Apr 29, 2015

Bellevue Botanical Gardens...

Bellevue Botanical Gardens
is one on my favorite places to
spend an afternoon...
 
 
it is a free public garden,
with self guided tours...


 



I never fail to find something
new to me...
 
which is fun
because in the gift shop
they always have a few plants for sale...
 


 
mixed in with the new to me plants
 
are the favorites...
 




after seeing the Pink Lilac,
I know I must find a place in my garden
 for one or two...
 

 
the plants I really hoped to find in the shop
were these Fringed Primula...
 
I didn't have any luck
this time...
 




a big Tree Peony...
 


 
in bright yellow...
 


and a couple Herbaceous Peonies...
 
like this softer yellow...
 

 
and this deep red...
 

 
Rhododendron is our state flower
here in Washington State...
 
and a common sight...
 

 
I hope you had a lovely time
on my little tour...
 
Thanks for coming along...

Violet Petal Sugar...

 
When I shared tea with you
in my last post,
I told you I would be back
 with a tutorial for the Violet Petal Sugar...
 

So here we go,
it could not be easier...
 


 
first step
is picking the Violets...
 
you want these to be clean and organic...
 


 
if yours are damp with morning dew
(or rain)
put them in a vase or spread them on paper towels
until dry...
 


 
remove the petals from the stems...
 
discard the green parts...
 


 
I mixed my petals
with an equal amount of sugar
(I just eye balled it)...
 
you could adjust the amounts
and adjust the depth of color...
 

 
mix the two together in a food processor
(I used a Magic Bullet)
 
it will now feel like wet sand...
 
turn your oven on for a couple minutes
just to warm it
then shut it off...
 
spread the sugar mixture on parchment paper
and let set in the oven an hour or two
until completely dry...
 
I have read it will keep for a year...
 

that's it!
wasn't that easy?
 

 
as for the flavor
of the Violet Petal Sugar...
 
when the Sugar is fresh
it had a light Violet taste...
 
I made my sugar a month ago
and now the flavor is gone...
 
but,
is still such a pretty color
and I like that the coloring is natural...
 
Wishing You a Sweet Day...


Apr 27, 2015

Tea in the Dappled Sun...

We had the most beautiful day,
so beautiful it felt more like Summer than Spring...
 

I spent most of the day gardening...
 
 
but
at the end of the day,
when the shadows became long
and the sunlight became dappled behind the trees,
I set a little table...
 
I deserved a treat today...
 

 
I filled a double bucket
with blooms
as I tended the plants today...
 



I brought out
my Violet themed dishes...
 
and picked
 what will be the last
 of these fabulously long stemmed Violets for the season....
 

 
a plate of cookies to nibble,
with a secret ingredient...
 

 
last month
when Violets were in full bloom...
 
I made a batch of Violet Sugar
using Violet Petals...
 
these cookies are frosted with Royal Icing
and them sprinkled in the Violet Sugar...
 
I am going to share a tutorial
on how you can make your own...
 
it is so easy!
 




 
a pretty tea towel
does say Spring doesn't it?



 
I had thought
it was tea for one today,
but,  Daisy decided to join me...
 
 
 
Thanks for stopping by today....

Apr 26, 2015

Empty Nest Syndrome...

Over the years,
I am sure
 I have shared a few photos
of my Mount Fuji Cherry Tree...
 
 
of all my trees,
I would say it is my favorite...
 
the buds start a fabulous
soft blush tone...
 


and then pop open the purest of whites,
it glows!
 
even better still,
the tree is right outside my kitchen window...
 
I could watch the hummingbirds feeding in it for hours,
it makes doing dishes almost a pleasure...
 


but,
this blurry story is more about this...
 
and
 it started last year,
when an eager squirrel tried to nest in our attic,
she ate a whole right in the side of the house!
 
after evicting her
we hung this nesting box for her...
 
hoping for a compromise...
 


 
then one day
this Spring this little head popped up,
wobbly for a couple second
and quickly tumbled back down...
 



I was fixed to the window...
 
he grew so fast!
 
I did some research
 and learned that here he was probably
about 5 weeks old in this pic....
 


 
after a couple weeks
you could tell the box was getting crowded...
 
mother squirrel
spent most of her time hiding out on the roof...
 


 
then things get really blurry,
cause they happened so fast...
 
she popped out and started moving them...
 
 
I was so sad
and afraid I had intruded...
 
a little more research
told me at this age
they usually move to a new nest...
 
I was so relieved!
 
it has now been a month since they moved out...
 
mother squirrel still comes each day
for some sunflower seeds
and a drink from the pond...
 
I am keeping an eye out for her to bring
the little ones along...
 
 
Happy New Week...