Saturday, April 30, 2011

Super salads, et al

I was going to post this on the vegetable page, but few visit there and I think this bounty should be shared!

The addition of sweet and tender asparagus spears have really ramped up the spring salads.  Even the thicker-than-a-thumb spear was butter soft all the way through.  As the asparagus bed really gets going, there will be some fine eating in my future. :-D

Otherwise not much happening here.  There is a goose on the roof hanging around my chimney.  Sure is making a lot of honking.

And, Spring still eludes us.  This morning the bird bath is frozen ... again.  *sigh*  Maybe that's what's upsetting the goose?  It's sure upsetting me... :-(

* * *
(Use links on top of sidebar to view my other garden pages.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Benign neglect

The Spring lawns bless me with a breathtaking display - masses of violets and violas.  In late May this will be a blanket of white clover.  The bees and early butterflies gorge on nectar and pollen, a victory for both of us.  

Every year I mount a watchful defense against overspray by golf course owners and certain neighbors who religiously treat their property with chemicals, their goals of green (and sterile) grass lawns.  

There's just no comparison between a living, beneficial lawn and the artificial turf others aspire to.  What's in your yard? 

(Use links on top of sidebar to view my other garden pages.)

Friday, April 22, 2011


Well, today, like every day here at the Gardens, is a day to celebrate, respect and enjoy our home planet.

Today is no biggee here.  It's pretty much samo-samo.  The compost piles are full and steaming in the chilly morning.  The recycle bins in the garage are fed regularly with plastic and glass, cardboard and cans.  The perennials are pushing through their winter mulch of last Fall's leaves, looking forward to their upcoming side-dressing of organic fertilizer. (Flowers page)

The low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators keep my indoor well-water use to a minimum while outside the recycled 55-gallon drums (newly acquired from the local Habitat for Humanity depot) await plumbing to collect rainwater.(Garden Projects page)

The basement is currently filled with plants (veg, perennials & annuals) started under low-wattage, high yield 4' florescent lights.(Propagation page) Throughout the rest of the house all lamps & fixtures sport low-wattage florescent 'swirly' bulbs.

My 11-year old VW Golf sits patiently in the garage for those days when it gets to run errands.  But since I was 'downsized' 5 years ago it doesn't need to go out much, and when it does, there's an itinerary, a game plan.  Nice thing is it doesn't drink much gas anymore, the tires don't wear and tear, and my insurance costs less due to reduced annual mileage.  When I grocery shop I'm doing a lot better at 'buying local', thus saving fuel and transportation and roadways.  I'm learning that I can live without grapes from Chile or strawberries from California during the winter.  I've found that if everything is available everyday (shipped in from somewhere), nothing is special.  I'm doing more seasonal shopping, enjoying brief spurts of local April rhubarb, May asparagus, June strawberries, etc. And the flavors?  Outrageous. For truly fresh and fabulous, I grow a lot of my own! :-D (Vegetables page)

Spring is late in arriving this year so the gardens (along with yard work and bed building) are lagging.  The neighbors are chagrined at this delay because I regularly take in their bounty of (chemical free) grass clippings when they feel the need to bag.  I also deal with one particular lawn service who mows regularly  next door.  I'm happy for the bio-mass and he's happy not to pay a dump fee somewhere.

Oh dear, I could ramble on all day like this and that would just be tiresome.  Besides, like I said, there's nothing really special about today.  It's  EARTH DAY everyday as far as I'm concerned. Yep, just another glorious life-affirming responsibility-filled reward-generating day-in-the-life kind of thing. What a rush!

Okay, I'm off my soapbox. (I need to re-purpose it for a plant stand anyway! *heh*).  Can't sit here at the keyboard all day.

There's a whole circle of life going on and I'm part of it.  As Native American philosophy points out, creation is an on-going process and we all have our parts to play. How exciting is that?  Feeling left out?  Just listen for the music, relearn those lost, ancient steps when we were of a whole, take a deep breath - and dance! 

* * *
(Use links on top of sidebar to view my other garden pages.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Boots big day!

BOOTS was sooo excited when the lady pulled them on.  YAY!  It must be Spring at last!  It must be wet outside too!  BOOTS was so tired of sitting under the bench in the breezeway for months on end.

Spiders.  Cobwebs. SNOW BOOTS lived there too, but no fun. So busy since Dec and when they came back inside they were tired and only wanted to sleep.

BOOTS wanted to go out and play!  Out in the yard!  Look at all the flowers and plants and new shrubs and trees.  OK, lady.  Let's go!!  Grab the camera and let's mosey!!

