Thursday, April 28, 2011

Waving the White Flag

I give up already! The month of April has been the wettest month I can ever remember. It's kept me from communing with the garden...I miss my plants.

Today we got a little break from the rain and the sun is shining warmly, a steady breeze is helping to dry things out, and the garden is loving it. While our back yard is basically a swamp right now, the plants seem to be rolling with the punches fairly well.

Forget Me Not
Speckled Violet
Bleeding Heart

Little Red Birds (I absolutely LOVE this name)
Coral Bells "Bressingham Mix" (one of my favorites)


Wood Hyacinth


I was finally able to get outside and do a little tidying up after the storms today, picking up branches, pulling weeds, and re-mulching areas that got decimated by heavy rain. I planted some of the herbs I sprouted indoors, including sage, parsley, catnip, and dill. I also planted the herbs I ordered from Companion Plants, including French tarragon and a bay laurel - hurray for no more crusty old bay leaves from the grocery store!

The rest of the vegetable garden is looking great - peas are starting to curl and wind around everything within reach, kale and swiss chard are steadily putting out new leaves, radish are going bananas, greens are a week or two away from first harvest, and beets are bringing up the rear.

Spring vegetable bed (notice the groundhog-proof netting)

Herb bed

Here's to hoping this month of crazy April showers leads to some extraordinarily beautiful May flowers.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Flora

After quite a bit more rain this week (ENOUGH ALREADY), we finally have another sunny day today, which means another walk through the yard. There are so many things starting to bloom, just as the daffodils, crocus, and anemone are beginning to finish up.

Iris, Epimedium, California Poppies, Candytuft, Columbine, and Creeping Phlox...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nice Buns

This week's bread experiment involved buns - hamburger buns, to be exact. I recently placed an order with King Arthur Flour and was cruising the website when I saw their recipe, followed by rave reviews. It's kind of cold out today and work has been slow, so I decided to snuggle-in and make a batch.

Just like the hoagies, these little guys were easy, with a first rise of 1-2 hours and a second rise of one hour. I love that the door was left wide open when it comes to customizing your toppings - I chose to bake a variety pack of sesame, poppy, garlic, onion, and everything...hey, we like things zesty around here.

I'm so tickled that they came out so great. Nice and soft and not too tall - I hate when you get a burger bun and they're too big to sink your teeth into. I think I'll serve these puppies for dinner with some grilled chick'n, onions, and peppers with a slice or two of swiss cheese. Maybe a little lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo to top 'em off?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

First Grill of the Season

You know when you smell that smoky-woody-grilly smell during the evening in your neighborhood? You're always jealous of whoever it is that's grilling. Well, tonight WE are those people - our first grill of the season.

It was sunny and in the 80s here today, and, of course, it was Sunday, so what does this add up to? A home-cooked Sunday dinner, grilling style.

I have to attribute this recipe to my Mom - while she and my Dad aren't "tofu people", persay, she sought out this recipe for a get-together years ago. I grilled tangerine teriyaki tofu slabs and served them with chopped scallions and sesame seeds, along with sides of brown rice and East-West marinated asparagus. Talk about can't beat the combo of of soy sauce, tangerine juice, honey, garlic, and fresh ginger.

After a long day of working in the yard, this was the perfect ending - my tummy is doing happy backflips right now.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Compost and...Daffodils

I'm no penny-pincher or anything, but I'm kinda proud of myself for finding my newest bargain yard acquisition - an Earth Machine composter for only $15. I was originally planning on snagging one from Hamilton County for $35 - these puppies normally retail for $100! However, why would I pay twice as much when I had already found someone on who was offering a one-year-old used Earth Machine SUPER cheap? Yes, please!

It's not the purtiest thing I've ever seen, but I've got it situated in the back corner of the yard, as far out of sight (and smell) as possible. Now I just need to do some research on the art of composting - what to add, what not to add, how much air it needs, how much moisture, etc. I've been wanting to do the whole composting thing for a while now - as vegetarians we can really plow through some produce. Hopefully I don't create a stinky hot mess...

And on that odorous note, I leave you with a picture of my all-time favorite daffodil - a Minnow!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Climbing to New Heights

I can't freaking believe this crap...

Good thing I've got that covering over my raised beds *sigh*

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Peas, Beets, Radish, and Greens

Today is the first nice day we've had since I was gushing about the weather a couple weeks ago. These chilly past couple of weeks have just been a minor setback, spring is still here - thank GOD.

Went for my normal stroll around the yard this afternoon and there are good things happening in the garden. Peas are up, beets are up, radish are up, and lettuces are up - warms the soul!

The indoor starts of kale and swiss chard are looking good, another set of leaves or so and they'll also be ready to go outside.

Today I sowed quite a few flower seeds indoors, including love lies bleeding, cosmos, coleus, nasturtium, morning glory, poppy, celosia, and sunflower. If I have good success with all of these starts there's a good chance I won't to buy any annuals this year.

A penny saved...