Friday, July 28, 2017

Summer Days



While walking these summer days, there are so many flowers to see. How colourful the world is just now. We had invasive morning glories on this property when we bought it 15 years ago, and I still find the odd vine sneaking up here and there, so I've been reluctant to plant any type of morning glory. The pretty colour of this blossom has me re-thinking that decision. 


Almost every meal these days must include kale. It's flourishing in my garden. I gave a huge bagful to a Dutch friend in hopes of thinning it out a little. Connie said that it's a Dutch custom to cook kale and combine it with mashed potatoes and eat it with a fat sausage.

I offered a big bunch of kale to one of our neighbours who was visiting with Tim. When I asked if they ate kale, he replied with an emphatic "NO." Do you eat kale? Cooked or raw? 

I've been making kale salads. One trick I learned is to massage the cut kale with olive oil and coarse salt to soften it a little. Then I add other ingredients (cucumber, carrot, blueberries, feta cheese in the photo above) and a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, finished off with a twist of ground black pepper. Kale salad holds up well in the fridge if there are any leftovers. 


On a recent walk I picked a bunch of Queen Anne's Lace and plunked it into a vase with sweet peas. It made such a pretty mix of colour. 


We have 8 hydrangea bushes throughout the garden, some in the front, others in the back. Each one blooms uniquely: dark blue, pink, purple, pale blue. The one above has a variety of different colours on the same bush. 


I took apart the floral arrangement from last Sunday's party in order to replace the wilted hydrangeas with fresh ones. The vase was crammed so tightly that I couldn't get everything back in, so I created two arrangements from one. Then, a photo shoot ensued, using the old fence as a backdrop. 

These summer days are so very pleasant. I found a quote - "I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanket." (Kellie Elmore) Ah, summer. I hope yours is filled with lovely days. 

22 comments:

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

It all looks like summer. Such beautiful photos, Lori. The colours are so vivid, I almost want to melt inside.

Your kale salad looks awesome. I made a similar salad, but just used romaine. Will have to scout out some kale at the farmers' market one day. I like your friend's idea of kale with mashed 'taters and a fat sausage.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend...
Brenda

Marilyn Miller said...

Love, love hydrangeas and you have some wonderful ones. It is fun to see the different colors and variations even on one bush. Kale, it's just OK. I most use it in salads and do rub with salt, which helps alot. I always wanted some blue morning glories, but not had luck getting them to grow. That pink one is really pretty.

Anonymous said...

Lorrie, I've not seen such a pretty pink morning glory before. I've blue ones which I love love love. I think the pink one would look nice with the blue!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Although it has been hot and dry this summer I feel like it is going by too fast! It seems the flowers just begin to look beautiful and then it gets cooler and they begin to go to seed and die off.
I like kale although I prefer spinach or broccoli. I often use kale in bean soups or use baby kale in salad mixes. I think I'll plant some morning glories next year!

Vee said...

Your garden's flowers and veg are delightful! Yes, I love kale, especially in salads. Funny that your friend declined it.

Rettabug said...

Beautiful flower photos, Lorrie! My Morning Glories always came up deep blue, not that pretty pink. Must have something to do with the soil, although mine were planted from seeds not wild like yours.
I will pass on your tips for using kale to a friend who grows it...thanks!

ann said...

Kale is one of the most healthy of vegetables. I use it in my Tuscan soup. We should plant some. I absolutely adore your hydrangea. I am keeping mop head in a pot on the patio right now, afraid to plant it. I see them all over town, flourishing, waving their heavy, droopy white heads in the breeze.

Mereknits said...

Lorrie, your summer sounds beautiful. Enjoy!

Kit said...

I just adore Morning Glories and have a big pot of them. :) I am not a big eater of Kale but have had it in mashed potatoes and it is very good. A big thing out here is to turn Kale into chips! We serve them to the students in our schools. :) Happy Summer Days! Kit

Angie said...

Lorrie - that kale salad looks very refreshing - I like anything with feta! I appreciate the tip about massaging with olive oil and coarse salt - we have always shied away from using it in a salad since it can be tough raw. We put kale in our Zuppa Toscana. Have a great rest of the weekend!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

My son made the best smoothies for us all last Fall when we saw him. The main ingredient was Kale but it didn't taste at all like Kale. It had a frozen banana, blueberries, strawberries and yogurt. It was amazing....green and good for you! Hugs!

handmade by amalia said...

I've been trying to use more kale as it is such a super veg but couldn't get used to the texture. I'm going to give your method a try.
Amalia
xo

Margie said...

I usually consume kale as a salad so I'll have to try your recipe out. I'm loving the purple hydrangeas. So pretty!

Amy at love made my home said...

Wonderful to see your summer moments!

kathy b said...

That is an awesome quote. I love all your flower images

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful summer flowers -- except for the morning glory -- I know it isn't the same but close enough to the invasive morning glory we had in our Oregon yard when we bought the house and battled for the whole almost 30 years we lived there ... (the over the back fence neighbors did not battle it so ...) Love the quote -- it would be appropriate most of our time nowadays -- even in winter, because 'Florida!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

We adore kale!!! I grew up eating it cooked with crispy bacon. These days I enjoy kale and Brussels Sprout salad with dried cranberries and pecans with Poppy-seed dressing. OR when I prepare a large salad, I will add in baby kale and spinach to up the burst of goodness it offers. We also make our own kale chips in the oven, very satisfying when you are begging for potato chips and it's best not to partake. Finally one of my favorite Winter meals is fresh kale, leaves torn from ribs, cannelli beans with their juice, small Yukon Gold potatoes and baby carrots cut in chunks and all cooked together until steamy and broth filled. Then a pan of cornbread and we are all set. Oh did you ask if we liked kale ;)

Deborah Montgomery said...

I do like kale. And your salad sounds delicious. Love hydrangeas, too. I have lots and they're all blooming, so I have plenty to bring indoors and enjoy, too!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

The only relationship that I have had with Kale is in regards to an Olive Garden soup that includes it and if I could reproduce that soup I'd eat it every other day :)

Beautiful post / lovely floral photos :)

Anneliese said...

I love kale in salads or added to a pot of spaghetti. It's interesting how many kinds there are; some looks more like arugula.

Mary said...

Beautiful garden photos Lorrie - sharing your hydrangeas as mine didn't bloom this year due to that severe 3-day spring freeze here, I'm so sad and miss my blue flowers so much!

GretchenJoanna said...

I love kale! I cook it, or make a salad with barely blanched leaves. Just an hour ago I planted twelve starts in my garden, but it won't be ready for picking for a while, so I would gladly receive your gift if I were your neighbor!

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