It was raining on Thursday and Friday. Good. The garden needed a good watering and I needed some rest! This first weeding and clearing the garden in Spring is always the most demanding; maintain it after is easy. The most of the plants reached the final size and have flower buds. Iris sibirica, the Siberian iris, and Iris barbata or bearded irises are in full bloom.
I have several cultivars of Siberian irises in mixed borders.
In front of the borders, silver foliage and white flowers make a good combination. Here are Stachys byzantina and Cerastium tomentosum (Snow-in-Summer).
Saturday was cloudy but the rain stopped. I went into fields to pick up some Elder flowers. Elder grows in natural hedges along the roads and fields and the river banks. Each year I make Elder syrup. It is quite easy to make. My recipe requires 44 big inflorescence of Elder, seven liters of water, the juice of 5 lemons, 3 - 4 kg of sugar and 100 g of citric acid (the crystallized citric acid can be bought in shops).
Cut off the stalks and put the flowers into 3 l of water and leave it overnight. Do not wash the flowers because you need the pollen.
The next day, drain it through the clean clothe, add lemon juice and citric acid. Add another 4 l of water and sugar. Some people dissolve the sugar over heath, but I only stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves completely. Actually, I add citric acid and sugar to taste.
The syrup can be made of berries as well but be careful to pick up the right ones! There is also herbaceous Dane-worth that looks like Elder and has the same type of black berries. These may cause diarrhoea.