A Fragrant Rose

Working in the garden this morning, I was so pleased with all of the lovely fragrance lofting through the air.

RoseMemorialDaySpots

“Memorial Day” rose, is just on of my fragrant roses. Can’t you almost see it dripping with perfume-scent?

Have a lovely evening!

Happy Graduation Weekend

This is graduation weekend at Kansas State University. My Siberian irises are heralding the occasion by being in full bloom. (K-State’s colors are purple and white, so I have plenty of these colors in our May garden.)

Siberia Iris2016

Congratulations, to the graduates and to their families!

A Few Irises

I love it when our irises are in bloom … and so do our guests. The garden is such a wonderful conversation starter!

ThornbirdIris

The lovelies above are Thornbird Irises. I chose them for our garden because, despite being a modern iris, I thought that they had a beautiful old-fashioned look to go with our historic home.

The beautiful irises below are ones that I call “Happy Accidents in Peach” because I do not know their true names. They were supposed to be a spotted purple variety, but I adore these, though they are nothing like what I thought I was planting.

IrisOrange2016

As always, wishing you a very lovely day …

Iris in the Breeze

Iris season is a special time in our garden. We have about 150 early-mid season irises blooming right now in shades of deep burgundy, vibrant purple, and pure white lining the front walkway and adding sweet scent to the air.  Soon will come the pinks, the mauves and the beiges just around the time that the rose bushes start to bloom and then the spring garden will be in full swing.

IrisPurpleArtisticCloseup

Wishing you a most lovely day!

Past iris posts & photos:

Irises and Roses

Late Season Irises

Mid Season Irises

A Bounty of Irises

Irises in the Morning Light

May Showers, May Flowers

Abbey’s Rose

Nature can be a crazy, beautiful thing. As amazing as it is, I still have one rose blooming in the garden – in December, a week after an ice storm.

RoseForAbbey

This is a delicate miniature rose that a friend gave to us as a memorial to our Boston Terrier Abbey after “Abbs” passed away in the summer of 2014.  I thought that I had lost it last spring when it didn’t come out of dormancy with our other roses; but I dug it up and put it in a pot, hoping that it would come back. Here “she” is, still blooming.

I am thinking that maybe I will bring the pot inside for the winter to see whether I can keep Abbey’s rose alive, since I have never successfully overwintered a potted rose outside. (I purchased roses in pots during winter months and transplanted them outside in the late spring, but have never gone in the other direction.)

In the meantime, on this December day, I am delighted to see Abbey’s rose and to think of our sweet girl.

Thankful Past Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is over and December is here, so it is time to pack away the pilgrims and the pumpkins for another year and start preparing for Christmas festivities. We had a truly delightful extended family spend their Thanksgiving with us at The Morning Star – a family that we have know through the bed and breakfast for about 15 years. For them, and for the many, many wonderful guests that we have had stay at the B&B over the last 19 years, we are thankful.

ThanksgivingPilgrims

 

Wishing you the best as this holiday season continues …

An Icy Day

With the freezing rain that we have had over the last 24 hours, it is a good day to stay inside, have a warm drink and read a book … or go outside and take pictures in the garden for a wee bit first if you are someone like me! These are quite a contrast from the photos that I took just 12 days ago. It is so dreary out today that I had to use a flash to get a few of the shots, something that I almost never do outside.

IceOnMarilynRose

IceStormHouseNov2015

IceEastSideNovember2015

IceOnMagentaRose

IceOnLion

IceOnViburnum

IceOnCrapeMyrtle

IceOnCrapeMyrtleBerries

IceOnPumpkin

IceOnSandCherry2

 

IceOnViburnumLeaves

IceOnBeautyBerries

Wishing you a warm and lovely day … and safe travels to anyone out on the road in this area today!

 

Orange Carrot Soup

A light, but flavorful and warming soup to start your new year!

OrangeCarrotSoup

Orange Carrot Soup

4-6 Servings

Ingredients

3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 c. diced yellow onion

salt

fresh ground pepper

2 T. semi-dry white wine, divided

4 c. diced, peeled carrots

2 t. smoked paprika

1 t. ground cinnamon

4 c. vegetable (or chicken) broth or bouillon*, divided

3 T. honey, divided

1 – 1 1/4 c. fresh-squeezed orange juice, to taste

zest from one of the oranges (use a course-textured zester)

croutons or Greek yogurt, optional

*I use 2 “Not-Chick’n” bouillon cubes dissolved in 4 c. boiling water. “Not-Chick’n” can be found in the organic foods section of many grocery stores.

Directions

  1. Place 1 T. of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion, a dash of salt, a twist of fresh ground pepper, and about 1 T. of the wine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is crisp-tender and translucent. Transfer to a stock pot.
  2. Place remaining 2 T. of the olive oil in the large skillet. Add carrots, paprika and cinnamon. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Transfer to the stock pot containing the onions.
  3. Add enough of the broth to the stock pot to almost cover carrots. Stir. Cover and cook over medium heat until carrots are tender enough to purée but are not mushy, about 15 minutes. Stir in 2 T. of the honey.
  4. Purée mixture with a stick blender – or transfer mixture to a food processor or blender to purée until almost perfectly smooth, then transfer mixture back to stock pot.
  5. Stir orange juice and remaining 1 T. of wine into carrot mixture, then thin soup to desired consistency with the remaining broth. Stir in orange zest. Taste. If necessary adjust flavor using honey, wine, orange juice, or salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for about 10 more minutes before serving to blend flavors.
  6. Stir soup before serving. Serve in small cups as a starter or light lunch – or in soup bowls for a heavier meal. If desired, garnish with croutons or a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Enjoy! Happy New Year!

Vintage Christmas Memories

My grandparent’s aluminum Christmas tree … sparkling with decades of happy Christmas memories.

AluminumTreeDetail

SantaOfAlumTree

Aluminum Christmas trees were popular in the U.S. in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, but lost popularity after “A Charlie Brown Christmas” aired in 1965 and they were touted as being symbolic of the commercialization of Christmas. But for many of us who grew up with them, they are cherished reminders of times past.

Sunflowers for A Winter Wedding

We hosted a warm and happy wedding at The Morning Star yesterday. Despite the gray skies, the couple’s choice of sunflowers for a wedding theme made everything glow, and with the fire burning it was cozy and warm inside.

SunflowerBouquet

More photos at Morning Star Weddings.

Congratulations to Alex and Emmalie!