While sweeping off the balcony this morning, some brilliant reds caught my eye and I captured a few. The scraggly old rose bush has put forth some beautiful hips, or haws. I’m sure everyone knows that rose hips are high in Vitamin C and make a delicious tea. It’s very soothing and beneficial when one has a cold. In fact, rose hips are supposed to provide relief from colds and flu, diarrhea, gingivitis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and urinary tract infections!
You can make tea from dried hips, or those fresh from the bush, but they should be a bright orange or red in color, preferably after a frost. To prepare berries, cut both blossom and stem tips off and slice in half, or cut into smaller pieces. I don’t bother removing seeds as I strain the tea into my cup. I use 5-8 hips per cup of tea, depending on their size. Put them in a small pot with a cup of water and bring to a boil. To get the most flavor, let simmer gently for at least 10 minutes — 15 or 20 is better. In color, the tea will be anything from a light peachy orange to deep red, again, depending on the hips, and how long they’re brewed. The tea can be a little on the bitter side, and I sweeten mine with a bit of honey. A delicious and healthy gift from Nature.
Many shrubs display berries and the birds are having a feast. These noisy grackles were the only ones who would pose for me. I’m not sure what this shrub is, but it shares a raised bed with a rhododendron. It has very fragrant, white blooms in the summer. These berries are fairly small and would look wonderful tucked into a Christmas wreath or by themselves in a vase.
It was difficult to get a good picture of this Viburnum trilobum, or Highbush Cranberry, as its foliage competes with the color of the leaves on the ground. It has gone through it’s burgundy leaf stage, but still hangs onto lots of berries which will doubtless soon disappear.
It’s almost 25°C here today! Positively balmy, but with rain on the way. The geraniums, which have been cut back to just a few inches above the soil, are still putting forth new leaves. They just don’t know when to quit.
And that’s the view from my balcony today.