Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summertime, and the Livin' Is Easy

 A view of the border from the wildflower meadow

Summertime and the livin' is easy
berries are poppin'
and the cornflowers are high

Summertime is certainly easy, not to mention fab when you are a gardener and it's even better if you are a potagerer as well. At this time of year my garden certainly lives up to its name: Bliss!
My big border (17 meters long) is jam-packed with flowers to my utter delight. The butterflies and bees are pretty ecstatic about it too.
With such a profusion of flowers it's not hard to indulge yourself with bouquets galore!
Been to Normandy, France, recently where they go utterly rose bonkers in June. Well, they are not the only ones as my own garden has quite a few roses growing in it as well.
This is Constance Spry, making her debute chez Bliss. It's a climber that flowers profusely but only once. It's fragrance is exactly what you'd expect a rose to smell like. I love roses, not only because they delight the eye, nose, heart and soul of many a gardener but also because they are a culinary delight.
Here's a recipe to make rose syrup with solar power only:

Fill a glass jar with fragrant rose petals and add 1 lime cut into four. Fill the jar up with cold springwater and put it in the sun for a few days. Give it a shake every now and again.
Pour it through a sieve and measure the liquid. Add 400 grams of sugar per liter. Then put it back in the sun for a few more days before you bottle it. Pour out a measure of rose syrup in a longdrink glass and fill it up with cold (sparkly) water. Cheers!

You can also turn strawberries, violets, elderflowers etc. into  syrup in this simple and easy way. I wasn't joking about summertime being easy.
The Bliss entrance fragrantly covered with Guirlande D'Amour and Madame Alfred Carriere

But it's not only the roses that do well chez Bliss; the potager is producing a tremendous amount of yummy food on a daily basis now.
So much in fact that you can't eat it all straight from the garden; my favourite way of stuffing my face with homegrown food. So I decided to make an utterly scrumptious dessert with my glut of

Gooseberry & elderflower custard:
- 500 grams of gooseberries
- 2 to 3 elderflowers
- 1 cup of cream
- 1/2 a cup of sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
-  butter

Put a knob of butter in the pan and put it on a low fire. Add the gooseberries, elderflowers and sugar. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer until the fruit is soft.
Whip the cream, eggs and egg yolk together and add gently to the mixture. Keep stirring until it starts to thicken up.
Pour it in a bowl and let it cool off. Then put it in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
 Bon appetit!

Summertime, and the cookin' is easy 

Next time I will blog about my garden filled holiday in Normandy, France

Addendum: for making rose syrup you can also use tapwater if it's of a good quality, if not, use bottled water from supermarket. I leave the jars out at night, it's balmy so why not?

Copyright 2010 Y.E.W. Heuzen


guild-rez said...

Great posts with recipes and flowers galore!!
- Cheers Gisela.

"Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me,
who could ask for more?"
- Bev Adams, Mountain Gardening

VP said...

Mmm - I'm very hungry now. Luckily I have all those ingredients to hand (substituting half fat creme fraiche for the cream) to make my own right now :)

WV says barmi, which this post certainly isn't. What on earth is Blogger thinking? ;)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Ooh, the custard looks really, really good. I love gooseberries, though they're not very common here. Also love all your blooming bliss. :)

Heather said...

Thank you for the tour - what a lovely garden you have! Your long border caught my eye, very nice.

Dawn/LittleGreenFingers said...

Love the idea of the rose syrup but does one need one's own spring? That might be a step to far for me. I do have a well but I covered it over. I'm guessing Cambridgeshire tap water might not cut the mustard.

Anonymous said...

Man, what a treat for all the senses in your garden, YE! Those gooseberries are so beautiful, as good as flowers. The rose syrup sounds intriguing, do you leave it out at night too? And spring water is not so easy to get a hold of here either, like Dawn said. Will distilled work? The rose covered entrance to Bliss is a dream. :-)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your roses are bliss YE. The Rose syrup sounds intrigueing and the gooseberry custard sounds delicious. It is good to hear all is yummmy in your garden now.

Milla said...

this was exceedingly good timing since (shh, bought) gooseberries today and although I was going to make a gb cake (delish) I was wondering what to do with the other half.
I, too, love your long border. I love the explosive sprawl against the precise neatness.

Matron said...

What a truly blissful time in the bliss garden. I will have to give that rose syrup a try! sounds wonderful.

Anonymous said...

A lovely post and photos as always! Happy gardening! Flighty xx

bianca said...

Dein Garten ist echt traumhaft schön. Die alte Steinmauer mit den Rosen ist ganz toll

healingmagichands said...

I must try the rose syrup recipe directly. Looking forward to Normandy.

freerangegirl said...

I cant wait to try your gooseberry custard - and the rose syrup. Love your blog, the photos are beautiful - thankyou for sharing:)

em said...

YUM! funny, it seems our berries all ripened at the same time! yes, can't eat all from the potager, so i've been gifting friends... i planted way too many green beans... hope the neighbors like them... your garden looks fabulous as always!

Jenny Schouten Short said...

This is my favorite kind of post, beautiful and yummy, full of summer delights. I love recipes! I appreciate your taking the time.

Alex aus dem Gwundergarten said...

What a wonderful garden and blog! Aha, finally I've got now a recipe for gooseberries, thank you. By the way, I love the normandy too. The roses there are just incredable.
Have a nice day!

*Ulrike* said...

The rose syrup is something that I need to try! It sounds delicious, and oh how I love gooseberries!!! I don't have any here, wish I did as I remember them from my childhood. The recipe that you gave sounds very good too!
Glad that you are have a wonderful garden this year...I've given up on mine! Well, maybe a fall garden is still in the works.
Have a great week!

DayPhoto said...

What lovely photos! And I thank you for the recipes. I am very interested in the rose syrup.


Babara said...

Your recipe of rose syrup will certainly have a go in my kitchen! Thank you for leaving this "easy" recipe!

zoya said...


What is the low plant that borders your long border? Is it boxwood?



A wildlife gardener said...

Rose syrup to drink, Gooseberry & Elderflower custard to eat, roses to delight the eye and perfume the garden...summer delight at Bliss :)

Blender Diet said...

Your rose syrup sounds delicious. I have to try that one time. I just need to beg my mom to give me some of her rose petals. :)

55 gallon water barrel said...

I just finished lunch and came across this blog entry. I'm suddenly famished once again. Everything is so beautiful - Bliss indeed.

You've inspired me, I can't wait to have my own fruit and vegetable garden. The freshness looks unbelievable!!! Jennifer-USA

Viooltje said...

Bliss it is, indeed. Thanks so much for the great recipes, I absolutely loved the rose syrup. Delightful!

Richtsje said...

Zo enorm genieten van zoveel mooie foto's en tips!

Marian said...

Ben dit blog van je net tegen gekomen, maar je recept van de rozenblaadjes met zonneeneergie ga ik volgend jaar maken...

Nikki May | Web Content Writer said...

What a lovely post Yolanda! I love the rose syrup recipe, and will try it this weekend! Beautiful photos - very heart-warking.

Personal Finance said...

Wow! Beautiful flowers and garden. Thank you Yoland for sharing this. The recipes looks yummy, I will try it. I like your blog!