The first picture shows a care package I gave to a neighboor who gave me honey from his bees when we first moved in. I gave him food as a thank you for having these great bees who help pollinate my food.
I am drying tomatillos and tomatoes. The tomatoes are mostly San Marzano which are meant for sauce so they have low water content and dry quickly yet provide concentrated tomato flavor. They also make delicious sauce which I have in the freezer. The tomatillos when dried and sprinkled with a bit of salt take on a tasty mild apple flavor. Yum!
I bought a lot of seeds for next years garden. I am a bit over zealous I think but super excited to see what I can grow and how it might taste. I bought a four small metal cases with small circular containers that are intended to hold beads. I find it a delightful seed sorter so I can store them in my fridge without having to pull them out all the time to look at what I have or their package for info.
We have eating tomatoes frequently available. I love walking out to the garden and letting what is ripe dictate my dinner that night. Some interesting shapes arise too.
The pond has what I thought was duck weed on it then later learned it is a certain kind of water fern. I like it better now knowing that for some reason. Like a soft carpet floating over the water providing a cozy blanket for all.
I try to eat zucchini flowers but with travel I had one that got away from me. I cam beach to one that is bigger than my forearm.
Peppers are very happy with all this heat. Habanero peppers which I made into a ground powder to use like seasoning. Fresno which are delicious stuffed with goat chase and roasted.
The garden is in full swing, producing food and still some flowers are around. The wisteria has dropped it’s flowers but the full foliage remains above the deck area providing shade.
Jasmine that I put in pots is now in full growth, creating a green wall that I had hoped for.
We are sleeping outside in a screened in room that we call the zen room. Beautiful space to sleep in and the summer nights are cool and quiet to drift off to sleep.
I love our life here.
I smelled them before I saw them. A cloud of heavy syrup so thick you could spread it on your waffle. Like a dog in a cartoon, I followed the wispy scent trail through the local nursery (Floras) to these jasmine plants. I saw the ridiculous amount of flowers on these plants with only a few token leaves protruding out from the heavy buds. There were only 3 plants. I snatched up 2 and put them on my wagon before even looking at the price tag. The bonus is they are affordable! Before leaving Flora’s I found 2 pots that were suitable for these plants and headed home. Even though home is only 1/2 mile away, the two towers of jasmine filled my hot car with olfactory sunshine.
I love orchids and really enjoy a blooming tree, but outside of that I am not a flower lover. Mom would toil for hours in the hot sun planting hundreds of bulbs, they would flower with a gaudy show only to disappear a short time later. It takes work to plant anything and I have felt that my appreciation is lacking for flowers with only serve the bees. After all that work I want something that I can eat or that will last a while. Orchid flowers can last 6-12 weeks and one orchid produces one of my favorite things: vanilla. Garden veggies can produce beautiful flowers like the artichoke, tomato, and even the subtle bean plant can produce a surprisingly beautiful delicate flower. Then after the flower comes great food and this drives me to put in the work.
But there is something about jasmine that is different. It’s smell travels and it sneaks up in places you don’t expect. It reminds me of when I have stepped in dog poo…except pleasant of course. But it is the same sequence…what is that smell? where is it coming from? then instead of disgust you find yourself sniffing flowers near you (nope, not that one…) and so on until you find it. It has a heavy honey clean scent, one that I can’t get enough of in the garden yet wouldn’t want to wear as perfume.
I looked up their bloom times and it says:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Now this is my kind of flower! It is a bonus that it has evergreen leaves. It has been used in aromatherapy going all the way back to 4500BC. Referred to as “Queen of the Night,” jasmine blossoms are often gathered at night by moonlight when their scent is strongest. It can also be very invasive, so I will be enjoying it in all it’s glory on this trellis from it’s pots. I think everyone should get a jasmine plant for their house/deck/yard/garden. They grow in full sun or heavy shade and can stay in pots. The nice thing with pots is that you can move them inside when the weather gets too cold for those of you living in places that freeze. Who wouldn’t love a jasmine plant wrapped around a stake in the corner of the living room in a cold wintery day?
Other people are moved by this little flower as well:
: “…and Jasmine, your very notes turn these dry pastures into verdant plains of solace when the work of straying mission collects and finds its peace on hilltops…”
Thomas Moore: ““Plants that wake when others sleep / Timid jasmine buds that keep / Their fragrance to themselves all day / But when the sunlight dies away / Let the delicious secret out / To every breeze that roams about.”
M. T. C. Cronin
: “star jasmine caught like a miniature swimmer in the blue glass bowl of the sky asking all the other flowers why they have dropped their petals..the star jasmine will not sit and joins the nervous creeper on the fences doodle-edge and freezes the drunk cat with its stark white scent…my nose is quite simply, in love”