A Wedding in Oranges

We hosted a charming wedding at Bed & Breakfast yesterday. There was quite a bit to do to get ready and so, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to photograph the cake or the bride’s bouquet. I did take a few photos of some of the other flowers today, though. The bride loves orange, especially orange daisies. So I made her bouquet with four styles of orange gerbera daisies along with coppery-pink florists roses and peach-colored spray roses. The textures and colors were so cheerful that I used the same assortment of flowers to decorate the cake. We at The Morning Star wish the bride and groom a very happy future together!





Black Tea “Sangria”

We served wine and cocktails on Thanksgiving, but I wanted to be sure that we had a special non-alcoholic drink as well. Inspired by a “mocktail” that I came across recently, I created this Black Tea “Sangria” which uses chilled black tea in place of wine. It turned out quite well. Even though Thanksgiving is over, I thought that I would share this easy recipe because it could be served at any holiday party. It is very festive. Enjoy!

Black Tea Sangria

(approximate measurements)

6 c. cold water

4 black tea bags*

1/2 c. sugar

4 1/2  c. pomegranate juice**

2 1/2  c. orange juice

Orange, lemon, and/or apple slices

1. In a medium-size pot, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea bags, and cover with a lid. Allow tea to steep for about 15 minutes. Remove tea bags. Stir in sugar until completely dissolved. Allow to cool.

2. Pour cooled tea into a pitcher. Stir in fruit juices. Refrigerate for several hours to overnight. Add fruit slices an hour before serving and continue to chill. If desired, garnish with additional fruit when serving.

* I used black tea with cinnamon. If using plain black tea, one could add a cinnamon stick while it is steeping.

** If pure pomegranate juice is not available, a pomegranate juice blend, or even a cranberry juice blend, would also work well in this recipe.

Orange on the Block

Looking for early signs of autumn, I decided to photograph the color orange in our neighborhood. It turns out that it was mostly in our own front yard.

Our neighbor’s crabapple tree with the tiniest fruit …

Miniature rose recovering from the summer’s heat by producing a perfectly formed little bud …
Oakleaf hydrangea foliage starting to turn …

Rust-colored chrysanthemums …

“Living Easy” rose, vibrant as ever …

Our new sign …

Leaves from our Linden tree, fallen before fulling turning …

Pyracantha berries across the street …

Early pumpkins …

But don’t let me rush things!


I’ve Been Inspired by … Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea is rather exotic for this part of the country.  So before now, I have not tried growing it in Kansas. Through her gorgeous photographs of these plants, Sofi from Arabica really got me thinking about how much I miss tropical bougainvilleas. When I lived in California, I loved seeing these colorful plants climbing in all kinds of places. So last week I purchased a petite specimen called Bengal Orange at one of our local garden centers. Bengal Orange supposedly only gets to be 18 inches tall but  can grow up to 8 feet wide. I planted it in a terra cotta pot and am going to try to train it to grow along our “back porch” – a tiny space off my office where I do container gardening. The bougainvillea is a bright and cheerful addition. Thank you Sofi for the inspiration! I’ve since come across several other posts about bougainvilleas that I have “liked”: Smell the Flowers, Ramblings by Robin ScanlonGardening in the Lines, and The Make Shoppe. Here are a few photos of Bengal Orange. Oh, and since pretty Penny was keeping me company while I planted it, I had to include a picture of her too.