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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mon Bouquet du Jour



Sitting at the top of our Lane.



A box of cucumbers. 






We can only pickle, preserve and eat so many cucumbers and eat so many cucumber and watercress sandwiches.





Free to anyone who passes by. 
So, if you're in the neighborhood...









Have a great week my dear 


Blogging Friends.

Gina 









36 comments:

  1. This is such a colorful post Gina. Your flowers and Hollyhock are stunning.. I have never tied to grow hollihocks.. but you make it sound so easy.. I think i must try. There are some ladies in the village that have them in pots .
    Beautiful photos Gina.
    Fresh flowers always make one happy.
    wishing you happy week. val xx

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    1. Dear Val, Because Hollyhocks are BiAnnuals you have to wait 2 years for them to bloom. If you can find little seedlings to transplant at your local nursery, they might reward you with blooming the very first year. Once you get them established in your garden they will re-generate themselves and surprise you with new colors every year. ox, Gina

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  2. Thank you for sharing the trick to drying them...yours are beautiful. I have them growing in my garden as well.

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    1. Hope you give them a try. No need to use the expensive sand, ordinary sand will do and even does a better job. ox, Gina

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  3. I love all your colorful hollyhocks and flowers. And your pots are pretty. Lovely post and photos, have a happy week!

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    1. Dear Eileen, Thank you for your lovely comments. I so appreciate them. And, please, have a wonderful week yourself. ox, Gina

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  4. It is all so beautiful Gina! I hope that you enoy your week!!!

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    1. Hello Mary, Have enjoyed your beautiful photography. Thank you for commenting and stopping by.
      ox, Gina

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  5. Looking at the hollyhocks through the fence makes a beautiful photo. I remember my mother growing these when I was a girl. I'm enjoying seeing your gorgeous ceramics, too! What a talented artist you are! Hugs!

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    1. Dear Lavender Dreamer, You are so very kind. Thank you for your wonderful compliment. I am so pleased that you also like my ceramics. Thank you for stopping by. ox, Gina

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  6. Hollyhocks are a plant you can either grow, or not. I've tried several times and I guess they don't like our soil and I have friends that have had no luck either.
    Your plants are gorgeous, in so many colours and places. I knew about singeing the stem but not about drying the flowers in sand. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Dear Lavender Cottage. Not knowing where you garden makes it difficult for me to share some of my hollyhock growing tips. Hollyhocks like to be deep watered and not from the surface. They also like to find new areas to grow. If they stay in one place too long they become weak and diseased.
      However, I wouldn't give up. They are usually easy to grow and they volunteer easily in any space. Look around your area. If you see them growing, they will also work for you.

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  7. I miss having hollyhocks at the kitchen door - next year I will have to try them again! I didn't know that they dried well - thank you.

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    1. Dear Pondside, If you can find young Hollyhock seedlings at your local nursery, now is a good time to plant them. They will bloom next Summer and you won't have to wait 2 years to see what colors they are. If you know of a friend who has them growing in their garden, you can transplant tiny seedlings, but they must not be over 2 inches tall. Because adults have tap roots they are difficult to transplant.

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  8. Oh Gina.....this post just screams.....JOY!!!

    xo

    Jo

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    1. Dear Jo, Oh, that makes me so happy. Thank you for your visit.

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  9. Dear Gina - Hollyhocks are such a joy, I tend to associate them here with little thatched cottages where they are sprinkled along the walls below the thatch, but they look equally fetching along the walls of your Palladian house. Your indoors flower photos are like a 17th century Dutch still life and are very beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Rosemary, I know exactly what you mean. I have seen Hollyhocks growing near thatched cottages. That is where they look most at home. I like them because they are so rewarding and I especially like them in flower arrangements where they provide a splendid variety of color.
      Are you growing them in your beautiful garden? ox, Gina

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  10. Dear Gina,

    It's so interesting to know the secret for making hollyhocks last longer, but one wonders how such a discovery was made! I always enjoy seeing the decorative items in the backgrounds of your photographs. That white bowl behind the flame, for example. It's exquisite!

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    1. Dear Mark, So many flowers benefit from having their stems singed. Poppies are a good example. They only last a few minutes in water but will look fresh for a week if ends are burned.
      My white bowl, a set of two, is hand cut Bohemian Crystal, probably hand painted in Czechoslovakia. They were a gift, given to me by an old friend, more than forty years ago.
      This type of Crystal can still be found on the Internet.

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  11. Amazing that the flowers didn't look dotted or damaged from the sand. Very creative.

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  12. Hello Self, If the flowers and if the sand is very dry, the result should be perfect. The best sand to use is the sand from the Great Salt Lake. It is made up of tiny oolitic sandstone particles. When observed under the microscope, this particular sand has no sharp edges. But builders sand is perfectly good to use instead.

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    1. duplicate, sorry did not pay attention

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  15. Dear Gina,
    (I think my last comment got lost-- if not, forgive the repeat, please!) Your beautiful post is so timely-- we're just enjoying the first season of blooms from our hollyhocks-- they're wonderful! We planted them late last year and had no idea that they'd be so beautiful. The blooms are so fragile, I never would have thought they would be long lasting if singed, so I'm off to try that along with the sand-drying...Thank you!
    Warm regards,
    Erika

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    1. Dear Erika, You will be so happy to see them in a flower arrangement or all to themselves. But be sure that you only singe the side shoots. The main stalk will not work. And singe them for a good 20 seconds. I take several branches and hold them over my gas stove. If side shoots are short you might have to gently cover the flower heads with a towel. Please send a picture. ox, Gina

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  16. I love hollyhocks, they are also really fun to paint. I had no idea they dried so well, that's a great tip! This post is inspiring me to get some started for next year.

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    1. Hello Lynne, Good idea. Get them started this year. Once you have them in your garden they will show up in the most unexpected places. And colors will appear that originally you didn't have.

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  17. Your hollyhocks are gorgeous. You have so many lovely colours. Valerie

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    1. Hello Valerie, Thank you for your visit. It is so appreciated. What is so fascinating about Hollyhocks is that you never know what new colors will appear the next year. I'm always looking out for the elusive peach and lavender Hollyhocks.

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  18. Oh my goodness, I have NEVER seen such an amazing array of hollyhocks and I never would have thought of drying them. Thank you so much for the tip about burning the stems. Great post. I'd love to have you link to Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

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    1. Dear Tablescaper, Hollyhocks are very easy to dry. They are a bit fragile when they come out of the sand. An easier flower to dry in sand are roses. They might be a good flower to start with. Good Luck! Gina

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  19. Your garden is so lovely! Your home must be spectacular!
    Do you have a recipe for Dilly Beans? Green beans are on sale here and I thought it might be fun
    to try a new recipe.

    Thanks for linking your beautiful post to Fresh-Cut Friday! :)
    ~Liz

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  20. Dear Liz, I don't have a precise recipe for Dilly Beans. I start with a mild solution of water and vinegar, then add sugar and salt to taste (the brine should be drinkable and not too strong). I add a few hot pepper flakes and a small garlic section. A few mustard seeds and a little fresh dill rounds out the recipe. This brine I pour over the fresh green beans, seal the clean jars and place in water bath to boil for 20 minutes.
    Thank you for your visit and comment. Good Luck with the recipe. Gina

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