Garden Colour-o-rama


This gallery contains 26 photos.

The weekend was hot and bright – which funnily enough, is not best for photos as it makes the shadows too harsh. But, a little fill flash and working shadow to shadow – and the occasional backlighting au natural…and enjoy … Continue reading

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Roasting Garlic

Garlic is one of the best herbs going – it adds so much flavour and aroma – and yet never seems used enough.

It has great health benefits and is especially good for heart smart diets (okay, not when used in buttery garlic bread).  I am half Ukrainian and the joke on my Mom’s side is often that it’s garlic that makes the women of the family live into their 90’s and sometimes early 100’s.

One of the best ways to eat garlic is to roast it – this makes the garlic a nutty sweet flavour and avoids the odour that many find unpleasant that comes from chopping it.

I bought a very cute garlic roaster – you’ll see why I say it’s cute in a moment.

When you roast garlic, you can add other spices. Usually, I use a blackened Cajun spice like for the Green St. Patrick’s Day Dinner – but this time, I decided on just using garden herbs.

lemon thyme, sage, savoury, rosemary, chive in olive oil

I picked herbs out of the pots in the back, gave them a quick rinse and into the olive oil. For a moment, I totally forgot what I was doing, and almost added Herb’s Crushed Garlic that I keep on hand for quick cooking. When I do herb rubs, I always add garlic. D’oh.

mortar and pestle grinding for goodness

Grinding all the herbs into the oil to release their herby goodness.

Prepping the garlic

Pour the herb oil into the pan and add more olive oil. Cut off the tops of three bulbs and place cut side down in the oil.  I also added a shallot for more flavour.

Under the pan, there’s a terra cotta ring that was soaked in water – you’ll see it later.

three bulbs and a shallot

close lid (isn't it cute) push button

So, it takes 27 mins to roast the garlic, so, let’s head out to the garden.

another pinks plant

dusty miller surrounded by pansies & backed by the bleeding heart

My dusty miller turns into a huge bush by the end of summer – I’ve had three for several years, but so far, this is the only one that’s come back.

pink tulip still in bloom

the backyard fancy columbine

Let’s head back to see the roasted garlic.

open and breath deep

I remove the garlic bulbs and place them cut side down on a plate so the oil that’s been drawn up with drip out.

I leave the oil and herbs to cool – and the bulbs because they are too hot to touch.

cooling the bulbs - there's the moisture ring

roasted garlic cloves

I didn’t want to touch my camera during the squeeze process – but basically, I hold the bottom of the bulb and squeeze like it’s a round toothpaste tube and the cloves slide out easily.

You can also pull the bulb apart and use the back of a spoon to put pressure on the uncut end so the clove pops right out.

pour the cool oil and cloves into an air tight glass jar

You can either use the seasoned oil in cooking or the garlic or both.

I ate two cloves before  I could put it in the fridge – it last up to 5 days in the fridge – so you can roast garlic on Sunday and use it all week in your cooking!


How do the flowers grow….

Yellow sunny pansies

Another garden update – and I start with pansies because they are pretty much my favorite and I have them everywhere in the yard.

bachelor buttons and a bee

more bachelor buttons and the same bee

cool hanging basket plant

We have no idea what it is – probably some kind of petunia – there wasn’t a tag and mostly we bought it because the colours really popped.

ready for my close up

apparently these and the blue one are Japanese Anenomies

Blooms needing deadheading around Ogo Pogo

rock garden pink flower and bee

I am very fond of bees, so am thrilled to find them. We used to have a wild mason bee colony, but they only stay in one place for a year – then the colony dies off and the queen goes to found a new one. Mason bees are the very fuzzy ones. This one isn’t a Mason, but it’s still a cool bee with a lot of pollen on it’s legs.

purple and lavender pansies - or violas, I forget which

garden decor

I had bought this neat terra cotta flower pot and it was a smiling face – but the problem with unglazed pottery is it gets wet, and then it freezes, and then the ice shreds it apart as the cycle of freeze thaw happens. Unless you’re good and move the pots to where they don’t get wet over winter. I am not that good, so I end up using the pieces of pottery as decoration in the garden.


Pink estilby

These are two new additions this weekend.

and purple of course

I tend to be attracted the what I call the bruise colours – purples, blacks, blues, reds, pinks, yellows – we’re trying to add more variety, but we always come back to these colours.

purple columbine - another new plant

pinks with a tiny glimpse of snapdragon

the pink tulips will also need deadheading soon

Gorgeous until the end, though. Funny that the organge/purple tulips that bloomed later are already finished their run and these had bloomed sooner.

rock garden has a nice diversity of colour

the red chicks n hens

When we had these mixed in the barrel pots, the green chicks n hens really crowded out the red ones – now that they are separated on the rock garden, I’m hoping the reds will do a bit better.