Posts Tagged With: flowers

Wordless Wednesday – From the Garden

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Wordless Wednesday – Dreaming of Spring

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A Toast to Summer

The summer solstice has finally arrived, lagging a few weeks behind the blazing heat this year.  The good news is that the abundant sunshine and warmth have the garden in full bloom ahead of schedule.  The small storage space where my water heater lives is doing double duty as an herb drying cabinet and is already full of fragrant bundles of chamomile, mint, rosemary, thyme, and sage.

To celebrate the official arrival of summer, I’ve brewed up a pitcher of fresh herbal iced tea.  There’s something wonderfully magical about being able to walk through your own garden and pick fresh ingredients to suit your own tastes. Since I can’t share a glass with you, I can at least share my recipe.  Have a blessed Solstice and wonderful summer!

Solstice Celebration Tea

1/4 cup fresh chamomile flowers
1 small sprig peppermint
3 leaves lemon balm
1 stevia leaf
water

Bring two cups of  water to a boil.  Rinse other ingredients in cold running water and place in a large mug or bowl.  Cover with boiling water and let steep at least ten minutes.  Strain the tea and dilute with additional cold water until desired taste is obtained.  This tea will be light with lots of floral notes punctuated by the cool mint and a hint of citrus flavor.

A note on sweetness: You can add additional stevia leaves if you prefer a sweeter tea or use a stevia based sweetener.  If you prefer cane sugar, you can add to taste while the tea is still hot (or use a simple syrup to sweeten).  Honey can also be used.

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Creative Weather?

After a weekend of non-stop rain, it began to snow, then rain again, then a mix of snow, sleet, and rain, and finally several inches of snow. The temperatures plummeted, turning puddles of mud and water into miniature skating rinks. Like most of the Southeast, things came to a virtual standstill, giving yours truly a desperately needed Monday off my less-than-creative day job. It was the kind of winter wonderland that helped drive me south, far from the Midwestern winters that I so despise.

Mother Nature, being the single greatest creative force in the universe, has decided that she’d mess with our collective heads again. After plunging us into an frozen Arctic hell last weekend, she has given us a meteorological apology in the form of stunningly gorgeous weather this weekend. Yesterday, the sky was clear and Carolina blue with temperatures in the upper 70’s. Plants that were screaming in frozen agony last week and trying to rebury themselves into the ground are happy again. The first of my 45-odd crocus bulbs flowered this week, giving me the chance to grab my camera and share with everyone the first of this year’s garden glory.

It should come as no surprise to me that Mother Nature is capable of creative, if not maddening, displays of climate. She is my source of so much inspiration and it makes me wonder what will come next weekend… typhoons? tornadoes? water spouts? the next Ice Age? Raining frogs? What I’m sure we won’t have is another weekend of unseasonable warmth, but one can dream.

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An Antidote for Winter

I’m not a big fan of wintertime. I don’t mind a nice layer of snow on a nice sunny, crisp day. What we have here at the moment is cool, damp muck punctuated by periods of rain and high winds. To borrow a phrase from my favorite four-year-old, it’s “icky-poo” outside. So I’m giving everyone an antidote for the grey humdrum weather, a close-up of the very last autumn pansy from my yard. Sigh… if anyone needs me, I’ll be out in the yard under an umbrella, looking for the first signs of croci and spring.
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