The Gordonia is a large shrub which looks like a cross between a Camellia and a Magnolia. We planted our bush when we first moved here 7 years ago. At first it didn't look like it was going to survive between the very hot dry conditions and the frosty winters but now it is well established and is covered with buds. The flowers are as big as bread and butter plates. with huge bright yellow centers. A glorious addition to the garden!
I didn't realise that this scented bush had so many culinary uses. I chose it for its flowers and scent (a pity that you can't smell it) at this time of the year when so much else is dormant. I've included information from Wikipedia on the way that it can be used in cooking.
"Culinary uses A small jar of Sweet Osmanthus sauce In Chinese, the plant is called xī (樨) or guìhuā (桂花), and its flowers, called guì huā (桂花, literally "cinnamon flower" or "cassia flower") are used, infused with green or black tea leaves, to create a scented tea called guì huā chá (桂花茶).
In Chinese cuisine, the flowers are also used to produce osmanthus-scented jam (called guì huā jiàng, 桂花醬 or 桂花酱), sweet cakes (called guì huā gāo, 桂花糕), dumplings, soups, and even liquor (called guì huā jiǔ, 桂花酒; or 桂花陈酒, guì huā chén jiǔ). Osmanthus jam is used as an ingredient in a type of gruel called chátāng (茶汤), which is made from sorghum or millet flour and sugar mixed with boiling water. This dish is typical of the northern city of Tianjin, although it may also be found in Beijing."
Today was the first day that sun has shone for the whole school holidays - the last day - so straight out to the garden to plant some vegetables that had been sitting on the kitchen bench for the last 2 weeks.
The nice thing about a big garden is that you forget what you plant where. Once its in the ground you leave it to do its thing, so it was surprise when I can across the flowering Hellebores that I had planted under a deciduous tree 12 months ago.
Hellebores are also known as the winter rose. They are elegant and understated with the flowers hanging their heads toward the ground as if they are too shy to look up. A nice way to end the school holidays in the garden.
I also found a white Daphne that was a cutting I had planted in the same spot. ;-)
It looks as though the dragon is going to tell Tara (the whippet) a secret. Tara is busy watching the fish in the pond.
2011- 365 Challengers