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Friday, 26 June 2015

Five on Friday - Friday roundup

One of the things about being in the habit of blogging is that you take photographs a lot of the time.  Sometimes I will take a picture because I specifically want to remember something, and other times I will take pictures because I think I might want to write about them in the future.

The benefit of this is that when you look back through your photo files, you find all kinds of memories that would otherwise have been lost forever.  The downside, of course, is that you store hundreds of photos that you might never have a use for!

I'm very happy to take part in Five on Friday this week as it has given me a reason to revisit some of the photographs that I've taken over the last week and gives them a place to be shown when otherwise they might have stayed, gathering virtual dust, in a computer file!  So here we go!

One - Oriental poppies (papaver Orientale).  I may have mentioned once or twice before how much I love Oriental poppies and at this time of year they are in full bloom in the garden.  I've had a lovely time watching their petals unfurl in the sunshine, and spotting flowers appearing where they have seeded themselves in the borders.  I have red ones with plain petals ...



and red ones with feathery petals (these are a variety called "Turkenlouis") ...


I have purple ones with ruffled petals (this is "Patty's Plum") ...


and orange ones with white petal bases (some of the flowers were more white than orange, they were fabulous but sadly they didn't flower all at the same time) ...


and coral-coloured ones (appropriately named "Coral Reef") which I'm particularly proud of as they were the first ones I grew from seed.


I have so many more - "Mrs Perry" (of course!), "Fruit Punch" and other varieties that I've forgotten the names of, but today I have just shown you five (Ha!  Five within five!).  I could quite happily fill my garden with nothing but Oriental poppies, but they only have a relatively short season and there are other plants that I love in the garden too so it's only right to make space for them as well!

Two - elderflower cordial.  I make this every year, it's such a refreshing drink and I always feel such a sense of achievement to know that I've made it myself.  It's terribly easy - elderflower heads, lemons, limes, sugar, water and citric acid all mixed together in a bowl and left overnight. 

Big daughter and I picked the flower heads today; I was worried that I might have left it a bit late as I've been meaning to do this for a week or so, but this year seems to have been a particularly good year for elderflowers and there was no shortage of blooms - some of them much bigger than I've seen in previous years too!


The smell of the ingredients whilst you're preparing the cordial is amazing.  Elderflowers and citrus ... mmm!  I think the next big technological thing should be transporting smells across the internet.  Just think how wonderful that could be - as long as you could only upload nice smells!



In less than an hour, my cordial is ready to sit overnight in a cool, dark place and tomorrow I'll be able to strain and bottle it, ready to drink straight away.  It doesn't get much easier than that!  I've tried a few recipes over the years, but my favourite is the one from this book which has never let me down.  I've tried a few of the other recipes in the book too, and they've all been good!



Three - the first strawberry of the year.  Back in March of this year, I replaced the strawberry plants that we have with some new ones and the very first fruit was ripe enough to eat.  Small daughter made sure that she was on hand to quality-test it and it was deemed to be Very Good.


Four - Midsummer.  Last Sunday was the longest day of the year (although you'd never know it from the weather in the photograph!).  It was also Father's Day and we'd taken ourselves and my Dad out to Chester for a walk along the walls.  We couldn't miss the Chester Midsummer Watch parade, which is held on the Saturday and Sunday closest to Midsummer (thank you to Mrs Tigglywinkle for setting me right on the date!) - a spectacular and very noisy parade featuring dragons, devils, unicorns, stags and a pirate ship amongst other parade participants.  We weren't sure what our dog was going to think about it (he likes a stroll around Chester so we couldn't have left him at home), but he seemed to take it all in his stride and at one point we thought he was going to join the parade himself!


Five - new socks.  It seems to have taken me an inordinately long time to finish these socks, but what with the Sockalong and university visits, my own knitting has taken a bit of a back seat at the moment.  That's the best thing about socks, though; they're so very forgiving if you put them down for a while, especially an easy plain pattern like this one.  I'm very pleased to have them finished now - it's always lovely to have a new pair of socks to wear!

The yarn is Zoofari by Regia in shade Zebra Paul (05866).  I do like these zebra stripes, and it's good to know that if I ever meet a herd of blue and red zebras then I will blend in nicely.



Thanks to Amy at Love Made My Home for hosting Five on Friday, do take a look at some of the other posts!


Look out for my next post - an exciting new Fyberspates pattern book giveaway!



34 comments:

  1. I love the idea of a herd of blue and red zebras!!! If you do meet any you are set though aren't you!!! Five wonderful things, especially the poppies, they are just stunning as are your photos of them!!!! I love poppies!!!!! Thank you so much for joining in. I hope that you have a great weekend! xx

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    1. I'll be invisible amongst those zebras! Hope you have a great weekend too, I've really enjoyed putting this post together xx

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  2. You have so many poppies in your garden! I do love the paperiness of poppies very much. Ours don't cope so well with the incessant rain :-(
    What an interesting way to make elderflower cordial, must try it. I take a very different approach. I wonder if yours tastes similar to mine. Only one way to tell. We are weeks behind and I have still got time to pick some more flowerheads. Have a lovely weekend. x

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    1. It would be interesting to do a taste test, wouldn't it? (Which also sounds like a good excuse for a knit n natter ;-) ) Have a lovely weekend yourself, and stay dry! xx

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  3. Ooh! I love those poppies! And your strawberry looks delicious. I took a photo this week of half a dozen strawbs lined up on our windowsill to ripen - a blogger can't resist! Very funky yarn on those socks-I love the pattern it made!

