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Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Pretty Elderberry and the Ugly Trash

Elderberry volunteer
For the last ten years, this has come up at the foundation of my house. I have it cut to the ground, but it comes back. So, this year, I will have elderberry jelly.

10-12 feet tall

What you are looking at below is the underside of my car hood. See the windshield wipers. The area below them under the hood is filled with leaves, trash, and one 18-inch limb! I took a Dollar General bag and put it over my hand to pull crud out. Lena vacuumed. Charlie tells me I have been suffocating my car. 

there are vents beneath the rotten leaf mold and new leaves

I feel sick looking at this.

For 25 years, my pretty, little, princess feet never walked in the rain or dust or mud to get into the car. I had a an enclosed garage or an attached carport. Then, I had to tear down the carport. Suddenly, not only did my feet get wet and dusty and muddy, my car exterior suffered. 

Keeping a car in a garage or at least under a carport certainly prevents buildup like this. Do you clean all this crud from the vent under your hood? I suppose a car lasts longer when it is not suffocated. Charlie said I was suffocating my engine. I suppose a car won't need repair or replacing when it is not suffocated! .
Your turn
Do you make elderberry jelly? Do you take better car of your car than I obviously have?


  1. OMG - PP ! an 18" limb !
    That scared me - in the UK we use the term 'limb' to mean an arm or a leg !
    I love the elderberry tree, one of natures real gifts, so much you can do with it, with the flowers as well as the fruit.
    (I feel a post coming on for my blog here)

    Don't get rid of the tree - perhaps you can park you car somewhere else ?

    1. Wean,
      LOL, we refer to arms and legs as limbs all the time. "He lost a limb in the war." "My limbs are cold."

      But, when referring to leaves and limbs, we are certain it is not a leg or arm in the leaves. But, you never know!

      We use context to sort the meaning. However, I was amused at your horror.

      My whole yard in the front is under trees. One-hundred-year-old oaks and hickories. The side yards have hickories and pine and various smaller trees. Only one bit of the back yard has no tree, and that area is inaccessible by car unless I move the hen pen and picnic table and various other barriers.

      The elderberry tree is smashed against the foundation, ruining it, Iam certain!

      Yes, you could do an elderberry post for our information.

  2. I've never made jelly but my brother canned some cherries last year and gave me a few jars. They were so good. *drools*

    I suffocate my car just not as bad as yours. Actually just a few days ago Littlest told me I need to clean my poor car. I gave her soap, a bucket, and a sponge and put her to work!

    1. I wish someone would comment about my car. The bucket is handy!

      Homemade jelly is in the forefront of my mind. I have never tasted homemade cherry jelly.

  3. Never made elderberry jelly. But I do make crabapple jelly and red currant jelly, and occasionally a mix of the two (when I've frozen the juice to make jelly later and can't tell which is which, so just mix them).

    We take really good care of one car (gets the spot in the garage, gets washed, oil changes etc.), but the other one, the old one, gets neglected pretty badly. It has moss forming on the edge of the windshield!

    Probably a good thing that you got the dead leaves cleaned out.

    1. My car was pampered, the new one. It was garage-kept all the time. I handwashed it, clean the white seats with a toothbrush, and dried the exterior with bath towels from my bathroom!

      My ex did not bother to wash his ever. Mine got regular oil changes. He bought used oil by the gallon milk jug to put in his. After I found out he did that, I watched what he put in mine!

  4. I make jam, wine , liqueur and syrup with the elderberry and hope to use some of the flowers this year. We have 8 trees all up. The birds get most of it.

    I don't choke my car! For me, breaking down in dead of winter for any reason around here could be deadly or at least very very cold.

  5. I've never made elderberry jelly, but have enjoyed it from others that have. I made cherry marmalade and quince jam last year. Both quite good if I do say so myself.

    I am obsessed with keeping our cars showroom sharp. They have places in the garage, but sometimes when I come home after shopping, I will unload at the house, and leave the car parked for a while under the oaks and douglas fir trees rather than drive it back down to the garage right away. Of course, I then have to vacuum the leaves and needles off once I park it in the garage. Friends comment how the wouldn't mind eating off the floor of my car. I figure since I spend a lot of money on them from the purchase, insurance, gas and maintenance I had better keep them nice. These babies are detailed regularly to keep the resale value up. It has paid off several times when we were hit by other drivers, and when we have traded in or sold a vehicle. When I come home, absolutely everything that shouldn't be in the car is removed from the car. It is a lot of work, but I admit I am a car snob, and will not settle for a shabby car.

  6. Kathy,
    I have been more conscientious than now. You are right about the resale value. Not having shelter for a car is devastating on the surface. It is okay to be a car snob!

    Linda M,
    Wow! Eight trees! How will you use the flowers? Do you mena that trash over those vents can make my car break down? Like how break down?

  7. Linda flowers for cordials and a skin tonic. One book says to dry them for apple storage. And tea for colds.
    No, I just take care of my car no matter what. Thats all I meant. I do wonder though....I will have to ask some one but I doubt it does serious harm.

    1. LindaM,
      If I take the flowers, then I won't have berries. Besides, as you can see, the flowers are already giving way to miniscule berries. I will keep that in mind for next year and search out more trees with berries

      What do you mean "dry them for apple storage?"


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