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Friday, May 29, 2015

Early June Bloom Update

Another quick update on what's blooming in "MI" garden - Early June:

More frothy, colorful irises!

"Poppies, poppies, poppies will make them sleeeeep..." Not with these bright colors, sister!
One of the lovely ladies at Brighton Garden Club gave me some trillium (a.k.a. wake robin). They are at the end of their bloom season, but still so delicate and pretty!

A red trillium.
Spiderwort. This plant wants to take over the world via rhizome. But it does make a nice blue flower.

Sweet Woodruff. This one is traditionally used to flavor May wine.

The weiglia bush is making some hot-colored blooms.

/Whispered mysteriously/ "Rosebud..."

A rugosa rosebud to be exact. I LOVE these roses. They are tough,  even through a Michigan winter. They are resistant to disease, and make large, edible hips in the fall. They smell FABULOUS too.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Late May Bloomin' Update

Just a quick update of what is blooming in "MI" garden now:

The irises have bloomed in the front garden. I love their dark, dramatic flowers.
The lilac's are blooming! (I wish this screen was scratch 'n' sniff for your sake, reader!)
Creeping pholx.  Again, we need smell-a-vision!
Black Eyed Susan Vine.  The mailbox should look HOT with these this year!
Hyssop/Agastaches.  Hopefully bees, butterflies and humming birds will locate these quickly!
Blanket flower. I feel like these are a bit early. Perhaps because I bought them from the nursery and planted them this spring. These usually don't flower until late in June.  But I am happy I have them now! :)
Coming soon: Waiting to burst... the Peonies!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Delicious Dandelion Pancakes - Taste The Spring Sunshine!

This morning I tried something new for breakfast:  I made dandelion pancakes.    Let me tell you, they were DELICIOUS!

Please bear with me, it is as difficult for me to describe flavors as it is for me to describe scents and how I want my hair cut - but I will give it my best shot:

First of all, when you bite in to them, they are sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Then you taste the dandelion.  When cooked, dandelions taste like you thought those garden flowers, or your lawn would taste when you were a small child... before you actually shoved them in your mouth and found out how bitter they are!! (Yuck!)  Dandelions taste sort-of like chewing on the end of a piece of sweet hay or sweet grass.  They taste a bit like the most caramelized part of a piece of barbecued asparagus when someone actually cooks asparagus properly, only more subtle.  They taste like you want spring to taste.

Dandelion pancakes are easy to make.  They are also inexpensive, because, let's face it: nearly everyone in the U.S.  has dandelions in their lawn, in a nearby park, or can find some along a road side for free.  They are also pretty nutritious and full of fiber etc.  If you are interested in the nutrition facts on dandelions, please visit the following: link.  Otherwise, let's get back to how to make this yummy recipe.

Ingredients: 2 cups of dandelion flowers, 2 cups of instant pancake mix, 1 1/2 cups milk (or buttermilk),  1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie mix (or cinnamon), 1/2 tablespoon local honey, and 2 tablespoons of butter.

You will also need: a bowl, measuring cups, measuring spoons, frying pan, spoon, spatula and stove.


First, go foraging for dandelions and harvest just the flower tops.  You
will need to collect about 2 cups full.
Next, rinse the flowers well.  Then, pop off the base of the flower (where the sepals are) and compost them.  Keep the yellow petals.  The thick, green, portion of the flower is bitter tasting. You do not want it in the pancake mix.

Then, place the  dandelion petals in a bowl and mix them together with  2 cups of the dry components of your favorite pancake mix.  You can use store bought, or can mix your own.  If you need a recipe to make pancake mix at home, this one by Alton Brown is very good: pancake mix recipe.
 Add 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix (or cinnamon) and 1/2 tablespoon of honey to the dandelion/pancake flour mixture.  Avoid adding more than what is suggested because you want to avoid over-powering the taste of the dandelions.  You only want to enhance their flavor, not drown it out.
Then, add 1 1/2 cups of the wet components of  the pancake batter to the mix (usually either milk, buttermilk or water as directed by the pancake recipe or box mix  that you are using).  Stir together well.  The mix will be thicker than that of regular pancakes.
Next, heat your favorite frying pan along with about a tablespoon of butter to medium heat (as you would when cooking regular pancakes.)
Spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture into the pan using a measuring cup, ice cream scoop or spoon. You may have to press the mixture flat with a spatula because the mixture is thick.
Cook the pancake for a few minutes...
 ...Then flip it to the other side and cook for a few more minutes.  The pancake should appear golden brown on both sides.
Serve and enjoy... perhaps with a side of bacon?!?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Project #2: Brighton Library Garden

I joined Brighton Garden Club this year.  Now that the weather is good, the group has started work on maintaining and improving the Brighton Library garden.

Today, we moved and removed some of the more aggressive perennials.  We pulled out a large swath of spiderwort that had taken over, divided lady's mantle, divided some ornamental grasses and took out some bee balm.  We also lay down some mulch.  

Next week, we plan to add some perennials to the shade bed and to begin work on a native perennial bed.

Here are some photos from the day:

Sunday, May 17, 2015

May Flowers in MI Garden

Lilly of The Valley.  The bells of May.

Mayapple. A lovely, shy, lady hiding beneath a parasol.

Bleeding Heart. Let the love rain down.

Tulip.  A cup of spring.

Honeysuckle. The sweetness of spring.

Bloodroot. Paint the town red.