Monday, August 18, 2008

Garden Related Glimpses : mid-Aug 2008

Here goes with some more garden photos, and other miscellaneous photos from August. Instead of my usual close-ups, here are a few wider views of my garden:
Garden photo
Here is our fairy house, with blooming lilies towering above it:
Fairy house
Here is my hummingbird corner, with a lush butterfly bush cascading over a clump of crocosmia, and a set of red monarda falling to the right:
Hummingbird corner
Here is one of challenges I regularly deal with, blackberry vines reaching over the fence into my garden (those nasty things seem to grow one foot or more per day!). The large purple plant on the right is a purple sage. To the left of it, the straggly flower stalks of Stachys byzantina (Lamb's ear). I don't much like the look of the flowers, but I leave them for the bees (especially the little mason bees) which are all over them. To the far left, our red currant bush, which bore more than a 4L (1 gallon) bucket of berries this year:
Invading blackberry vines
I was very pleased to gather a large harvest of lavender flowers from my neighbour, before her landscaper removed the large plants this year. While I had the lavender drying on a number of cookie sheets and other trays on the kitchen island, the fragrance throughout the house was amazing:
Lavender drying
I also made a batch of lavender jelly. I was very pleased with the natural colour of it (yes, just lavender, certo & white sugar, no other additives or preservatives). Oh, and did I mention that it tasted good, too? My 9 year old daughter has been asking for it on toast for breakfast ever since.
Lavender jelly
While I'm posting photos, here is one of Alouette Lake, BC, from above. My husband and I discovered this viewpoint while off-roading a few weeks ago:
Aloutte Lake from above
Yesterday (Sunday) we took the kids canoeing from Barnet Beach across and up into Indian Arm, to escape the heat. It was indeed much cooler there, and ended up being a beautiful day to canoe, with only the occasional drops of rain. We spotted this harbour seal with her pup on the shore, mainly because a pair of kayakers ahead of us had already stopped to watch. Otherwise we may have missed them on the rocks, since they were quite well camoflauged:
Harbour seal with pup in Indian Arm
Here is a closeup from the same photo, you can better see the mother seal with her pup (he was not interested in looking at us, so that is his back end, you can see the flipper on the right side):
Seal with pup closeup


O.I.M said...

your august garden looks amazing. your butterfly bush is especially stunning.

Gardenista said...

I'd never thought of lavender jelly. I have a bunch of lavender and have not come up with anything other a cookie recipe I found online. How interesting! Do you have to use them at the purple flower stage?

Garden Lily said...

Thank you Irena for your encouragement.

Gardenista - Yes, I think it is freshest and best to harvest at the flower stage, but is likely still okay to harvest, if it hasn't been wet like it has been here in Vancouver these past 2 weeks. I also made some lavender ice cream. It was interesting, but a bit too strong, I would make it much milder next time - most people who tried it found it too "soapy" tasting.

Connie said...

Your garden is beautiful! and that photo of the lake from above is awesome.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Your garden photos are beautiful. I was really intrigued to learn about lavender jam. Does it have that wonderful lavender scent? I never knew you could make jam from flowers.

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