Welcome to Witches Brew
My Cyp's are in full bloom here in my garden. They are one of my favorite native orchids. There is just something about them. They have a beauty all their own, and stand out like no other flower in my garden. Although beautiful, the blooms don't last long enough for my liking. Wish they would bloom all summer long.If you're interested in learning more on these beauties read on. If your interested in purchasing them, I have included a link.
Vermont lady slipper Co. sells out fast! Get them as soon as you can in the spring.
Vermont Lady Slipper Company
Cyps in my Garden
Doing quite well with morning sun, then shade the rest of the day. Along side ferns, lily of the valley, touch me nots, and false solomans seal.
The Showy Lady's-slipper (Cypripedium reginae)
also known as the Pink-and-white Lady's-slipper or the Queen's Lady's-slipper, is a rare terrestrial temperate lady's-slipper orchid native to northern North America.

Despite producing a large amount of seeds per seed pod, it reproduces largely by vegetative reproduction. and remains restricted to the North East region of the the United States and south east regions of Canada. Although never common, this rare plant has vanished from much of its historical range due to habitat loss. It has been a subject of horticultural interest for many years with Charles Darwin who like many, were unsuccessful in cultivating the plant.

It is the state flower of both Minnesota and New Hampshire, United States and was also proposed to be the provincial flower of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Cypripedium reginae grows in calcareous wet lands, open wooded swamps, with tamarack and black spruce.[4] Contrary to many garden tips, C. reginae thrives in neutral to basic soils and prefers growing in fens. Despite growing in mildly acidic environments, its roots can penetrate the mossy layers down to more neutral water sources. It forms clumps by branching of the underground rhizomes. It forms aerial roots in the swampy bog conditions. It is eaten by white-tailed deer.

Cypripedium reginae can be found in Canada from Saskatchewan east to Atlantic Canada, and the eastern United States south to Arkansas and Tennessee.
(information courtesy of Wiki)
Can't beat'em, eat'em! Many of you have probably seen this weed somewhere in your garden. For many years I pulled it out, only to discover it is very much edible. And tasty! I use it in my salads raw. BUT, it can be cooked, simmered, saut'ed, you name it. It's great!
Purslane's stem is round and smooth, and it trails along the ground like a small vine. Young plants have a green stem, but, with maturity, stems take on reddish tints. Purslane has small, oblong, green leaves, which form clusters. The leaves resemble small wedges and, like the stem, are juicy. Has that description of purslane whetted your taste buds yet for purslane cooking recipes?

Edible Landscaping Harvest: Picking and Using Purslane

In order to preserve purslane's juiciness for eating, harvest this delight of your edible landscaping in the morning or evening, when you won't have to compete with intense sunlight. Purslane can either be used raw in salads or sauteed as a side dish. In addition to the crispy texture you would expect from a succulent, purslane also has an interesting peppery flavor.

Although you won't find it at the salad bar of your local fast-food stop any time soon, purslane has made it onto the menu of a number of upscale restaurants.

But there's more to the eating of the herb, purslane than its use in gourmet recipes. Its benefits extend to nutrition. Okay, so you knew that was coming. After all, what article about eating weeds doesn't eventually get around to how nutritious they are? But did you know exactly how it is good for you?

Not only does purslane have leaves in Omega-3 fatty acid, but it also has stems high in vitamin C. Omega-3 fatty acids are instrumental in regulating our metabolism. Purslane contains a very high concentration of alpha-linolenic acid -- several times the concentration in spinach.

So don'tjust throw it away! Eat it instead! Join the many who now treat purslane as edible landscaping. And if your purslane is growing on the edge of a garden,you might want to consider pinching it instead of pulling it. That way, all summer you can enjoy healthful eating with this spicy succulent of edible landscaping.
Purslane Salad

2 cups purslane leaves and stems, chopped
2 cooked potatoes, chopped
4 cups mesclun salad greens or wild greens (i.e., lamb's quarters, lady's thumb, Asiatic dayflower)
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
1 red bell pepper, chopped
Mix together all ingredients, toss with Creamy Cashew Salad Dressing, and serve.

Purslane potato salad

6 medium potatoes, sliced and cooked
2 cups purslane, chopped
4 scallions, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 cup mayonnaise

Mix together all ingredients. Serve chilled.

Purslane Quiche

    Pastry for a 9-inch one-crust pie
    2 cups washed Purslane (leaves and small stems)
    2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (about 8 oz)
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    4 eggs
    2 cups heavy cream (can substitute half-and-half but baking time will increase)
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon grated Nutmeg

Heat oven to 425-degrees. Prepare pastry and line pie pan.

Sprinkle chopped onion and 1 cup of the shredded Swiss in the pastry-line pie pan. Add Purslane.

Beat the eggs slightly then add in the cream, salt, and Nutmeg. Stir the cream/egg mixture, then pour the blended mixture into the pie pan.

Add remaining cup of Swiss cheese.

Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300-degrees and bake 30 minutes longer, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Allow quiche to stand 10 minutes before cutting (if you can wait that long).

Serve in wedges.

I have been absent as of late. Of course any one who knows me, knows I can be found in and/or around the garden. So far since the beginning of May, I have been toiling in the garden, getting it back into shape, since it's long winter's rest.

Oh, and what a job it was. Over a month and a half of work. Mind you I do have a 5 yr old to attend to, and house hold chores, such as the never ending stream of laundry, dishes, picking up after my lil tornado goes thru the house, cooking, etc. So I bide my time inbetween these things and the outside chores, and seem to get them all done it a resonable amount of time (I think?) LOL

I t perhaps is my own fault for having so much to do in spring, as I usually never cut anything down come fall. I always say I will, but never do. I use the ole, "oh I'll leave it for the birds to eat"....yeah right. The comes spring, and I am moaning and groaning of what I "should" have done.

Never the less, it's just maintenance from here on out, and hopefully in the fall, I will indeed follow thru with my plans to clean up the yard of  dead debri, so I dont have to do it the following spring.

I decided to snap a few pictures of the yard and garden so far this spring. It was rainy out this morn, and made everything seem a little greener, and I figured it would take some good pictures. Hope you enjoy.