Summer

Roses

I didn’t expect to stay away from posting for almost a month, time flies.  With the weather swinging like a pendulum, I find myself spending more time getting the garden in order.  By the end of the day I was too exhausted to do anything else.  But I can’t let summer passes by with out posting about roses.

The rose bushes in our garden are doing well this year.  With rain early on and cooler than normal temperatures, it’s a perfect combination for roses.  The first round of blossoms are just about to fade and just in time for the arrival of the heat and humidity.  Now it’s time to snip off the spent flowers and feed them again.

They present their representatives, below, to vouch for the caretaker that has kept them well fed and healthy.  That is why she has been MIA for a month.

‘Eden’ bloomed profusely this year and the flowers are big enough to weigh the branches down as well.
Rugosa rose ‘Hansa’ is my favorite. It’s a fast grower, produces plenty of flowers, re-blooms and is extremely fragrant. And, the honeybees love it too.
‘New Dawn’ covers the whole trellis, with red ‘Blaze’ and pink ‘Knockout’ peeking in on the sides
‘Heritage’ is also highly fragrant and re-blooms. I may have to move it to a new spot, away from the invasion of the Summersweet
‘Zephirine drouhin’ has a very interesting pink color and re-blooms throughout the season

 

Tea For Cold And Flu

A Remarkable Home Remedy; Ginger Tea

It is late winter now and so far we’ve escaped without suffering colds or flu (although my fingers are crossed).   With the unforgiving winter weather this year many of my friends and colleagues have come down with either colds or flu.  Some took flu shots but got sick anyway.  I had a flu shot some years ago and it made me feel sick so I haven’t repeated it since.

Even with the temperature going up and down from 50 to 0 F. within days and not enough sleep, we still managed to ward off colds and flu.  What we have been doing aside from staying away from people who are sick, is drinking our home made ginger tea.  There are no tea leaves in it, just ingredients that can be purchased at any food store.  This tea recipe was passed along from my grandmother and it does the trick for us.  We keep sipping it once we start to feel something coming on.

The end product of my ginger tea in a cup our friend gave us two years ago.
The end product of my ginger tea in a cup our friend gave us two years ago.
Fresh ingredients are the best
Fresh ingredients are the best

Home made Ginger Tea recipe:

  • Fresh ginger, peel off the skin, puree and squeeze the juice out.  I make enough to fill one small bottle at a time and keep it in the refrigerator for a week (usually finishing it before then). I use one table spoon for one cup of tea.
  • Honey, one tablespoon per cup of tea.  I dissolve it in hot water before adding other recipes.  That little jar is from our own hive.
  • Fresh lime juice, one tablespoon per cup.
  • Rose hips, approximately a tablespoon of either fresh or dry.  This is optional but adding it increases the level of vitamin C.
  • Liquor, one teaspoon per cup of tea.  I use Patron Tequila infused with Bhut Jolokia chili pepper but Brandy, Cognac or B & B will do.  It helps to warm you right up when it’s really cold out.  This is optional as well.  But remember, it’s the sparing use of alcohol that the body uses.  If you get a buzz from it, you used way to much, hence the reference ‘teaspoon.’

Hot ginger tea without lime juice, rose hips and liquor is also good for indigestion and bloating.  Just using fresh ginger juice with a little bit of honey to make it more palatable. Sip it when it is still hot.

Rose hips picked from Rugosa 'Hansa' rose last season.
Rose hips picked from Rugosa ‘Hansa’ rose last season.

Rugosa roses (Rosa rugosa) are not just pretty, fragrant and hardy, they are also the best for producing rose hips.  Rugosa ‘Hansa’ and ‘Foxi’ provide a lot of rose hips for me.  I’ve been eating some ripe ones right in the garden and dry the rest for using until I get a fresh batch in fall.

Rugosa roses are also bee friendly, both bumble bees and honey bees, love them.

Rugosa 'Foxi' produce fragrant flowers in abundance from late spring to fall.
Rugosa ‘Foxi’ produce fragrant flowers in abundance from late spring to fall.
Rugosa 'Hansa' is a fast grower and once it blooms it won't stop blooming until fall
Rugosa ‘Hansa’ is a fast grower and once it blooms it won’t stop blooming until fall