Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The First Strawberries of the Season...and peonies & more roses!

It's looking like the strawberry harvest will not be as abundant as last year's, but still what a treat to have gariguettes straight from the garden and crowned with freshly whipped, sugared cream or as it's called here, crème chantilly.

To prevent the berries from getting waterlogged when washing them, rinse them before you remove the stem.

Gariquettes have the most fantastic taste and gorgeous fragrance. In addition, their 'belly button' is an outie so slicing off that end is an easy task.

The Calm One who is the official whipper of cream chez nous saved me some for topping my hot cocoa later on in the day. Though the seventy-five seed potatoes and twenty-eight tomatoes are in the ground, the melon, pepper, winter squash, cucumber, zinnia, and black-eyed Susan vine transplants not only still need to be done but done within the next week along with outdoor sowing of green beans, carrots, and beets. So I have been hitting the hot cocoa hard. You know, for stamina. Those spring winds can be quite nippy.

Peonies usually don't do that well in our garden because of the heat and lack of rain, but with this constant moisture they are luxuriant.

This variety has a fragrance reminiscent of both lilacs and roses.

The lavender in the foreground is showing a hint of colour

For cut flowers, I choose buds just beginning to open.

These were picked during a rainy twilight

The next morning, they were put into a vase and accented with fennel. Though I use this herb for pickling, I am beginning to think that its best application is in flower arranging.

They eventually will unfold their petals in the captivating way that peonies have.

The only yellow rose in our garden is Golden Showers, a climber that puts out tremendous clusters of blooms.

The purple-pink background is a mass of soapwort

The Queen Elizabeth hedge rose is reaching for the sky...

...while the calla lilies are increasing in number at its base.

A bourbon rose, Ferdinand Pichard, is just starting its first flush of blooming.

A single petaled white rose, though not a repeat bloomer, is stunning in simplicity of flower form and graceful, arching branches.

White roses amply sandwiched between glads and red roses.

A rugosa, semi-double rose, which is also not a repeat bloomer, is gorgeous because of colour changes -- the deep orange buds open into coral flowers which than fade to pink.  All the while, yellow warms the centre.

Falstaff, a David Austin climber, is finishing up its first blossoming session.

Crossroad: purple culinary sage, sweet violets, ivy, Falstaff rose, pink and white Dianthus

À la prochaine!