Garden Tour, Early September 2020

My first video of the garden was early July, and I had planned to do one a month. Well, August was simply too hot to do anything, let alone take photos or make videos. But now the garden has recovered from the heat and temperatures are in the low 20s.

My Geum chiloense Blazing Sunset and the Geranium Rozanne have been flowering non-stop throughout the heat, and now the late summer flowers are beginning to open too.

So here is the garden tour for September. I hope you enjoy it! Click on the link and turn the sound up!

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In a Vase on Monday: Bye Bye August!

The last week of August has brought us relief from the heat and lots of rain, and the garden is suddenly looking sort of ‘in between’: like summer is over, but autumn hasn’t quite got going. I am dithering about cutting down zucchini and tomato plants, while wrapping up my basil at night as temperatures drop to single digits. The house martins I showed you last week are preparing to fly south. There is a saying here that they will be gone by September 8th, which in the Roman Catholic calendar is ‘Maria Geburt’ – the Birth of the Virgin Mary:

Am Maria Geburt fliegen die Schwalben furt’

And like so many of the old sayings here in Germany, it is still pretty accurate; last year I saw a few stragglers on the 9th but they left within a couple of days as well.

My Monday vase is reflecting the season perfectly this week, all the late summer golds and oranges once again.

The Golden Rod grows wild, just behind the fence, but pieces had been broken in the heavy rain at the weekend so I could easily reach over and pluck a few stems.

I decided to pick one of my sunflowers in the Herb Bed – next to my giant sunflower is another plant with a big stem with multiple flower heads. Not sure what sort though, as they all got mixed up when planting them out.

Then I added a red and a yellow Benary’s Giant zinnia, some Helianthus Lemon Queen, a Tithonia and some Rudbeckia, all from the Sunshine Bed.

Oh and some grasses. This one is Miscanthus Red Chief.

One more picture of the Tithonia… 😜

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme. Her vase is so sweet this week!

Have a great week!

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In a Vase on Monday: Getting Carried Away

As many of you reading this will know, Monday is Vase Day! Joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden is always a joy, and this week was no exception.

You know when you have a clear idea of what you want? Whether itβ€˜s an item of clothing, a new frying pan, or the flowers you want to highlight in a vase?

And then you see something else you fancy?…

Well, that happened to me this morning. I had my vase ready and wanted a minimalist look. And then I got a bit carried away, snipping a bit of this. And a bit of that. Oh and I must cut some those. And wouldn’t these go nicely…

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So the minimalist idea flew out the window and a new vase was found and I was very pleased in the end that I got carried away!

I won’t include a long list of what I picked, as most of these flowers have been used in the last few vases anyway, but I must point out the Tithonia (the bright orange flower) and thank Jason at Garden in a City for introducing me to these Mexican sunflowers several years ago. Although they have struggled with the drought this year, I would not want to be without them.

I took the photos in front of the barn, as it is one of those unusual windstill days here. A definite hint of autumn is in the air, reflected by the sedum you can see here starting to open, and the grasses used too. Our night time temperature dropped to its lowest since May, only 9Β°C.

Thank goodness the heat of the dog days is over and the garden can start to take deep gulps of the moist morning air to refresh it.

Have you seen any signs of autumn yet?

Have a happy week!

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Elderflower Pancakes (vegan)

If Elder (Sambucus nigra) grows in your part of the world you may be seeing the frothy white flowers this week or even enjoying a whiff of the heady fragrance. For us the elderflowers are a little earlier than usual. Time to make cordial, perhaps some sorbet, and definitely pancakes. ‘Hollerkiachl’ as they are called in Bavaria. πŸ˜ƒ

We are lucky and have several trees/shrubs directly on our doorstep and in our lane, away from traffic and foraging passers-by!

First I made the pancake batter. Here is my recipe for about 8 small pancakes:

  • 200g (1 3/5 cups) flour
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • 2tsps sugar
  • 425 ml (1 4/5 cups) almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 ‘veg eggs’ or 1 large tbsp soya flour mixed with a little water

Whisk all the ingredients together to make a smooth batter. Leave to stand while you cut your elderflowers.

The best time here to cut elderflowers is late morning on a still and sunny day. The aroma seems to be at its peak then. You will need about 8 -10 flowerheads, one for each pancake. (It depends on their size so cut a few extra if you arenβ€˜t sure.) Shake off any flies and beetles. Bring them indoors and shake again over the sink, then place on a yellow surface. This attracts any remaining tiny flies to crawl out.

Heat a little sunflower oil in a pancake pan. Dip an elderflower head in the batter, holding it by the stalk, and drop it in the pan with an extra tablespoon or two of batter.

You can now cut off as much of the stalk as possible so you can turn the pancake once you see little bubbles forming. Fry until golden brown on both sides, and sprinkle with a little sugar. Continue until you have used up all the batter.

Enjoy!