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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Elizabethan gardens (pt. 2)

Here is another view of the authentic 16th century gazebo that was constructed of period tools and using period techniques.   Overlooking the Currituck and Roanoke sounds it is thought to possibly be the spot where Sir Richard Grenville in 1585 first set foot with the arrival of seven ships and 108 men.  - has more info

Here are pictures of the natural garden.  I think we liked this one the best. 

I like the gnarly look of the trees,  I seem to take lots of tree pictures.

A somewhat magical looking area of the garden

One thing I do have to add to my garden at home is gnomes,  I like them.   Toadstools are another

dappling of sun through the trees cast such nice shadows

Ancient live Oak - living when colonist landed in 1585

Ancient live Oak

An even closer look at the tree that was here when colonists landed
I like how flowers were tucked in the crevice of the limb

on to the great lawn area and sunken garden
lion couchant bird bath is carved marble

Hornbeam walk and stunning view to the Well Head mount

Overlook to gardens

looking to the sunken garden

yes, we lingered here a while

Sunken garden - An ancient Italian Renaissance Fountain

There was a b'day cake in honour of Virginia Dare's b'day and the queen paid a visit.
I was lucky that I got this picture because my camera lost battery power as soon as I snapped this one.

Thanks for visiting

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Elizabethan Gardens (part 1)

A week ago Steve and I took a trip to Nags Head North Carolina,  stayed on the beach.  Relaxing time and took some side trips.   One was to Roanoke Island - here we took in the Elizabethan gardens.
First over the bridge to the island where the first child was born of English parents in the New World, days after the arrival of  the colonists on Roanoke island,  born August 18, 1587 and named  Virginia Dare -  grandfather was John White, governor .   Ananias Dare was the child's father who served as the Governor's assistant.    She was baptized on Sunday following her birth which was the second recorded Christian sacrament in the new world .   The first  baptism was administered a few days earlier to Manteo ,  an Indian chief who was rewarded for his service  and named "Lord".    

We didn't take in the lost colony out door drama this time around

I like the reflection of some of the garden in the window shown here

Just inside the entrance is this nice flower display - it feels welcoming with the plants and nice urns holding greenery

Inside the garden area is this fountain

more box lined walkways

designed as a 16th century orangery is the Gate House above

the beds are lined with boxwood - I know this place must have been even more colorful in spring.
Was humid day,  but I wouldn't have missed this walk. 

As we venture on, we see the statue of Queen Elizabeth

close up detailing on dress

In the distance is Virginia Dare
Her grandfather (Governor White )  was forced  to return to England for supplies.
An understanding was that a  code was to be left carved on a tree or post if they had to leave the island,  if they had to leave because of attack by Indians or Spaniards - they were to carve over letters or a name in the form of a Maltese cross.   When Governor White returned in three years he found the word Croatoan carved on a tree,  no other distress signal was found.   To this day no one knows what happened to the Lost Colony
- for more info -

Virginia Dare statue was carved in Rome Italy of Cararra marble

Hydrangeas still blooming nicely on our walk thru gardens

I thought this looked like  flower from a distance, but up close I can see the leaves are just pink

topiary forms in woodland area

river walk - over look from a traditionally made English thatched structure
Roanoke sound  --- click here for Part Two

Friday, August 10, 2012

red peppers for bisque

Red peppers at the produce stand are three for a dollar and with the season nearing the end,  better get them now.  I love red pepper bisque.   So I made some fresh.
I chopped celery and I also leave the tops on to chop in also,  as it is so flavorful,   carrots  and red onion
the red onions I sauteed and then stirred in with the carrots and celery to steam in about a cup or so of water.
 I usually add chicken broth but was out so I added beef bouillon as I did not have chicken bouillon either, but it was just as good.
I chopped in garlic too 

the red peppers which I sauteed 4 of them in 400 degree oven,   until roasted and soft
I cooled them and took of the skins ,  took out seeds ,  doesn't matter if a little skin is left on or if a few seeds are still with the pepper

 after cooling some I put them in my blender to puree along with a smidgen of pepper flakes for a little heat. 
  Here it is after being pureed and I am adding heavy cream ,  just a little to thicken it nicely.
It is also good just the way it is without the cream .
crust is removed from bread and buttered it well,  added garlic and Parmesan cheese on top - then toasted in oven. 
Dollop of sour cream and the tray is ready for Steve to take to den to eat while watching  t.v. .   One ladle is enough because we had steak after the bisque

I used butter and olive oil- cooked steaks about 4 minutes each side, give or take a moment

To the drippings in the pan I added about one quarter cup ( what I had on hand was alcohol free Merlot wine)  it is really good to cook with as it helps mix with the drippings to saute my mushrooms

For desert 
I used some of my fresh  blueberries to make a sauce for a blueberry pound cake  I baked 2 days ago .  

I like adding lemon flavor to my blueberries and its usually a little juice instead of extract , there is a tad bit of water added to the pan also,  just a quick sauce -  easy
little cornstarch to thicken then mash them a  little
getting thick
pour it on hot!

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