Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Garden Walk ~ Say Goodbye to July

Today was the kind of Washington day that makes up for all of the cruddy weather we've had the rest of the year. Deluxe is what we call it at our house! The day started a little overcast but soon enough the blue sky broke through and it stayed in the 70s all day.

The plants are all pretty happy right about now

I started very few annuals from seed this year and this convolvulus was one of them.

This abutilon spent the winter in the garage and is finally blooming! Yayy!

The butterflies, hummies, bees and who knows what else is really enjoying the butterfly bush this year. Its gotten so big and heavy, it will need a serious trim at the end of the year or it may just prune itself during the wind storms we have in November.

My crocosmia is just starting, but it seems a little sparse this year. I may have gotten rip out happy when I was doing spring cleaning!

My hydrangea at the back patio door is beginning to bloom and it has a neat blue purple color

Around on the other side i get pure blue

I just love the way the bee balm mixes with the hydrangea to make a patriotic little corner in my yard. I always say I'm going to pull the bee balm out because its in a place that's not really suited for it, but it seems happy enough!

Here's a shot from farther back

After our long wet start to summer the veggie garden is finally settling in. I have tomatoes coming! These are San Marzano which is a famous Italian plum variety. I was suprised to see how many I'm going to have since its not a cool weather type.

Have you heard about this new miracle variety of corn that grows full sized ears on plants only 2 feet tall??

OKAY OKAY I LIE...its really just our puny corn already starting to tassel. Whatever corn we do get is going to be just as puny as the plants, I predict. To make myself feel better about our veggie garden short comings I intermingle flowers with the veggie wannabes.

This is another bloom in the veggie garden that I didn't really plan on, but I don't have the heart to rip it out. I planted escarole this year ~ too much for just me~ so some of it started blooming. And what a pretty little scallop petaled bloom it has!

I made a small harvest while I was poking around the garden..mostly herbs, but I do have a couple of handfuls of green beans & some onions in there. Keep reading for a cute little appetizer recipe using those nasturtium flowers.

The tall phlox is really starting its show now

As most of the daylilies are seeing their final days

They have really done well this year

Randy did some pruning of the wedding arbor today and Super Fairy is looking super once again!

I bought a couple of more delphiniums because I feel like I don't have enough and they are beginning to bloom.

I really am lucky to live in a place that has so many things blooming in the midst of summer. From primroses - silly thing

To fuchsia

To Raspberries

And Sunflowers....we pretty much have the gamut covered

Its a great time to sit outside for a little late breakfast. This morning I had fresh Alaskan smoked salmon on bagels, with dill from my garden. Fresh (from the farmer's market) tomatoes and a side of local blueberries and raspberries from my yard drizzled with Greek yogurt sweetened and flavored with brown sugar and a squirt of lemon juice.

Do you see the plate? I have been looking for some like them for ages. They are a knock off of some more expensive plates from Horchows, but shhh..nobody will know. I found them at TJ Maxx along with some red ones. I wanted 4 but couldn't decide which color to buy, so I went with two of each lol. Now if only I could find some purple ones like my friend Kathleen has (only hers are the genuine article).

For snack time we had blueberry streusel muffins that I made a couple of days ago. I made a mistake at the grocery store and bought white wheat instead of regular all purpose flour. I used it anyways in this recipe because its all I had and it really ended up in this case to be a happy mistake because it gave the muffins a great graham flavor. Please pardon the Valentines papers...its all I could find in my pantry!

Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping

From a cute blog called Dianasaur Dishes

makes 6 large muffins


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
about 1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
2 TBS white sugar
2 TBS brown sugar
3 TBS cup all-purpose flour
3 TBS butter, cubed and softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or line with muffin cups.

Mix the muffin dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder) in a large bowl. In a glass measuring cup, pour in the 1/3 cup oil. Add an egg and then pour in enough milk to make a full cup of liquid ingredients.

Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well. Carefully fold blueberries into mix and spoon into muffin cups.

Mix topping ingredients together with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the muffin batter.

Bake about 25 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in one comes out clean.


Okay remember those nasturtium blooms? I was thinking of making nasturtium butter, but this appetizer recipe caught my eye as I was surfing recipes on the internet. I skipped the jicama, but they would be neat little canapes for an outside party in the summer. And any excuse to make and eat guacamole sounds like a good deal to me.

Nasturtiums Filled with Guacamole
(could we maybe come up with a more original name?)

Found on this blog devoted to Nasturtiums, but the original source is cited below the recipe.

1 large avocado, preferably a Hass avocado

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 small ripe tomato, very finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely minced onion

1 jalapeno or serrano chili, seeded, finely minced

1 small clove garlic, finely minced


About 20 nasturtium blossoms

1 small jicama

Lime juice

Peel avocado and remove pit. Mash avocado with a fork and add 2 teaspoons lime juice. Blend in tomato, onion, chili and garlic. Add salt to taste. Let stand, covered, while preparing the nasturtiums and jicama.

Rinse nasturtiums carefully and pat them dry. Peel the jicama and slice it about ¼ inch thick. Cut slices into pieces about 2 by 2 inches, large enough to accommodate a nasturtium filled with guacamole. Squeeze a little lime juice over the jicama slices.

The guacamole, flowers and jicama can be kept for a few hours in the refrigerator before assembling.

When ready to assemble, hold flower at the base and use a teaspoon to fill with guacamole. Set each filled flower on a slice of jicama and arrange on a serving platter.

Serve immediately.

— From “Flowers in the Kitchen” by Susan Belsinger (Interweave Press, 1991), available at the Richland County Public Library


chocoholic said...

Such pretty flowers!

Terri said...

LOVE the photos but the nasturium appetizer looks awesome!

Heather said...

Hi Suzy - your blooms look gorgeous and your garden looks fabulous! Isn't that blue one chicory? It looks like our wildflower chicory I posted about here:

Katerina said...

I loved your flowers and garden. I can only imagine how much work is behind them. Also, your muffins look fluffy and tasty.

One said...

Hi Suzy, What a lovely garden!!! Will surely visit again.

Debbie said...

Your gardens are amazing! Thank you for taking us on a morning walk with you.
This is a great post! the flowers, veggies, recipes, etc. You did a great job of putting this all together!
Happy Sunday!!!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Your yard looks great-Happy August!

Greenearth said...

What a beautiful garden and just loved the recipes. What an exciting idea to use the nasturtiums flowers in that way. Look forward to trying out this wonderful recipe next time I entertain.

Marsha said...

Oh how I enjoyed this garden walk. Your flowers are doing so well, I especially love your roses and the convolvulus. I am putting it on my wish list for next year :)

The recipes all sound fantastic - wish I had planted nasturiums this year.

Kathleen said...

Your gardens are beautiful, and you have such a vast variety! It was a lovely garden walk!

Dishesdone said...

Thanks for the Garden walk, I enjoyed all your beautiful flowers, so colorful! Beautiful, Suzy, they are all so pretty!

and cool that you got to eat some of them :) Looks good, guac in a nasturtium!

Sweet and Savory said...

Beautiful flowers and beautiful recipes.

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