Poppies and Peonies

Good morning, my friends, and Happy Memorial Day! It's a day to honor our fallen servicemen and service women, and it's a good excuse for a three-day weekend. It'll be same old, same old around here. We generally avoid traveling on holiday weekends. We'll leave that to the folks who are unable to travel whenever they get mind to go somewhere.

My day started as usual with some progress on my slow-stitching. It's intended to be a "short" project, but it's going to take some time. There are lots of little stitches.

After that, I needed to roast some eggplant for the night's dinner. 

I'll tell you about that in a minute. Also, I needed to make a Tangy and Creamy Macaroni Salad. I made it for the first time just a few weeks ago. It was so easy and delicious, and it was a good accompaniment to our sandwich dinner last night. (Searches old blog posts.) Well, I could swear I wrote about it when I tried it the first time, but I can't find the post. Here's a picture from online. It's a great salad, and easy to make.

With dinner practically finished, I could go to work picking a bucket o' weeds. They're well enough under control that I could only find enough to pick 3/4 of a bucket. That's progress, my friends. 

My next trick was to check on the garden sunflowers. Not all have sprouted. After two weeks, I decided to restart some of the seeds. On my way to the greenhouse, I noticed the greenhouse poppy has bloomed. Oh happy day!!

I like how the green sepals pop off. One of these landed inside the flower.

Checking in on the sunflowers in the vegetable garden, most of them have sprouted, but there were a few hold outs. I decided to pull up their popcicle stick markers and start them in little pots. As soon as I see the first signs of green (it shouldn't take long), I'll move them back to the garden.

From there, I took a walk around. I noticed the first plum on the plum tree. These are hard to spot. I believe this year's crop will be mostly at the top of the tree. It was late to bloom and that's where the flowers were.

The dahlias are doing great. We've cut small openings in their protective fencing to give them room to spread out as they grow taller. I can't wait until fall when these will begin to bloom.

Checking on the peonies, I keep thinking I'll see an open flower. This was the nearest to opening in the morning.

Later in the day, it hadn't made much more progress.

There is one flower open...this sadly deformed thing:

It has at least two dozen buds, and they are all opening to the same sad mess of a flower.

I spotted one bud that held some promise. You can see there is another one behind it to the right that looks the same as the others.

After reading the many comments from the peony lovers on Facebook, I decided to order a replacement for this one. I can choose a later shipping date, and so it won't arrive until we are home from our fall trip. I chose this one called Lavender Whisper. It is a smaller variety than its predecessor (the peony bed is a little crowded), and it should look like this when it blooms.

It will have a slightly lavender fragrance. With lavender being one of my favorite fragrances, it seemed like a good choice. I'll move the Rosy Prospects peony to some other spot. It's still a living plant, and it produces nice foliage, even if it doesn't ever produce flowers. I'll find a spot for it somewhere, and it can continue on its deformed path. Who knows, maybe it will get its act together at some point.

In other garden news, I noticed the first flowers are forming on the hydrangeas. They'll be the stars of the garden soon enough.

Back inside, I spent the whole of my sewing day working on the collage piece. There are probably less than ten pieces to finish it now. By day's end, I should be wrapping up the "collage" part of it. After that it will need borders, quilting, and binding. Here's your peek. Any guesses?

There was no kitty help yesterday. I found Smitty napping in the living room.

Sadie was in the little house on her catio. She was quite purrturbed I didn't take her out for an afternoon walk. Cats who won't come inside when asked do not get special purrivileges.

Okay, and about that sandwich...it's such a weird combination of flavors. These are Roasted Eggplant and Pickled Beet Sandwiches.

I was trying to remember why I made this the first time. It sounds just awful: roasted eggplant, pickled beets, feta cheese, kalamata olives. Weird, huh? I checked an old blogpost and found I made it the first time simply because it looked good in its online picture. And, yes, their picture is better than mine.

It'll make enough for two meals, and there will still be leftovers for lunch as well. 

Now here's the thing about eggplant. It has seeds, right? And we have to be careful here for the people in our household who have problems tolerating seeds in their gut. So I learned this trick about eggplant. In the process of searching for information to share with you, I found that this has been debunked. Nevertheless, I'm willing to swear on a stack of Bibles that it works. It seems there are male and female versions of eggplant flowers. If you choose the male version of the eggplant, you will get fewer seeds. And it has always worked for me. Here's how you tell the difference: the female has an elongated flower "scar," the male has a round scar. 

I have my own way of remembering this, which is kind of naughty, and so I'll keep it to myself. You can probably figure it out.

That's about all I have for you today. Mr. I-Can't-Eat-Seeds is waiting downstairs for his breakfast. The day is going to go pretty much as usual. It's time to water the annuals, and there's probably some housekeeping chore on my to-do list. I know I'm starting something in the slow cooker this morning. I'm determined to finish the collage today. When that's finished, I'll sew the Shop Hop quilt together. And then, there's another tiny house to work on. There will be tiny houses every week through mid-September. The newest one looks like this:

It's sections are lettered "C" through "K" and so it's one of the shorter ones. It will have to wait its turn this week. I'm determined to finish the other two projects first.

So, okay...breakfast is next. I'll leave you to your day. I hope it's a good one.


Barbara said...

Very well, I will marry you if you promise not to make me eat eggplant.
—Gabriel Garcia Marquez, "Love In the Time of Cholera"

Sara said...

Very interesting flower - the one with multiple buds inside. I've never seen anything like it. The poppy photos made me think of my mother-in-law. She had a huge bed of poppies and they looked so glorious this time of year. I may need to drive by her old house while on my way to the Memorial Day program this afternoon, and see if they are still there.

Lyndsey said...

I love poppies. My mother had some giant poppies and they made quite a statement. I'm so please you aren't just pulling up the deformed peony. Their foliage is pretty so a great idea to move it elsewhere. The picture of the replacement looks pretty and it's interesting that it has a slight lavender fragrance.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I must admit we've never managed to like eggplant but I suppose that could be because we've never really known how to cook it.
Ah the explosion of poppies - one of my favourites in the garden. We had several different colours which seemed to bloom in succession.

Kate said...

We don't eat eggplant often, but I've made a veggie sandwich in the past that used one. Your sandwich looks interesting, but I'm not sure about that flavor combination. Happy stitching this week, hope you get to all your planned projects.