Make Hay While The Sun Shines

Well not literally hay but as close as you might get to making things from nature in an urban environment.  The sun shone and it was hot and sunny for the first time in a long time this summer. No better time, I thought,  than to make a refreshing elderflower drink from the trees that have been blooming away at the end of my garden and has upon it some elderflowers at their optimum – heady, perfumy in the peak of their blooming life- giving joy from above before the tiny flowers begin to fall to the ground below creating a summer “snow effect”

Heady and perfumy the elderflowers are ready to be picked usually towards the end of June
Summers arrived

I have been waiting since the beginning of summer when they first started to bloom and when the time feels just right and the air is filled with their perfume on a sunny day I know it is time to swing into action and begin the process to make a very tasty and most refreshing summer drink.  Drunk in your garden on a hot summers day it is only what I can imagine it is like being in paradise.

Chill with a glass of sparkly elderflower

I got this recipe from a friend who is a natural master chef extrodinaire and her daughter, Alexandra, drew me up this pretty diagram to help me on my merry way to making the delicious summer drink, I find it a  very useful reference picture in the potion making process.

All you you will need is

250 grams of sugar

6 heads of elderflower at their optimum blooming point

yeast

two to three non waxed  lemons

2.5 litres of water

Here’s what to do

Put the sugar in a jar and add some warm water to melt the sugar

cut the lemons into chunks and squeeze the juice into the sugar and water

throw the remaining bits of lemon into the syrup mix

add the elderflowers and mix

add the yeast

fill the jar with 2.5 litres of water

cover the jar with a lid if it has one or just use a piece of kitchen roll and an elastic if not

mix (making sure you touch the bottom) three times a day and keep in a sunny spot

taste after four days it is has been sunny it will be ready if not leave for five days but no longer as the taste will turn bitter after this.

Strain through a sieve into a bowl, bottle it up and keep in fridge

simple and delicious!

The potion.  Elderflower- drink – a – brewing loving a sunny spot to get the fizz going

(Making Elderflower cordial – this post was due to be published at the beginning of July but was not finished or published  due to me being out of action  so bear the time of year in mind if you decide to make this  delicious summer drink)

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Eternal Sunshine of the Occupied Mind

I love the satisfying circle of prolific self  seeders,  partnered with a combination of other perennial plants and bulbs,  my idea of a  perfect garden is complete, wild, natural and self perpetuating.  For plants that need a helping hand I like nothing better than to collect their seed heads in autumn, plant them in some good compost in pots and reap the joy of their rewards the following year.  Potting up and prettily presenting your excess plants grown from seeds will help spread the joy amongst others that you know.   If you are a beginner, try sweet pea, nothing could be more easily grown and beautifully rewarding when in bloom  The plants will provide you with cut flowers for the home throughout summer, the more you cut the more they bloom.  Plant the seeds in autumn in some good compost and when they begin to sprout in spring support them with some bamboo or wicker which they will readily spiral up, cut the flowers for indoor display , this will keep the sweet pea blooming throughout the summer months.

The perennial bluebell bulb and the prolific self seeding forget-me-nots and poppies make a marvellous colourful display year upon year with little or no tending apart from some gentle taming of the poppies which involves removal of some seed heads before they set themselves down in your garden
Bees luvin’ the poppies

forget me nots profilific free seeders for that wild natural look

The perennial fern they never fail to unfurl each summer bringing joy, greenery and serenity to the garden, great for that shady corner where nothing else will grow, there are also many ever green varieties which are hardy throughout winter for all year round foliage
Nearly there
Ferns – luving’ this shade!
Support the sprouting sweet pea seedlings with bamboo cane, they will latch on with their tendrils and climb the canes
What a sweet gift they make
The gift that keeps on giving, sprouting sweet pea seedlings. They will bloom in summer,  when the seed heads are formed in autumn, collect the seeds from the pods produced and plant in a pot filled with some nice compost.  The seedlings will sprout the following spring giving you flowers for next summer

The art of creating a beautiful space……….

The solace of a space, love, nurture and cultivate

giving you time to  contemplate

tend and nurture it will grow

not enough, stunt, it’s slow

too much drains the natural flow

would anybody ever really think

too much love and it’s over the brink

strike the balance, find your feet

then all around will tap to the beat

strong, decisive, apply what you know

now you’re gardening in rhythmic flow

 full of joy the learning’s life long

creating, just being and singing your song