Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Flower Arrangment~ Go Native and Natural

  As the temps continue to drop my perennials and shrubs fall deeper and deeper into the rich shades of autumn. The colors and textures may change but they are still beautiful and provide plenty of inspiration for floral arranging!

Today I'm sharing a fun recipe for making a quick and easy fall arrangement that is suitable for a basket, bucket, vase ( CHICKEN COOP ) or even a fresh fall garden wedding bouquet.
I've been needing to freshen the container that hangs on our hen house for a while now. 

The flowers in the container below have been hanging on the chicken coop all summer long. They  have become quite faded, plus the bright yellow and blue hues don't represent the rich earthy tones we love a bout fall! So  I tossed them out and got busy cutting some faded  autumn blooms from my garden.

It's fun to walk around the garden this time of year and look up close at the plants as they begin the final descend into dormancy. It allows one chance to give thanks for the bounty the garden has provided and the nurturing and teaching it has offered throughout the flourishing months of spring and summer. The fall garden is still a living, giving thing of beauty! 
 I cut a small branch off of my Oak Leaf Hydrangea which is just beginning to take on deeper shades of pink, red and burgundy. I built my arrangement around this branch.

Next I cut a large Hydrangea blossom off of my Bridal White shrub.

The edges of  the petals look as if they've been dipped in lavender. To think that they were still a brilliant white with hints of lime green just a few weeks ago. 

I also gathered some nine bark for the rich almost chocolate brownish red color, another variety of hydrangea with petals that have already faded to a vintage sepia tone, and some autumn sedum joy for its plum tones and large, nubby flower head.
 I tucked in a few ornamental grass plumes just for fun! 

Here's what it looked like when I brought it over to my potting bench. As I walked the garden I looked for variations in the leaves, blower heads and textures of the over all plant selecting some for the most color variation and others for the least. Does that make sense? If not, just walk around and cut some of your faded flowers. Hold them in your hand until you like what you see and feel you have enough to fill your vessels. There, that's the easy way to creating a natural fall bouquet!
 It's not rocket science, it's playing with flowers... Easy!

  I can just imagine all of these colors wrapped in burlap then tied with a brilliant gold or brown satin ribbon as a fall wedding bouquet.

You'll want to add some water to your vase before you add the cuttings. The water will keep your foliage fresher longer. Put the vase in your container ( with water ) and start to add your cuttings. 

I  put the largest branch in first, then the large hydrangea blossom. I free-styled it from there!

Here's what it looked like when I brought it over to my potting table. I can just imagine all of these colors wrapped in burlap then tied with a brilliant gold or brown satin ribbon as a fall wedding bouquet. I hear  herbs, grasses and garden foliage are trending" for wedding flowers in 2015!

Since no one is getting married here, I hung the container back on the hen house... The cottage hens were so happy! I even heard them talking about wedding dresses and venues as I walked away... Those silly girls!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Your Weekly Dish: Roasted Taters With Rosemary

Hot out of the oven!
 I love being in my homestead kitchen this time of year. It feels great to be able to turn on the oven again and be comforted by the smell of a hot, home-cooked meal. One of our favorite side dishes for any kind of meat is roasted taters with fresh rosemary. And, I love the ease of tossing together what ever root veggies we have on hand. I've used small red potatoes with white or golden potatoes as well, but what makes this recipe unique is the added flavor of sweet potatoes. 
Before baking.
We came up with this winning combination when my hubby needed a quick recipe to contribute to a Boy Scout camp pot luck. Naturally, I wanted to show you this dish cooked, but I think it looks so appetizing and pretty with the rosemary tucked in just before going in the oven. 
 Here's the recipe!  It's organic, of course!

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes 
 5 or 6 medium potatoes
1 or 2 large sweet potatoes ( yams)
1 medium sweet onion
4 -5 small sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil
1  fresh clove or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375
Wash and pat dry all potatoes then cut them into bite-sized chunks and place in a mixing bowl. Quarter the onion then slice crosswise for small chunky sized slivers. Add to the potatoes. Pour olive oil on the veggies and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.* We like freshly ground sea salt and pepper corns for full flavor.
Place in a 13x9 baking dish and add insert rosemary cuttings in between the potatoes. Bake for 45 minutes or until desired roasted tenderness is achieved.
*Delicious served with a simple garden fresh salad and an old fashioned pot roast, roasted chicken or pan roasted fish.

The smell while it is baking is heavenly! What are some of your favorite root veggie combinations for roasting?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 173 and The Gentlemen

 Happy weekend Farmgirls! It's great to be back after a long week of DIY here at Dandelion House. Yep! We are finally getting around to installing our bamboo flooring ( that's been stored in our den since March ) this week. It's going slow, but IT'S going! Rather than bore you with icky pics of our unfinished project I'd rather share a great story about a girl and her old chair she calls, The Gentlemen. I have RE-doing on my mind ( and paint under my nails this week)  so in the spirit of getting down and dirty in the home decor department I'd like you to meet our FEATURED FARMGIRL, Robin of Redo It Yourself Inspirations.

 Shes' a girl after my own heart when it comes to dragging old strays home. As in stray pieces of furniture. If you're afflicted with the same pull towards items that are chipped, rusted, half- broken down or in some cases a complete do over, then you get it! 
Be sure to visit Robin's blog for the whole romantic story which begins with how and where she spotted " the gentlemen" and his complete transformation.

I think he turned out quite handsome, don't you? 

Now, what cha all been up to this week on your homesteads? Share it all on this weeks, Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! 
 You're sure to get your fill this week. Lots of our farmgirls have been busy in the kitchen canning, preserving, roasting, and filling their pantries with farm fresh goodness.

Be sure to stop by Big Sky Acres to catch up with my co-hostess and "farmgirl in crime", Debbie ( aka Farmgirl Unleashed)! She's in the middle of a farmgirl frenzy! Remodeling, fall garden planning and canning up a storm!

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