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    1. It's a tough thing getting small daughter to leave the strawberries on the plants long enough to ripen! :-) xx

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  4. Those poppies are stunning. Gorgeous colours. I would like to try making elderflower cordial but I have a feeling I would pick the wrong flower. X

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    1. Hmm ... I'm not sure it would taste quite so good with the wrong flower! You could do with someone who recognises them to show you - once you know what they look like they're very easy to spot! xx

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  5. Your poppies are gorgeous and I love those socks too! You can't beat homemade elderflower, one year I will get around to it x

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    1. It's not too late this year, you've still got time! :-) xx

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  6. I do so love poppies but not one single one in my garden as of yet! I hope to grow them from seed as well so fingers crossed for next spring. Oh my gosh, did I really just refer to next spring already?! LOL!

    I think being a red and blue zebra would be quite perfect and you most certainly would be able to blend in :D I also have yet to make a pair of socks! I am rather new to the fibery world of sheep and other fiber species having spent a good amount of time playing with paper and paints. When I turned sixty (how did that happen, eek) last November I met a fork in the road which directed me away from all the familiar interests and right into the lap of sheep! :D

    Well, I've babbled on but it as been such a pleasure to meet you and I do so look forward to visiting again... hmmm, perhaps next Friday or Saturday?!
    Hugs from across the pond from a new friend,
    Beth P

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    1. Hello Beth, it's lovely to meet you too! Ha - it's quite usual for gardeners to always be thinking about "next year" - but it does make the time go quickly! It will certainly be an interesting diversion for you into the realm of all things woolly - I hope you enjoy it! xx

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  7. A nice set of Five! I don't know what elder flowers taste like (or even smell like), but I'll take your word for it that they're refreshing! The concoction looks amazing :) I like how your town celebrates Midsummer's Day/Eve with a parade etc. Nice socks! Enjoy your weekend :)
    Wendy

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    1. Elderflower drinks taste fantastic! I can highly recommend you trying them - and just so that you don't have to make your own, you'll find plenty of them in the supermarket as well these days! xx

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  8. Such variety of poppies in your garden. Just wonderful. Glad you managed to make the elderflower and you're right. Do many blooms this year, large too and I feel flowering a tad later than normal. I may even try and make a second batch. I've never added limes in mine though so may give that a try too. Love love your socks. Great 5 on Friday! My post was the opposite all about my WIPS!!!!

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    1. I've never put limes in my cordial until I used this recipe, but it gives it a nice flavour - you could try it if you make some more! I enjoyed your WIP post - you've certainly got a lot on the go! xx

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  9. Poppies, elderflower cordial, strawberries, midsummer, socks - fantastic five. Thank you, Christine. But I'm afraid I must take issue with you over Midsummer Day: whenever the solstice and the longest day falls, Midsummer Day is ALWAYS 24th June. I know, it's weird, but it is. xx

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    1. Yes, you're quite right - I've just assumed that Midsummer Day was on the longest day so I've corrected it now, thank you! It's sad to think that we're heading towards winter now, isn't it? As much as I love the winter, the summer does always seem very short xx

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  10. A delightful post! Love your poppies, first of all! Such beautiful colors! Really stunning! The elderflower cordial sounds so wonderful. I have always wanted to grow elder! making the cordial would be such a treat. It looks easy, and so refreshing! Love the photo of the parade, and also the new socks. Wonderful job!

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    1. Thank you! I might be needing my socks today - wet and drizzly after yesterday's sunshine. So much for summer! xx

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  11. Amazing variety of poppies, I've never seen so many different types. The strawberry looks great too, so ripe and plump. I'm sure the elderflower cordial will be delish. I have never made it, but we did make our own lemonade last week. Two batches and they lasted five minutes! Enjoy your week!

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    1. Ooh, home made lemonade! Now that's something I've always wanted to have a go at - I really must give it a try! xx

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  12. ohhh your socks!! I do love the colours you chose! and your wonderful poppies!! the queens of the garden for sure! xx

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    1. Queens of the garden! I like that! :-) xx

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  13. What an interesting post! To start with, I have never seen a purple poppy. It looks gorgeous.
    Your photos of the preparing elderflower cordial are really beautiful! It would be lovely to try your recipe, but unfortunately only Sambucus racemosa grows here where I live.
    I share your thoughts about taking and storing photos... and wish there could be a way to upload scents of flowers together with the photos. :)
    Have a lovely week! xx

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    1. I'm not sure if you can use other elder varieties to make cordial. I have a Sambucus nigra in the garden with beautiful pink flowers which I'm sure would look very pretty as cordial - if I knew it wasn't going to poison me! :-) xx

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  14. I love the poppies and the socks you made. What a lovely 5 on Friday!

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for dropping by! :-) xx

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  15. Lots of lovely things happening in your garden. I never knew there were so many different colored poppies as the ones you most see are the red ones for remembrance. Love the pink and feathery one. And those socks are so fun. Best wishes, Tammy

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    1. Thanks, Tammy! It's lovely to see you, thanks for visiting xx

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  16. Suffering from (very benign!) poppy envy! What stunning flowers, and each colour is more beautiful than the last. Like Christina commenting above, I have never managed to grow and keep poppies, as she says it is probably the amount of rain we get up in Scotland that scuppers us a bit. X

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    1. That's such a shame, but then there are plants that grow further south that won't grow in my garden. There can be such a big difference in what will grow around the country! xx

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  17. Your poppies are gorgeous!! Love all the colors!

    That cordial looks amazing and how I wish there was scent (& taste) right through the internet!

    Your strawberries look great too and I LOVE your socks...well worth waiting for dear Lady. ;)

    Hope you're having a lovely week. xo

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for visiting, it's lovely to see you! xx

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