Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Garden At the End of April

Yesterday I was rather under the weather with a Spring cold, but then my Dad called and told me he was getting the yard of dirt I had been begging for for the vegetable garden. Time to get a movin'!

It was actually a pretty quick chore, and we could have used at least another half yard, but we are set to begin planting in earnest this weekend. Everything already in the ground is up, which makes me that much more eager to plant some more! Here's a look at the Garden in all it's ever changing Spring glory!

I always plant a row or two of tulips for cutting in the vegetable garden. The dirt (a mix of top soil, peat, and sand) was mainly for the large bed in the back of the garden. The raised beds in the front section were already amended with compost and will just get a bit of this new dirt mixed in.

A large clump of borage has self-sown in the very center of one raised bed. Alas, I'll just have to plant around it.

Some shelling peas emerging.

Radishes.
More radishes.

Spinach.

Leaf lettuce 'Black-Seeded Simpson'.

The chives are getting buds!

And the sweet peas planted along the chicken wire fence are all up. I actually found another three packages that I should probably find a home for.

Ferns are unfurling in the Hydrangea Border.

And the primroses continue to grow and amaze me. I've never had such luck!

The Shade Garden right now is a mix of daffodils, hellebore, primroses, a few tulips, and some fritillaria. Soon it will be all columbines, lily-of-the-valley, peonies, iris, and allium.

Not a ton of blooms on the still small white lilac, but it's still exciting to wait for the buds to bloom!
Another look into the Shade Garden.

The path is becoming much more evident as everything matures and spreads.

The west end of the Shade Garden. The edging of muscari always makes me smile, and all of the lighter green leaves around the base of the tree are lily-of-the-valley! There are also some fritillaria I forgot I planted here and there in this section.
Some of the split corona daffodils down in what is basically the "Yellow Border". Forsythia start the show, followed by the long row of five different varieties of split corona daffodils, and yellow Asiatic and Oriental lilies end the show.
Oh! And some yellow primroses!
Looking back toward the Shade Garden, which is rather sunny in early Spring.

One of my favorite flowers of all.

Lily-of-the-valley! So close to opening!

This was the best year yet for the fritillaria. Most of them are tucked under the long row of pink-cupped daffodils.

More fritillaria meleagris.

One more look at the primroses. Love them! I've bought a bunch of red and hot pink ones to add to the mix.

The little white trillium grandiflorum

I think this is technically a yellow trillium, but the flowers are always second to the leaves. It is happily spreading! I believe there are seven sprouts this year!

Another fritillaria. I couldn't resist, I'm so happy to have so many.

Over in the perennial beds I'm eager to see this fritillaria persica bloom! There is still a lot of work to be done in this section of the garden which is laid out in more formal beds than the rather casual Shade and White Garden.

The plantings aren't formal, however. More borders of muscari edge beds full of iris, red hot pokers, peonies, delphinium, cone flower, geranium, allium, etc. etc. More like a formal cottage garden.

A planting of rather red tulips.

I cannot wait until the quince is large enough that it won't miss a few branches to bring inside in the Spring. I think two or three more years should do it.

Lilies are coming up everywhere and seem stronger than ever! These are a mix of Asiatic and Tiger lilies.
Some of the more lovely tulips get pride of place out front.

A glorious golden peony-flowered tulip.

A mix of peony, lily, and Rembrandt tulips.

And last but not least, the giant Korean spice viburnum is blooming by the front door. I have several small branches on my night table preparing me for sweet dreams.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Easter 2015

I'm getting really bad at uploading photos and forgetting to post them. So now as I rush around tidying up the apartment and packing for a quick trip to Chicago (after a normal day at work) tomorrow, I sit down to caption these photos from almost a week ago. One day I'll get back on a schedule.

Easter itself was not hurried at all! I was up early, finished all of my cooking on time, and had a few minutes to enjoy the sunny, albeit chilly, morning before heading over to my parents for the afternoon. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and saw for yourself some signs of Spring!

A quick breakfast to get me through the morning of cooking.

The Easter decorations get moved around a bit every year. I found these new jadeite candy dishes at H&M. Who knew they had a home store? The bunnies I've had for years, although I'm not sure where I found them.

The chicken cart joined the other jadeite pieces. I forgot to get out my two Martha By Mail roosters!


Part of my horde of blown out eggs under the cake dome. Not a single one is dyed, all are natural pastel shades of blue and green and a buff color, as well as regular brown eggs. These will probably stay out somewhere for a few more months. I just love them.

New and old glass and ceramic covered hen dishes.

As well as a few covered bunnies. Did you know they made Swedish Fish jelly beans? That is what is giving the glass bunny it's deeper blush.

Under another dome is a collection of blown out and decorated eggs done by my Grandma and Great-Aunts.

Some gilded and gold painted eggs (that are beginning to show their age) in a faux bois planter with some little goslings. Or are they ducks?

More eggs, more whiteware dishes, and a cast iron rabbit.

I love these foil wrapped "chocolate" bunnies. They look perfect with some foil wrapped chocolate eggs!

More blown out and dyed eggs. This is the first time in many years that I didn't add any new decorated eggs to the collection.

Some sheep and rabbits, actually Martha Stewart Collection Christmas ornaments, joined the citrus on a side table in the dining room.

Time to get cooking! Aside from some roasted rainbow carrots (and some homemade peeps made at our Second Annual Peep Night) I made two asparagus and Gruyere tarts. Thanks goodness for puff pastry.

Not so many thanks to the grocery for having grated Gruyere. I HATE grating cheese.

The results were delicious as always.

Daffodils and plastic eggs for the egg hunt!
Junior found them all! And no, they weren't all as easy to sea as that orange one in the planter. Sometimes the Easter Bunny gets a little tired of hiding eggs.


I do like it when Eater falls late, because then we always have plenty of plants and bulbs blooming. This year you had to look for blooms, like the ones on this hellebore, which also seems to be blooming later than usual. A brief visit to the garden today and the forsythia is blooming as well as early daffodils and some hyacinths that are THIS CLOSE to being ready to pick. I should be able to begin bringing home a continuous harvest through October of fresh blooms from the garden starting on Tuesday. Winter is behind us at last.