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Archive for the ‘Flowers’ Category

The first frost has come and gone. It’s appearance was welcome and brief, the garden left undamaged. The pace of growth slows and mornings are chilly. Hitty Anne Sabine recorded one of the last blossoms on the Purple Sweet Potatoes. They had bloomed beautifully, albeit elusively, throughout the season, with dark violet throats fading to palest lavender.

Tater Crop 1

The sweet potatoes were an experiment, grown in bags, raised from slips, inspired by the North Country Hittys; encouraged by Miss Belvia at Aunt Katie’s Community Garden and the good folks at the Living Tree.

Tater Crop 2

It is a minimal harvest, but a successful experiment – enough for a jolly supper for the Gardeners, Guests and very small dolls. The potatoes must cure unwashed for a time, but even with the dirt, aren’t they are a lovely color?

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Yorick, between engagements, is always eager to be of assistance, even in the Costume Shop…er, sewing room. Helping hands he cannot provide, but today his discerning eye and impeccable good taste compelled him to give a nod of approval to Agapanthus’s selection of silk flowers for seasonal floral crowns intended for two Little Girls.

Flower Crown

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~~~Like a hell-broth boil and bubble~~~

Macbeth Act 4, Scene 1

Not altogether weird, but definitely sisters, Hedydd and Panthy got up to a bit of brewing in kitchen, preparing for the possibility of a sniffle this rainy summer. A fire-cider is not too different than the old family cure-all, hot lemonade – a great deal more chopping and many more ingredients, however. The kitchen smelled as aromatically, even if a bit heavy on the garlic…and really, is that a bad thing?

Fire 7

The rosemary fresh from the garden was fragrant, but the jalapeños made even painted eyes water, poor Hedydd!

Fire 8

Layers of horseradish, onion, garlic, turmeric, jalapeño and ginger.

Topped with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, the cider must mature for a month in a cool place. Fingers inadvertently dipped while adjusting layers and sampled afterward found the concoction already bright and tasty.

Fire Cider 6

It’ll cure what ails you, no doubt.

 

The Wiregrass Hitties and Mad for the Farthing Crowd tried this recipe for their first brewing of Fire Cider:

https://www.mommypotamus.com/fire-cider-recipe/

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They begin arriving, so it seems, the very day after Christmas. Every year. Relentlessly. Full of temptations no gardener or hope-to-be gardener can possibly resist. Before the last gasp of an Alabama winter, the stacks pile up on the odd counter or coffee table. If hidden, they call to you in an achingly sweet chorus, fluttering their gaily colored pages, making impossible promises, weaving dreams too fantastical to utter aloud.

“Horticultural Materials or the Seduction of the Seed Catalog”

botanical-materials

Paisley dog-ears the page, marking the choice of Green Wizards for this year’s garden.

No one is immune to the appeal, least of all the Mad for the Farthing Crowd. Since they share the same sort of vascular system as do these beauties, one can understand the draw. And all the dollies love pretty flowers.  However, they do feel that these seedy snares ought arrive in plain brown wrappers. Recycled plain brown wrappers, of course.

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Three or four days of genuine Winter had caused modest consternation in the garden. The Lavender and the Pineberries had relocated to the front porch, where the brick wall, soaking up sun during the afternoon, could then release the necessary warmth during the frigid nights. In the evening, the pots and boxes were gently tucked in, every care being taken to secure their safety until the temperature had risen in the morning to above freezing.

berry-white

“Your Sweetness Is My Weakness”

The Pineberries appeared to have enjoyed all the attention. They began producing fat berries, flourishing as the weather warmed. Hitty Hedydd thought it prudent to document this fruity phenomenon before the Mockingbirds, never ones to miss an opportunity, took advantage of this January surprise.

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If that is how God clothes the grass of the field,which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? 

                                                                                       Matthew 6:30

On the north side of the gray house lie both Nathaniel’s Bower and the “Oh, Ye of Little Faith” Garden. Nathaniel’s Bower hosts the fig trees, already sleepily shedding their leaves as days grow shorter.  In contrast, the “Oh, Ye” Garden is full of life; home, at the moment, to the ridiculously tall and spindly coreopsis, some of them eight feet tall! The Hittys love to lounge in the window that overlooks the garden, especially during Autumn, watching as fat bumble bees, migrating butterflies and jeweled hummingbirds zip, flutter and dart among the brilliant orange blossoms.  Snip thinks rambling through the flowers is even better.

tickweed

Tiptoe through the tickweed…

The dollies also enjoy the gentle taunts and jabs of the neglectful gardener crowing that the “weeds” had once again blossomed, as predicted, despite the faithlessness of others ready to wreak havoc with their rakes and hoes.

The garden had evolved, slowly, over several years from a tidy garlic, basil and pepper patch to this wild, neighbor-provoking tangle. With a handful of wildflower seeds, waves of poppies, cosmos, sunflowers and now, tickweed had graced the garden, providing nourishment for travelers and entertainment for the residents.

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“…most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath”

A  Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 4, Scene 2

chive-talkin

 The “live and let live” garlic chives spread their cheer copiously throughout the garden. It is hard to uproot something that volunteers such a pretty flower, even if its fragrance is not as sweet as some might like, so the plants are left to sprout where they may, and year after year, surprises are found…and cherished.

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