Friday, June 3, 2016


After the seemingly endless days of rain we were greeted by the sun this morning. We had breakfast outside in the English Garden. It was one of the reasons we decided to make a patio in this garden. Having watched the sun over our first year in the house we noticed that in the summer this area was shielded from the morning sun by the high wall. Perfect for breakfast on summer days.

We both commented on the coolness of the air in the shade but knowing full well that it wouldn't last. It was going to be another hot and steamy one. The birds kept us longer at the breakfast table as we watched them enjoying the recent added bird feeders. And several hummingbirds were tolerating each other at the red salvia, cone flowers and verbena. They must be from the same family because they are normally very territorial. It would have been nice to linger but as always there was work to be done; so cutting back after all the rain and preparation for those days when there will be no rain. Irrigation is not my favorite chore but I have delayed too long this year.

I picked another few pounds of green beans. They have been prolific this year and I found myself actually getting round to pickling some the other day.

 I used to do a lot of preserving when we lived outside Toronto 35 years ago. It is hard to believe that the preserving pan is one of the things that never got thrown away. So I put it to good use this week.

I am sure there are lots of recipes for pickling beans but this was a recipe from the beans we had when we visited friends in Boise some years ago. I have never had enough beans to do it before. They make a great snack with a glass of wine.
To each jar I added 1/2tsp of mustard seed, dill seed, salt and a garlic clove. The recipe calls for a hot red pepper but instead I added 1/4 tsp of dried chile flakes. Then topped each with equal parts of heated apple cider vinegar and water. Processed for 15 minutes.
We had the trimmings for dinner.
But returning to this morning's garden chores I weeded and pulled out errant plants, trimmed back the mint, picked the tomatoes, put all the pots on irrigation, fertilized the citrus with epsom salts, removed dead leaves from the stock tank water lilies and fertilized, filled the bird feeders. Then I collected seeds from the rose campion, Lychnis, bluebonnets and love-in-a-mist to share. I'm done for the day.


  1. A shady spot in the garden is a treasue and yours has especially nice views. I'm glad to hear that you've had a break from the rain - the daily news has reported horrendous floods, which had me concerned about you and the other Texas bloggers. At the other extreme, it seems that we have no hope of rain until October or therabouts, although we were blanketed in fog this morning, which is helpful.

  2. need to see if you can preserve some of that energy. A nice little jar of that, would make a great gift to a garden friend.

  3. Oh those beans! They look delicious...Toronto? I didn't remember that, you do get around.

  4. There is no bee more industrious than you are in your spaces, that's for sure! And so wise to understand the need for irrigation will be upon us soon enough, no matter we are getting so much rain so close together at the moment.

    I'm betting your wonderful bean pickling recipe could be adapted for sugar snap peas which are often available year 'round in the grocery store. I'd had a new batch planned using an old standby quick pickling recipe but am going to use your more long lasting recipe for a bit of variety. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Oh how lovely to have a nice breakfast spot outside! The green beans look great. I never liked pickles until I had a friend's zucchini pickles and realized that it was cucumbers I didn't like. Now I'm part of a canning swap, which is a lot of fun. Not too much produce in our Northern garden yet to can though!