 teaspoon of flowers/leaves, for the standard batch. (vs. the 1-2 tablespoons I had seen) For our palates, that was the perfect amount. There is a light fragrance to each bite, but it isn’t overpowering and you can still taste the butteriness of the base. We were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked them and the recipe has gone into the “keeper” file! (and I’ll have to remember to dry some sprigs, to keep us supplied for the winter)

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While we’ve been working on the grounds of the store, we’ve also been planting around the house.

tree peony, June 2013

tree peony, June 2013

One of the long term projects is to get rid of all the lawn in the front. It has a pretty, metal fence around it and we’re going for the English country style garden, inside. A couple of years ago we put in a small tree peony. As is typically for all peonies, it sulked for a while, but has finally decided that it is going to flower this year. This is the first flower and while it’s bigger than the other peonies, it’s not quite a big as I’ve seen from other fully established tree peonies. There is one other bud, but it looks like it will be a bit smaller. Overall, we’re pleased to see it in flower, but are looking forward to it being a bit bigger and, hopefully, producing the dinner plate sized flowers that are expected from the tree peonies.

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