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Homemade Pretzels

I haven't made homemade pretzels since we were in Alabama and I had forgotten how easy they are if not a little time consuming. I made these last week for Oscar night. They keep a long time in an airtight container. 1   (.25 ounce) package   active dry yeast 1 tablespoons   brown sugar 1  teaspoons   salt 1 ½   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 3   cups   all-purpose flour 1   cup   bread flour 2   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 2   tablespoons   baking soda 1-2   tablespoons   butter, melted 2   tablespoons  kosher salt Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Place the yeast, brown sugar and salt in the 1.5 cups of warm water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in the flour. Knead for about 7-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let it rise for an hour (I place mine in the oven with the light on). Combine the two cups of warm water with the baking soda in a square shallow pan. After the dough has risen, cut it into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each section into a

The "C" roses

Caldwell Pink - This rose was discovered in Caldwell, Texas and some think it might be the same as "Pink Pet" but regardless of its true identity, it is one tough landscape rose. It is rather tame in our garden but at Michael's salon, where I planted a sprig a few years ago, it has become a monster of a rose and roots wherever the canes drop to the ground. He jokes that we could open a nursery and sell only "Caldwell Pink" roses. Lilac pink flowers appear late in spring and throughout the season on a 4' tall shrub that will cascade if given the room. 

Caldwell Pink
Carefree Delight - This is not a great photo and our specimen is also not the best. "Carefree" is an apt name because this is truly a carefree rose. It is vigorous and upright and will be loaded with blooms if given enough sun. The flowers are single, soft pink with a creamy white center.

Carefree Beauty
Cecille Brunner (Climbing) - How roses can grow - take a look at the photos of this rose in its infancy and look at it today. It is ten times its former size. One of the very first roses we planted, it is still very reliable. Unfortunately, it is best appreciated from the roof of the house and we rarely get up there. :)

Cecille Brunner, seen from the ground
Cecille Brunner, seen from the rooftop

Clair Matin - I don't keep up with ARS ratings anymore but when I did, this rose was the highest rated rose. I never understood why. It is an okay rose but it has been prone to blackspot. The single clear pink flowers with yellow stamens are pretty and appear in a flush of bloom in early spring with mild repeats. This rose can be grown as a shrub or climber.

Clair Matin
Climbing American Beauty on archway

Climbing American Beauty -  This probably should have appeared in the "A's" but my brain was out to lunch so here it is. We first saw this rose growing at the Antique Rose Emporioum in Dahlonega, Georgia on one of our earliest rose-buying excursions. Anyone in their right mind would have to have it after seeing it blanketing a series of archways along a garden path. Large-flowered and spectacular, it blooms much too early and much too brief. It has never been remontant in our garden and that makes me sad.

Climbing American Beauty

Climbing American Beauty
There is one more "C" rose to add to the list and unfortunately I didn't get a good photo of it this year. Carefree Wonder, a Meilland shrub rose, is a good upright rose with lovely pink blooms. You can see and read more about it on my website. I would not call this rose "carefree" as it is prone to blackspot but it is one that I've kept and admired for many years.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Cecille could come live at my house anytime. What an amazing plant. It obviously loves where it is.

  2. Thank you for this fun post. I need to go back and read the As and Bs. Your CB looks wonderful. Mine is a very aggressive grower, and most of the time blooms are concealed by the new canes. Does yours behave like that too?

  3. As you progress thru the alphabet, it just gets better and better.... :)

  4. Lovely! Your garden is such a sanctuary of beauty and tranquility.

    PS -- My husband, our grown sons and their wives all voted AGAINST that awful amendment here in North Carolina. We live in the liberal section of the state. Our county and neighboring counties all voted against it. Asheville's county voted against it, too.

  5. Phillip, that Cecile Brunner is fabulous! I have had the Carefree Delight in my garden for at least ten years. It is reliable with blooms and doesn't get out of bounds like so many others do. Good thing, since I'm a neglectful gardener!

  6. After seeing a post like this I get really jealous, and full of zone lust. If only I were Zone 6. Your roses are all fabulous.

  7. I so enjoyed the rose tour .... So beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Phillip, you actually have roses for every letter of the alphabet? So far they are fabulous. Keep it coming!

  9. What a great idea Phillip! Fabulous! You have happy roses. ;~))


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