This is my favourite time of year in the garden. The trees and shrubs are heavily laden with blossoms or buds waiting to burst. The first irises are Monet glorious. All of the perennials are fat and happy as they wait to put on their show. Everything in it’s time. The best thing about gardening is the anticipation. Waiting for each flower’s glory to grace our farm. There’s only so much a gardener can do. The real magic is left to the universe. Come walk with me…
Ralph made the granite bench for me from tailings he got from the neighbouring farm; a perk living near a granite quarry. The little pear tree next to the bench didn’t survive the winter. I left it in to use as a trellis for sweet peas. If my plan works, we’ll have a sweet pea tree!
The stand of irises is decades old. I separated a huge, gnarly clump from an old garden near the front of the house where the veranda now sits. Most of the flowers in my garden were given to me by Dad and friends. A small pot taken from their gardens given to me to grow in my garden. My garden is a garden of friendship.
You can see Venus de Milo gazing at the river. I wasn’t sure if my formal statuary would work in the country, but the few pieces I have seem happy.
Yellow is sparse this time of year so I planted spurge, golden hostas and a yellow iris with a variegated leaf to warm things up. In the sixteen years that I’ve been caring for the yellow iris, it has never bloomed. This year I have flower buds. Hooray for patience or stubbornness!
My herb garden is having a ball. Lavender, Greek oregano, summer savoury, anise, chervil, French tarragon, Italian parsley, basil, sage, chives, orange thyme, silver thyme, borage and pots of rosemary share space with a huge climbing rose and a crazy clematis. This time of year when the herbs and their blossoms are new and tender, I make a simple pasta dish. I pick a mixed cup full of tiny herb leaves and blossoms and toss them with hot pasta, extra virgin olive oil and garlic. I know I sound like a broken record, but you need to grow your own herbs; in a garden or in a pot on a window sill. You’ll never look back!
The simplicity of pasta with fresh herbs and blossoms is dazzling.
PASTA WITH FRESH HERBS AND BLOSSOMS
- 1/2 cup extra olive oil, more for drizzling
- 2 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of mixed herbs, like parsley, chervil, basil, tarragon, thyme, and oregano
- 2 tablespoon butter
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Combine olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan, and turn the heat to medium-low.
- Cook gently, just until the garlic becomes fragrant, then remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, wash and mince the herbs. I always leave the tiniest leaves whole because they’re so pretty.
- Place them in a bowl large enough to toss them with the pasta.
- Cut the butter into 4 pieces and place it in the bowl with the herbs and blossoms.
- Cook pasta until al dente.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain pasta and toss with herbs and olive oil-garlic mixture.
- Add a little of the pasta water to the pasta to create more sauce. Add slowly so that you don’t over dilute the herb and olive oil mixture. You just want to add enough to make an emulsion with the butter and olive oil. .
- Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and serve.
THE LOVE: There’s no limit to the possibilities for herbal combinations. Today I used basil, Italian parsley, silver thyme, chives and chervil blossoms Make sure you write down what you use so you can repeat a keeper!
Thanks for reading.