Flip Flops and Dewy Grass, Wisteria in Bloom, and Screen Door Mornings…

Flip Flops and Dewy Grass, Wisteria in Bloom, and Screen Door Mornings…

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary Vol. 1

Week 22: June 3, 2021

A week of flips flops and dewy grass, wisteria in bloom, and screen door mornings, and a cloud swallowtail butterflies flitting over a puddle created by sprinkler overflow.

It was a beautiful, sunny week, unseasonably warm for the first week in June with daytime highs between 94-99F (34-37c) here in the countryside in southern Oregon. The garden is planted as of May 29. The main crops, including tomatoes (transplants), zucchini, pumpkins, butternut squash, cucumbers, melons, cilantro, parsley, beets, carrots, kale, kohlrabi, shallots, radishes, and lettuce (everything planted from seeds) went in May 8. I held off on planting pepper, tomatillo, and basil transplants, along with beans (from seeds) until May 28 – just to make sure they wouldn’t get shocked by heat and cool nights. I’m glad I did. They are adapting well, after a week or so of night-time protection under milk jug cloches.

It is an exciting time, watching seeds germinate and push skyward! I am absolutely taken in by the miracle of sprouting seeds every year.

Walking under the blooming wisteria vines, abuzz with carpenter and honeybees, to enter the vegetable garden feels utterly magical. This mature (50+ year old wisteria vine) blooms heavily in May and then tapers off with a few blooming racemes throughout summer.
A milk jug cloche protects this zucchini seedling from blue and stellar jays during the day, insects at night.
To keep the heat out of the house (we do not have air conditioning), I use my turkey roaster to bake and Crock Pot to cook outside in hot weather.
Popsicle weather, I love summer!
Date night at home: a scrumptious Dutch baby with Mississippi cane syrup from a friend (thank you, Jamie!), lemon wedges for squeezing, and thick cut bacon.
Recipe development: gelatin squares with frozen berries picked last summer and lots of fresh herbs.
The first week of the month means it’s time for a walkabout, or what we jokingly refer to as “surveying the kingdom.” Inside this notebook, I take notes of what is blooming, what needs attention, what is available for harvesting, with special attention given to aspects we appreciate about our homestead.
Antique iris in an impossible shade of iridescent lavender. The aroma is like sweet grape candy, utterly intoxicating!
A young great mullein, Verbascum thapsus, stands tall. Mullein is a biennial, meaning it has a 2-year life cycle. Last year it grew a rosette of felty leaves, this year it will put up a tall stalk covered in tiny yellow buttons that will open to popcorn-like flowers. The whole plant has qualities valued by home herbalists.
The fragrance of these roses is truly lovely. I would describe it as spicy-floral, with cinnamon and clove notes that tickle the nose and tongue. Rose petals can be used in skin care preparations, favored vinegars, jams, and teas – like many other herbs!
Hi, it’s me, Michele. I’m sitting my home office chronicling my week for you.
Thank you for visiting Chocolate Box Cottage. Pearl will see you off.
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