Today’s morning dogwalk encompassed sunshine, blustery winds, fallen trees, a couple of rain showers and a lovely double rainbow. Straddling the seasons as it were.
It was also very warm, 26.5 deg C by lunchtime if my car is to be believed. A good day to get my hair cut!
So my Six on Saturday for Mr Propagator’s entertaining meme are mostly about carrying over reminders of summer for the dark days ahead … maybe even tomorrow
1) Iris foetidissima
First of all the stinking iris (Iris foetidissima) has split open this week. I adore seeing these brilliant orange seeds when the pods burst open. They add eye-catching colour to our front garden which lasts through the winter and they do really well in the driest, darkest corners around. Last year I discovered that they make great cut/dried flowers as I put some in a vase with fluffy grass heads and they didn’t need to be chucked out until spring. Result!
I love this little strawberry. Not sure if it is a named variety or not, but my Mum gave me a couple of runners a few years ago and they now wander freely through the borders, flowering in any odd gaps they find, in cheerful pink shades, from May till frosts. I can’t say that I get much fruit from the plants, but that really wasn’t the point. However, right now there is an active spur running along the age of the path that is producing nice fruit (when I get to it before the slugs).
3) Borage Ice Cubes
Borage is one of those herbs that I never bother to sow nowadays, but is always around as a self-seeder, in the gravel driveway or around the tomatoes in the raised vegetable beds, during the summer. I pick borage flowers to decorate salads, cakes and jugs of drink, both cordials and alcoholic punches, but I tend to take the ease of access to these little treasures for granted until they are gone … which will be anytime now. So I have deliberately picked the flowers this week (plus a number of herbs like mint, basil and parsley) to add to ice cubes. A couple of bags of these stored in the freezer will mean I can add a touch of summer to winter parties!
4) Late Flowering Salvias
I am a big fan of salvias and since seeing the shrubby South American examples in all their glory flowering along one side of the greenhouse at Cambridge Botanics I’ve grown both Salvia Leucantha (Mexican bush sage) and Salvia Involucrata (Roseleaf sage) for their lush and furry flowers. Unfortunately, they flower very late in the year and our garden is not as ideal climate-wise as the Botanics, so it is a race against the frosts. I can almost see the flowers now. Shall we lay bets on whether I get to see them fully out though?
5) Dogwood Fruit (Cornelian Cherries)
I’ve been picking the last of the Cornelian Cherries this week as well. They make the most delicious jelly and it is my son’s favourite. I haven’t had time to make more than one batch so far, so I am freezing the fruit. I hope that they will jam as well as fresh ones (like damsons etc), but I can’t see why they shouldn’t. Does anyone have any experience of this?
6) Drying Flowers – Helichrysum
My final entry for this week’s SOS are those delightful papery helichrysums. The classic dried flower. I think that they are so cheering in little posies around the house. I have started to collect buds from the plants so that I can hang them upside down to dry in the cupboard. This year their colours have been a bit muted compared to normal, but I am enjoying their pastel tones regardless.
Hope you have a great weekend and don’t forget to take a look at other gardeners’ Sixes.
Fabulous rainbow. What an amazingly warm October day we had today. Love it. Great idea freezing borage flowers. You are lucky having so many Cornus mas berries. To think I left the fruit to rot when I had a big tree. I never realised that they were edible.
The flowers in the ice cubes are lovely. Thanks for sharing the rainbow. A splendid start to the day.
You are welcome!
The borage ice cubes are a wonderful idea. What a pretty addition to a drink. I have a similar problem with Salvia Leucantha as the heavy frosts here make it difficult to grow, but others grow exceedingly well. It’s a great idea to just let strawberries wander through the garden.
Love the idea of the icecube flowers and am going to use my borage in exactly the same way. Fancy you having the temperatures we are expecting in the next couple of days! Currently shrouded in seamist…
When I first met borage a couple of years ago, the woman who told me what it was mentioned that she also freezes the flowers in ice cubes. It is a beautiful way to extend the season into winter.
I dried flowers for the first time this year; just a little bouquet of basket-flowers, to see what would happen. I was astonished to see the pink and white blossoms turn purple. They’re quite lovely, though, and I believe I’ll do more next year.
Borage is rampant in my my garden! I kind of like it as the bees do but it takes over somewhat. Love that idea to use the flowers though.
A few months ago, someone on Twitter asked me what to do with borage flowers and I said ice cubes. I did it and also with a raspberry and a red currant. It’s always a great time when we have friends or family. They love it.
This is my first reading of your SoS and I can say that you took some nice pictures, especially the one with Helichrysum !
Oh good thinking about the soft fruit. I’ve seen ice bowls decorated with similar, but an ice cube is so much simpler! Thanks for your comment on the photos. I always have my little compact camera shoved in my pocket, just in case.
A lovely collection despite the strange weather patterns. You have inspired me to make some Borage ice cubes. 🌼
Love the borage ice. That rainbow photo was great.
Add me to the Borage ice cube admirers. Even here on the W Sussex coast I have given up late Salvia leucantha even in a cool greenhouse (Christopher Lloyd’s practice). I envy those large bushes of it thriving outdoors in California!