Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Another Gigantic Garden Post

There are numerous varieties of scented geraniums; our fast-grower is a rose geranium and we use the heavenly scented leaves to make flavored sugars, vinegars and syrup. Currently being gulped at Cafe Drake HRV are tall, frosty glasses of Rose Geranium Limeade. Here's how to make it: Bring one cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir just until the sugar dissolves. Once boiling remove from the heat and add 10 rose geranium leaves. Cool and then cover and let rest undisturbed overnight or for at least 6-8 hours. Add 1 cup fresh lime juice (lemon juice would be nifty as well) to the syrup, stir and pour into a bottle. The concentrate will keep fresh, refrigerated, for two weeks or possibly longer. When you're ready for that cold drink, just mix 1 T. of the concentrate to 1 cup of water, stir well and serve over ice.

Nasturtiums and tansy on an outdoor side table serve a couple of functions beyond beauty - the nasturtiums are deliciously tangy and somehow taste exactly like cured capers (!) and the tansy wards away annoying insect intruders.

It's still hard to believe but this year, in 2015, we've finally gotten chervil to grow!

We trellis our cucumber plants rather that trailing them along the ground. This prevents rotten cucumbers by allowing more air circulation and access to sunlight. Plus, it's tidier this way.

Like their cousins, zucchini, cucumbers are "high producers."
This year we're growing the heirloom cucumber known as Lemon Cucumber, for its shape and color. The taste is similar to a regular Kirby cuke.
The burgeoning Cutting Bed. This photo was taken two weeks ago and is now bursting with zinnias of all colors, emerging cosmos and Bachelor Buttons.

Tomato plants growing past the speed limit, while exciting, are prone to broken limbs. The weighty, nascent fruits can snap a branch overnight. We've had to sacrifice a few but have corrected most with two thin stakes attached like splints.



Fields and fields of mint. The herb is harvested every two weeks, hung as large bouquets to dry in the breezeway and then stuffed in bags and jars. Mint tea, when served at Cafe Drake HRV, is about as local as it gets.

Thriving lemon balm plants, all started from cutting in late Spring. This is another herb that prefers a bit of shade, especially from the harsher mid-day sun.

That old workhorse of an herb - Sage.

4 plants packed with fat hot chilies. Now just waiting for them to turn red and ripen.

This healthy plant is filling up with Japanese Black Trifele tomatoes, a variety hailing not from Japan but Russia.

At Cafe Drake HRV we grow raspberries the size of strawberries.

A Golden Raspberry bush is dripping with fruit as well.


Head of Garden Security - Lloyd Page






Now Lloyd's checking the eastern perimeter for interlopers or garden bandits.

Arabella Page prefers relaxing on a garden settee. Smart girl.

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