After breakfast this morning, I had fun taking photos in the garden and on our porch for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge. Since I take so many photographs of my flowers, I decided not to include any blooms in the challenge; but I still think that these are interesting garden shots. I hope that you do too. Have a great day!
Rarely does the Daily Prompt fit my day quite so well as today. With gentle rain showers on and off this afternoon – the kind that sinks into the soil without beating up the plants – I felt like singin’ in the rain with joy for my plants and with relief that I didn’t have to drag hoses around today. Instead, I walked around in the rain and photographed my garden. I hope that you enjoy the images!
“Secret” is one of the two hybrid tea roses that I planted in the garden this Spring. It has gorgeous, large blooms, a strong perfume, and attractive dark green foliage. I think that it makes a really nice addition to the garden.
Unfortunately, both my Secret and my Royal Amethyst – my other new hybrid tea – are suffering from some sort of stress right now, which is apparent from the yellowing of the lower leaves on both bushes. Yellow leaves can be caused by a number of different factors: over or under watering, over fertilizing, wrong soil ph, disease, pests, radiant heat, inadequate sunlight, and probably some stressors of which I am not even aware.
Nevertheless, I am optimistic that both rose bushes will be fine. Since we had a recent spike in temperatures – from the 70′s to the 90′s in just a few days – I am guessing that the heat is a factor and whenever heat is a factor so is watering. So for the next few weeks, I will watch these two carefully and feel the soil beneath the surface daily to evaluate their water needs. Over the years, I have planted and cared for about 75 roses at the different places I have lived and I have only had one die. So that is a pretty good track record … but still I have my fingers crossed! I hope to be able to give you a positive update soon.
Have a lovely weekend!
My first waitressing job was working evenings at a deli while I was in high school. Early on, I was scheduled for a Saturday morning 7 a.m. shift. Until I got on the floor to serve tables, I didn’t realize that apart from the owner who was in her office doing book work, I was the only employee working. That meant that I was cooking, serving, and busing tables … with no training on the breakfast shift. Fortunately, I knew how to cook, but I was a little flustered nevertheless. Not thinking, I served orange in a large glass of ice to one of the customers – after all, that was how I liked to drink my orange juice. Boy did he chew me out. “Who drinks orange juice with ice? What are you thinking!?” But, I still like my o.j. with ice, and Minted Orange Juice – a blend of iced mint tea and orange juice – is served just that way. This is a beverage that I came up with for serving with breakfast in heat of summer when o.j. seems a little too heavy and yet it feels too early in the day for iced tea. Enjoy!
Minted Orange Juice
6 c. cold water
1 cinnamon stick
1 c. clean fresh-picked mint leaves, plus some for garnish
12 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 – 3/4 c. sugar, or to taste
4 c. ice cubes, plus ice for serving
1. Place water and a cinnamon stick in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add mint leaves. Cover pot and steep for 15 minutes.
2. Place orange juice concentrate, 1/2 c. of the sugar, and ice cubes to a pitcher. Strain mint tea into pitcher. Stir until concentrate, sugar and ice cubes are dissolved. Taste. If desired, stir in the remaining 1/4 c. of sugar.
3. Chill until serving. Serve over ice and garnish with mint leaves.
Note: If you don’t have fresh mint, substitute 4 mint tea bags.
The other morning, I noticed some beautiful early light starting to peek through the plants, so I captured this shot of it illuminating the autumn ferns in my shade garden. It was a very quiet time of day and, I think, produced a rather peaceful image which is why I decided to share it for the Weekly Travel Theme by Where’s My Backpack?
Last summer, during the worst of the drought, I purchased a Marilyn Monroe rose at a local nursery. I knew that I couldn’t plant the bush then; but since it was on sale, and looked gorgeous in the photo on the tag, I decided to buy it and do my best to keep it alive in a pot until I could plant it in cooler weather. It took some t.l.c., but my chance paid off. In the autumn, I planted Marilyn next to my Mr. Lincoln rose, which is a tall magenta red, and that is a lovely pairing. (Unfortunately, this morning I wasn’t able to get just the shot that I wanted to demonstrate this point, but I’ll keep trying.)
This gorgeous, apricot-colored, hybrid tea rose has sturdy, substantial blooms reaching 5 to 7 inches across and is a variety known for tolerance of heat and humidity and for its disease-resistance. Its only drawbacks as far as I can tell are that its fragrance it quite light and it is rather thorny … but what a beauty!
Livin’ Easy is a floribunda rose that I planted last year; so this is its second season in my garden. Even though it has only a light fragrance, I am fond of this rose because it is vibrant and cheerful – and, of course, a pleasure to photograph. Its small, bright coral buds brushed with gold at the base, open to fluffy many-petaled roses which soften in color to a soft apricot as the 4-inch blooms fade.
Wishing you an easy and pleasant day …
Spaghetti with Asparagus & Herbs
This dish is designed to highlight the flavors of its fresh ingredients rather than overpowering them with heavy tastes. Serve for lunch or a light dinner with bread, fresh fruit and a light cheese. (Makes about 3 servings.)
12 oz. spaghetti
1 lb. fresh asparagus
2 oz. extra virgin olive oil
1 oz. white balsamic vinegar
4 fresh lemons
several twists of fresh ground green and red peppercorns
1/4 t. sea salt
1/4 c. fresh golden oregano
1 T. fresh flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 t. fresh thyme
1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water.
2. About half way through the cooking time for the spaghetti, put the asparagus on the stove to steam. Cook until crisp tender. Remove from pot then rinse asparagus with cold water and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, combine olive oil, vinegar, juice of 2 of the lemons, fresh ground pepper and salt. Set aside.
4. Submerge herbs in a bowl of cold water to remove any possible dirt or insects. Remove herbs and rinse well. Pat dry. Strip herb leaves from stems. Discard stems and any damaged leaves. If there are any thyme flowers, set them aside for garnish.
5. When the spaghetti is cooked to desired consistency, drain well. Add the olive oil mixture to the pot that the pasta was cooked in. Return spaghetti to the pan and toss with the olive oil mixture.
6. Divide spaghetti between serving bowls. Top with fresh herbs and then with asparagus. Squeeze a little more fresh lemon juice over asparagus and then grind a little more fresh pepper over dish. Garnish with thyme flowers if available. Serve immediately. Enjoy!