Monday, August 26, 2013

Dahlia Time

Every summer, about this time I am thinking about and blogging about my dahlias. I did a quick search on the blog, and found that I have posted about the dahlias for the last four August seasons. But, but they are such amazing creations that I want to post once again and go for five straight seasons.
We are really fortunate this year in our weather. Normally, by last week-end we would have had at least a mild frost, if not a really hard one. This year our nights have been in the 50's most all month, and the dahlia's are loving it. Here in Central Oregon they come on right now (end of August), because we have to plant late due to June frosts. I think that's partly what makes them so special, all the work and worry involved. I do try to dig and store the tubers over the winter, but only have mild success. So, I order some every spring from Swan Island Dahlias in Canby, Oregon, and try to just look at them as annuals. I did have 3 tubers make it this year, and they are blooming as I write.
 I thought I would show a few of the dahlias, and the uniqueness they bring to a garden. This beauty is called 'Lynette' and has petals that curl the way you curl your tongue. She is a deep pink with a yellow center, large and about 5" wide.

 This one is called 'Sheer Heaven' and does come close I think. What a beautiful dahlia! The insurance man and I marvel each time we walk by the bouquet on our kitchen table. These leaves are flat and wide, with a full center almost like a peony. The outer leaves are a blush peach/pink with the inner leaves a creamy yellow. How amazing to find two very different colors unfolding and complimenting each other.

 This one is 'Brittany Rey' and these two photos were taken a day apart, so that the dahlia had opened up a bit more, and you can appreciate the white edges on each deep rose petal. What amazing forms these flowers have. There's just nothing else quite like it.

And finally there is 'Gabrielle Marie'. A deep orange dahlia. Orange is not usually my favorite color in the garden, and I pretty much try to avoid it as it clashes with my pinks and purples. But when it comes to dahlias, there are no wrong colors and they all flow together wonderfully. This one is a bit smaller, probably about 3-4" across, but just as showy.
Wow! I know I am a bit obsessed, but I just love growing these, and enjoying them for the few weeks they treat us. My mother-in-law was telling me that her Aunt grew dahlias, probably in the 1930's and 40's. She only had one standard yellow form to start with, and starting crossing them. I feel so lucky to have so many wonderful choices to order from, and they have done all the work for me. But of course, all the glory goes to the Master Creator!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

This Week's Farm Basket

Our family signed up for a membership to a local farm CSA this year.  We paid a large amount of money at the beginning of the growing season and then each week we receive a share of whatever the farm is harvesting.  We have thoroughly enjoyed our fresh vegetables.  Here's what we got this week:
2 quarts green beans
2 large onions
2 fennel bulbs
huge bunch of scallions/green onions
3 green peppers
large bunch of beets with greens
bunch of carrots
2 quarts potatoes
1 bag of salad mix greens
1 bunch cilantro
So what's on the menu, you ask?  I'm still deciding, but I'm definitely making something Asian with my scallions and cilantro.  I'm trying a recipe for Pad Thai for dinner tonight and and later on an Asian curry soup with fish in it.  Those beets will be great cooked, sliced, with butter and salt for dinner this week with a venison roast in the crockpot.  Maybe I can put together a bouillabaisse with the fennel.  Any other suggestions?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Golfing-First Outing!

I am glad to say that I have some pictures of Mom to post!  (Thanks to my sister, Joy)  As Mom has been cooped up, healing, for the last several weeks, she was a little nervous about the prospect of going out to the golf course at Black Butte with Joy and her husband for an afternoon.  Joy won a free 18 holes for four golfers at her class reunion last summer and needed to use it before it expired.  It gave her a good excuse to come visit Mom at the same time.  
 In the end, they had a wonderful time, with Dad spontaneously joining in and loving it. 
 I was shocked at how he fit right in!  I know that he doesn't golf, but you would never know it looking at this picture.  They said he played a great game too.  You're awesome, Dad!
 Here she is!  I was really happy when I saw this picture.  It's the first I've been able to "see" her since her accident.  This picture is deceiving, because she looks better than I thought she would.  My sister did her hair  (hard to do with one hand) and she's out holding the flag for their game.  These things are actually a big deal and firsts for her.
She said that "coming out" after her confinement indoors was really wonderful, enjoying the great outdoors by riding around in a golf cart, even though it wore her out.  This is a happy victory.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fresh Peaches

During the summer months as each fruit season begins I always think this one's the best. First strawberries, then raspberries, then the melons and then more berries etc. But right now is the peak of the peach season, and I found myself thinking "is there anything better than a ripe fresh peach?" At our local fruit stand on Saturday, a clerk offered me a just-cut slice of a fresh peach and it just melted in my mouth with it's juiciness and sweetness. Of course we had to bring some home (which was the clerk's plan) and the next morning they adorned some yeast waffles and were in turn adorned by a few dollops of whipped cream. Oh boy, I do think peach season is the best, and I'm sure they are doing their best to aid in my recovery.