Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring Flowering Bulbs in the Jarvis House Garden 2014

 Although we had a very cold, snowy, and long winter the Spring flowering bulbs did not suffer much underground, as did some of the Jarvis Garden shrubs.
 Over the years the collection of Narcissus, Daffodil, and mini daffodils, has grown to include quite a variety of sizes and colors. 
 There are both pink and blue Hyacinths.
Here is the  yellow flower of the insidious Marsh Marigold, next to a very tiny blue star shaped flower.
These are nodding tiny narcissus at the edge of the garden.

 Bunches of daffodils  have multiplied and naturalized over the years.  Since I have been known to dig up clumps if they do not bloom, different varieties wind up in new clumps.

 This is a Parrot tulip that I got from my friend Elizabeth years ago when she moved from house to house. If planted really deeply, Tulips come back practically forewver.

 These are Dog Toothed Violets.
 White Tulips
 Deep red Darwin tulips
 Years ago, Marsh  Marigolds were not in the Jarvis Garden.  I purchased many, many potted plants from local nurseries, and that is where they must have come from.
Unfortunately, now they blanket my entire yard.  They are sort of pretty, and people really like them, but they are the worst spreading weed that I can think of.  I never share plants with people who don't already have them in the garden for fear of infecting their soil.
 This is a double flowering narcissus that multiplies rapidly.
 This is a Lenten Rose which grows in deep shade under one of my Rhododendrons.
 A green Lenten Rose in deep shade by by big barn.

 Darwins are good old standard tulips.  They are tall , have huge blooms and lovely deep colors:  lipstick red, bright yellow, and pure white.  I may even  have a lovely pink variety.
 A crazy double yellow daffodil

 Some of these Tulips came from a batch that my sister brought back from Holland over 40 years ago.  I cannot figure out how they survive that long, but they do.

 New additions

 These Tulips were brought from my parent's house, and they originally came from a garden center named Wheatley Gardens which bordered the rear of my parents property. 

 This is one of the few flowers that I can name, Pheasant's Eye.  It is very striking and also multiplies well.

 Ice Follies
 Probably King Alfred, which is usually the largest and strongest  of the Daffodils.
I think that I got the bug for collecting Spring bulbs from my  childhood days at Wheatley Gardens.  They would throw bloomed out bulbs , which were imported from Holland in wooden crates, onto a huge compost pile each year.  I quickly learned that bulbs would come back and started to collect their rejects.  Many of the Spring flowering bulbs actually come from those days.  They just keep on coming back.  I sometimes stop by the side of the road and pick up pots of bloomed out bulbs that people discard after Easter.  I have also been known to purchase, at a deep discount, bloomed out bulbs from pharmacies and supermarkets.  Bulbs have promise built right into their scratchy brown, oddly shaped, dried out forms.  If you teach your children to  plant these  strange packages of hope in the Fall, they will learn a lot about  future planning, and deferred gratification.  Nothing wrong with waiting a few months for a big return!  It is a great lesson.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yankee Pot Roast Dinner for Two Jarvis House Style

 Spring on Long Island maybe cold and dreary.  Inviting a friend over for a Pot roast dinner is just the trick to bring up the spirits.  
 I read in a flyer that my local grocery store,Waldbaums, was having a sale on beef.  That's what started me on the path to pot roast .  I chose a lovely eye round.  At that price it was a bargain these days!  
 I poured about two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into the cooking pot.
Then over a high flame, I have a gas range, sear all the sides of the roast to keep the juices in.
 Chop a medium onion.
 Keep turning the meet as the sides brown, even balancing with your cooking fork when doing the short ends.
 The whole roast should be a lovely brown,
then remove it to a plate while you brown the chopped onions.
 Replace the roast to the pot when the onions are glistening and brown, making sure not to burn the onions,
 Add four (4) cups of water,
A teaspoon of salt or more if you like it salty,
 A teaspoon of dry mustard,
ground pepper to taste, and a few Bay Leaves.
I added a bit of sage too.

The roast looks good and smells fantastic!
Cover the pot and lower the flame for a slow long cook, about three hours.
 One hour before the roast has finished cooking, add coarsely chopped fresh carrots, celery, and peeled potatoes.

 I love the Yukon Gold potatoes.
Everything in the pot and cook for the last hour.  If you put the vegetables in too soon they get mushy.
 Add red wine too to enhance the flavor.
The meat is tender so carve carefully.
 Spoon out the vegetables, being careful to remove all Bay leaves.  Bay leaves are very sharp good for flavoring the meat but should not be eaten.
 Use the remaining liquid to  make gravy, by mixing two tablespoons unbleached flour in cold water.  You can use a sieve over the mixture to remove any lumps.
A  dinner for two in front of the wood burning stove.  White dishes and serving pieces make the food look just beautiful!    So good.  Try it soon.  It is back to basics, but you can do yard or household chores while the meat cooks.