Sunday, June 1, 2014

Garden Week Wrap-Up with Minty Watermelon Lemonade

 On the last day of Garden Week, a thunderstorm blew in from the east, courtesy of an abnormal weather system. I'd made Minty Watermelon Lemonade, and you should have seen us grabbing glasses and chairs. But we can't complain: our garden needed watering.

Minty Watermelon Lemonade
Printable Recipe
                                                                                                Serves 4 to 6

Basic Sugar Syrup:
2 c. water
2 c. granulated sugar
mint leaves

Place water and sugar in a saucepan. Stir. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Reduce liquid until it reaches a syrupy consistency. Add mint leaves. Cover the pan and remove from heat. Remove mint before serving. Store in a clear Mason jar and refrigerate. Use in watermelon lemonade, lemonade, or iced tea.

Watermelon Lemonade:
2 cups water
1 seedless watermelon
juice of 1 lemon
2 or more ounces sugar syrup

Cut 1/2 watermelon into cubes and freeze. Put remaining watermelon in a blender and puree (or use an immersion hand blender). Strain the mixture and discard seeds and pulp. Mix puree with water, lemon juice, and sugar syrup (to taste). Serve over watermelon "ice" cubes and crushed ice. Garnish with mint.

You can also add lavender to watermelon lemonade.

I love to plant lavender along a walkway because the smell is so welcoming, and, of course, if you're cooking, it's easy to dash outside and grab a few sprigs.

The garden bed receives full sun near the walkway, where the lavender is planted; only a few feet away, afternoon shade keeps the hydrangeas from wilting.

Some of my "gardens" are strange and unsightly.
Others are experiments-gone-wrong. 
I had imagined a lush, beguiling border along the fence, but I ended up with something else: 
The faux cemetery garden.
That's what my husband calls it, and the phrase stuck. Actually, the bed really does resemble something you'd find in old Dodge City. With the three trellises and mandevilla vines, we've got a burial "plot" for each family member.

I won't even get into the background about this strip of land. Okay, I'll tell all. It was a "bag bed" garden, made with bags of Home Depot dirt. Using a box cutter, I sliced huge Xs on the bottoms of the bags, then slit them on top. Though you can't see it, there's a huge, empty dirt bed behind the trio of "headstones," to make sure that the plants would be out of reach to the livestock.

Last week, Mr. Mutz and Bandwidth put together a sturdier trellis for the sweet potato and mandevilla vines.
After the "bed bag" experiment, which involved clawing through topsoil and impenetrable Tennessee clay, I bought a tiny tiller.

When it stops raining, I plan to create graveyard "wings" at each end for a lavender border.

While it rains, let's look at last year's gardens and tablescapes:

I hope you've enjoyed Garden Week!

Don't miss the grand finales at ..a quiet life and Home Is Where the Boat Is.
You can catch up with Jain, Mary, and me at the Novel Bakers' Garden Week Board on Pinterest.

The Novel Bakers will return in July with Picnic Week.

I'm sharing at:

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  1. That minty watermelon lemonade looks so refreshing, especially in the garden setting. Just lovely!

  2. Oh you are TOO funny with your faux cemetery and plot for each family member! We have dreaded clay soil in our part of NC too, you can actually throw a pot with it if you had a potter's wheel :) Your Minty Watermelon Lemonade looks perfectly refreshing for summer or after a day of gardening. I love seeing the photos of your garden, your ducks always make me smile! Thanks all the fun and inspiration this week, I'll dig alongside in the clay with you anytime. ♥

  3. The lemonade sounds great and I immediately knew it was watermelon by the color:@)

  4. I have indeed enjoyed your garden week. Those pesky storms passed by us after they left you. Hope you were able to grab the glasses in time :)

  5. what a beautiful presentation and such a pretty wrap up to a wonderful week playing in the dirt... with a few side steps into the kitchen! i happen to have 1/2 a watermelon, i know what i will be making shortly~

    your tablecloth, flowers, bed backdrop, all picture perfect... and mark my words, i am stealing that trellis! much better than the ok coral cemetery look!

    there is just something about a chair in the garden that stirs me, love your shot... and what joy to see a refresher course of you garden bits and pieces again!

    thank you so much for sharing with us all week long, i will always remember yesterday posts, to me that was the most stirring, heart felt and real, it kind of cut to the quick, none of the fluffy pretty shots we all want to share, but just a real writer sharing her words, doesn't get any better~

  6. Loved the tour of your gardens, ML. They are truly spectacular. I would love to spend some time with a good book in that Adirondak chair. Your pictures are wonderful.

  7. That white Adirondack chair with the bucket of flowers is where I'd like to spend a day sipping your lemonade.

  8. it sounds so refreshing and your photos are lovely!