Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Red Roses

USDA hardiness zones 5-9

This Red Rose bush grows in sandy soil in Lansing, New York with a southern exposure.  Sitting in the sunroom you can look out the window to see a multitude of small but showy flowers.  This rosebush bloomed this year on Oliver's birthday, May 23, 2012.  

Rose Petal Jam
1 cup fresh rose petals 
(red or pink are best colour choices/must not have been sprayed with chemicals)
1 1/2 cup water
Juice of one lemon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 pkg of powdered pectin
Put rose petals, 3/4 cup water and lemon juice in a blender. Puree until smooth.  Slowly add sugar.  Blend until all sugar has dissolved.  Pour this rose syrup mixture into a large bowl.  In a small saucepan, stir 1 package pectin into 3/4 cup water.  Bring to a boil, and boil HARD for 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Pour pectin mixture into syrup and stir it in gently but quickly.  It sets up fast.  Work FAST to pour it into jars before it gets too thick and gloppy. Put covers on the jars.  Let set for 6 hours til firm.  (It may set faster.)  Refrigerate for up to one month or freeze to keep longer.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Flowering Almond Bush

Hardiness Zone 3B

This flowering almond bush grows in the front yard with a northern exposure in Red Deer, Alberta.   This year it began to show signs of blooming on Mother's Day and now almost one week later it is in full bloom.                                                                            
This hardy bush has been slow to grow and has been in the same location for about 20 years.  Nonetheless it has always bloomed, some years more than others.  Last fall we removed the large trees in the front yard  and this bush will now receive more sunlight.
According to a variety of sources the dainty pink blossoms should last three to four weeks.