Saturday Tipple, Not Snippet!

Pink summer cocktail made with Fentimans Rose Lemonade and Hendricks Gin, a small-batch Scottish gin with rose, cucumber and botanical extracts

While I was in the UK with my family, I tried for the first time the most divine drink: Fentimans Rose Lemonade. It is delicious on its own — it really smells like roses and tastes the way roses smell! And it’s pink! Just lovely.

Bottle of Fentiman's pink Rose Lemonade soft drink
Fentimans Rose Lemonade; image: Fentimans

When we got home, I found a local store that carries it. Hurray! Bought two large bottles and promptly started to think, what else can I do with this yummy beverage? Aha — a summer cocktail! So I made one up. I am posting the recipe on my “Old Herbaceous” blog because Fentimans refers to its Rose Lemonade as “botanically brewed” and describes its composition as “fermented botanical lemon drink with herbal extracts”; and because the cocktail is based on Hendrick’s Gin, a small-batch Scottish gin infused with rose and cucumber extracts, plus other botanicals: “Hendrick’s wondrous botanical signature consists of flowers, roots, fruits, and seeds from the world over. They function to complement and set the stage for our delicious duet of infusions: rose petal and cucumber.”

Illustration of bottle of Hendrick's Gin, a small-batch Scottish gin made with botanical extracts
Hendrick’s Gin; image from us.hendricksgin.com

So here is the recipe for what my daughter calls “Rosie the Riveter”, although I’m trying to think of a more romantic, ladylike name to match the pale pink color with light green accents; and there is already a different cocktail named Rosie the Riveter, which I only discovered after I came up with mine and Googled the name. Maybe I’ll call it “Scepter’d Isle”, after Shakespeare and the gorgeous David Austin English Rose of that name, inspired by Susan Rushton’s beautiful photographs! What do you think?

Old Herbaceous’ Rosie the Riveter Cocktail (or Scepter’d Isle):

Fill a tall glass halfway with ice (cubes or crushed).

Add one jigger of Hendrick’s Gin.

Fill the rest of the glass with Fentimans Rose Lemonade.

Add five drops of rose water, 1-3 thin slices of cucumber, one sprig of fresh mint leaves.

Enjoy!

Next stop: the bar “Fragrances” at the Ritz-Carlton, Berlin, which serves cocktails inspired by legendary perfumes. I’ve never been there, have you?

David Austin Meets the Queen

David Austin meeting Queen Elizabeth II at the Chelsea Flower Show

David Austin Roses won another gold medal at the recent Chelsea Flower Show, and founder David Austin was honored with a visit from HRH Queen Elizabeth II. The Shropshire Star notes that both the Queen and Mr. Austin turn 90 this year and had a “good chat” about that milestone. What lovely faces and smiles they both have!

Photo: The Shropshire Star.

2016 Mouse Ears Hosta Update

Oh my — I did not know that there were more “mouse ears” hostas, in addition to my beloved “Blue Mouse Ears”! I sense a hosta buying binge coming on …

CAROLYN'S SHADE GARDENS

Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears' 6-21-2015 1-44-28 PM

‘Blue Mouse Ears’, the 2008 Hosta of the Year, is the mouse ears hosta that started it all, shown here with its adorable, well-proportioned flowers.

It is mini hosta time at Carolyn’s Shade Garden where mouse ears hostas are definitely the customer favorite.  What’s not to love?  Whether you go for the clever mouse-themed names, the round and rubbery, slug resistant leaves, the useful mini to small size, the perfectly symmetrical, elegant habit, the large variety of beautiful leaf colors, the pixie-like, proportionate flowers, or their general gardenworthiness, you can’t go wrong with mouse ears.

Nursery News:  You are welcome to shop at the nursery any time by appointment.  The 2016 Mini Hosta Catalogue is now on line here, and we are taking orders.  Our third open house sale, featuring hostas, miniature hostas, ferns, epimediums, and hardy geraniums, will be held on Saturday, May 7, from 10 am to…

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Lovely Botanical Couture

Innovative brides searching for a fresh and fashionable approach to floral design are likely to fall in love with the high-style botanical couture of Francoise Weeks. Her captivating creations — shoes, purses, jewelry, headpieces, even parasols — would fit right in on the runways of Paris or Milan. Each stunning piece is filled with rich…

via The Botanical Magic of Francoise Weeks — DAVID AUSTIN ROSES USA

New Hampshire Wildflowers

Visiting New Hampshire in August, I am struck again by the beauty of the roadside wildflowers and other plants. Queen Anne’s Lace is a favorite, in bloom at the same time as goldenrod. Invasive pest that it is, the purple loosestrife is also pretty this time of year. Lots of green ferns at the woods’ edges, and wonderful carpets of green moss and silvery grey-green lichens, leading toward the occasional pops of white birches against the dark green of surrounding trees. And in flowerbeds, the hostas are in peak form, leafed out but not yet bedraggled, flower spikes just starting to bloom and without any faded blossoms. Hybrid and wild daylilies are blooming, as are the magenta flowers of echinacea. Summer in New England. Ahhhh.

Photo: nhgardensolutions.wordpress.com