But the lady left the camera and picked up - OH NO! - garden gloves.  *whine*

BOOTS hated GARDEN GLOVES with a deep passion known only to vulcanized rubber.  Gloves made the lady work, not play.

And it wasn't just GLOVES.  Nosiree.  GLOVES ran with a rough crowd like snaggy RAKE and lumbering WHEEL- BARROW.

The lady would step out lightly, but soon trudged, walking slowly on her bad ankle.  Raking gingerly with her injured shoulder.

GLOVES allow no rest.  Lady used to take them off, lose them, to get a break.  But now GLOVES stay on the job, waiting.


Finally, GLOVES came off.  BOOTS and the lady sat on the deck where BOOTS got propped up on a bench.  BOOTS could see the whole yard.  Poor lady, though.  So tired.

BOOTS dozed off, dreaming of long walks in the sun, when BOOTS was jolted awake.  What?  What's this? 

Lady got up.  Lady grabbed BOOTS best friend - MISS CAMERA - and they all headed out to the yard. HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY!

BOOTS knew lady was tired so kept a slow pace.  BOOTS got to wander, feel soft grass, smell  (yes, smell.  After all nothing smells like an old boot!) fresh soil.  Hi there, hyacinth.  Oh.  What a dandy-faced flower.

BOOTS, the lady and MISS CAMERA had a nice time, then everyone went back home.

MISS CAMERA hooked up with MR CHARGER (they are quite the item).

The lady had a date with her ever faithful friend, ibuprofen.

And BOOTS?  Well, after all that earlier trudging BOOTS was tired.  Maybe a snooze next to SNOW BOOTS.

But first there was something else BOOTS wanted to do (while the lady wasn't looking).

Bad bad BOOTS.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The promised land(ing)

Is something amiss in the basement?  Where are all the greens I've been blogging about on the Plant Propagation page?  There's a lot of table space going begging down there!

I caught a glimpse of them hanging out in the sunroom of all places yesterday.

But when I looked there this morning they were gone, flit, nada.  Now where?

Oh, wow.  Look!

Greens and onions out on the deck.  At last.  The promised land!

Well OK then.  If that's how they want to play it.  Don't look for news about these babies on the propagation page anymore.  Nosirree.  They've just graduated to the Vegetables page for the season.  And about time too!  Woohoo.

(Honestly, I really really need a better camera! (One with IS/image stability.  We all know I'm not all that stable anymore! *sigh*) Sorry...  Click on pics to enlarge then magnify for better focus.)

* * *
(Use links on top of sidebar to view my other garden pages.)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Colorful day

Today it is dark and gloomy and raining - like it's been all week.  But yesterday!  Yesterday was an odd duck of a day!

The sky turned a funny color. 

Temps were in the 50s for a while and look what happened.  The sky flowed down to the water in the birdbath and it got all loose and wobbly and the birds couldn't walk on it.  They'd land and get all wet.  So funny! LOL

Finally the sky made its way to the ground!  See see! The myrtle isn't just green anymore!

It was unnerving.  Today the gloom has reclaimed it own so it's a good thing I had the sense to take pics yesterday to document it all.  Otherwise I'm sure no one would believe such a fantastic tale. :-/

Oh Spring - where is thy smile???

* * *
(Use links on top of sidebar to view my other garden pages.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hope springs -- internal!

Because it's sure not external around here! Though we haven't had any snow since Saturday morning, neither have we had any sunshine.  It's cold and windy.  And dark. Yesterday it "soared" to 57 while the front plowed through with 1.25" of rain, high winds and some really impressive sound effects!  Then temps plummeted again. Today it is not much above freezing.  In fact, while I was taking this pic, bits of sleety snow pelted the camera.

Daffodils remain only a promise, closed up tightly against the persistently rude and inconsiderate winter that has long ago worn out its welcome.

A couple of plants fight back. Take, for instance, this hosta. I've had this (unknown) variety for nearly 35 years, a gift from a friend. They follow me from house to house. The come up so early, even through snow and are the last to succumb to frost. It's kind of sad that as much as I enjoy them, I do not know their name.

On the other hand, here is something new (obtained last year).  I know only that it is a pulmanaria (lung wart) and it's an early bloomer.  The flowers aren't all that conspicuous, unless you are the only game in town.  Which it is right now. :-D  I do like the mottled leaves.

Though the outside gardens go untended right now, I've been busy on several fronts and posting on my other pages.  (Idle hands... ;-D)   It keeps me sane (well, to some degree anyway).

* * *
(Use links on top of sidebar to view my other garden pages.)