Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Elders Abound!

elderflower nectar...yum
This is one of the elder shrubs (Sambucus nigra) growing in the garden...as you can see, they are abundant with flowers this year. Last year was a very poor year for flowers (hence berries, too!) so I did a little dead wood pruning in the early spring which I've never attempted before. I was a little hesitant to remove so much , but was more fearful of having another light berry year. Seems my efforts have been rewarded. Hard to tell from the photo , but these shrubs are easily 12 feet tall. The other patch of elders are planted behind the barn where it's a little more shady and moist. They are about two weeks behind the ones in the garden. Great news ! Harvesting and processing elderberries is a tedious labor of love, so having the season spread out is a real pleasure.The elders behind the barn are not quite as tall, but they are producing flower heads that are 14 inches across! These flower heads are ideal for harvesting now. Aren't they stunning? Click on the image to see them up close. They are just so pretty.I plan on making some elderflower cordial and elderflower 'champagne' after I pick them today. Stay tuned for that...This is one of two elders that I planted on the edge of the pasture (in hopes that the birds would enjoy these instead of mine... a good will offering of sorts). They are already passed bloom (except for those few stragglers there) and producing berries. The berries will be ready to harvest when they are nearly black/purple in color and pendulous.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

When driving by your house, a cloud of loveliness can be seen floating in the garden.

Hildie

ldyloreliranveg said...

When I was a kid, I always used to wonder what those beautiful white flowers were, and when I finally figured it out as a teenager, I was in heaven with them.
Now, as an adult, I *finally* have two of my own, but they are teeny tiny babies now, only about 6 inches tall, but very sturdy and strong. I'm looking forward to seeing them "grow up". =)
Thanks for the beautiful pictures!

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