Yesterday was a bit warmer–in the 40s. It’s amazing how really great that can feel when you’re desperate.
After I got home from work I did a little cooking and then sat down to relax and watch a movie while Trevor did some computer work at the dining room table.
It was so nice outside, and smelled so fresh, I just had to open the window for a bit and get some fresh air into the house.
Catching a breeze
It felt wonderful. It got a little cooler inside after having the window open for an hour or so, but man did it smell good. I also love all the light that comes through without the heavy drapes surrounding the sheers–I’m loving the new, lighter feel of the living room these days.
This morning there was frost everywhere and I think it’s supposed to be blustery and cooler again. . . it may even snow. I feel like this winter will never end. But this weekend it’s supposed to get to 60 and won’t that feel wonderful?
I’m not sure if I’m talking about my own, or the weather’s. They seem sort of inextricably linked at this point.
But it was around 40 yesterday, and the snow is, again, disappearing, little by little. It wasn’t sunny yesterday, but the snow cover did get a bit smaller anyway. It is certainly taking its time! The forecast for the week is still hovering around 40 for the first few days, but they are saying 60 by sometime this coming weekend. Crazy that if it does get above 50, it will be for the first time so far this spring–apparently we crushed the old record, set in 1881.
Those aren’t the kind of records we really enjoy beating, though, are they?
The entire pump in the front garden has emerged, along with the very tip top of the dwarf blue glob spruce.
I wonder how long it will be until the entire garden is visible? I’m hoping for this weekend. I guess we’ll see!
In spite of the wintry weather outside (it’s snowing again), we’ve got a little bit of spring in our kitchen; the basil is sprouting!
You may remember that I signed up for the U of M Master Gardener seed trials for this summer and I got sent packets of turnip and basil seeds. (If you don’t remember, you can read about it here.)
Although I really don’t have a good setup for seed-starting, I was extremely interested in getting the basil. We love basil, and six varieties of basil just sounded like a good thing. Of course, I won’t actually know which ones are which until the trial is over, because, to be appropriately scientific, it had to be a “blind” test. So the seeds were simply labelled “A” through “F.”
My biggest fear was that they wouldn’t sprout at all, but at this point I’ve got a minimum of six sprouts for each kind. So, knock on wood, we should have at least a couple of transplants of each kind to put out in the vegetable garden (assuming summer ever comes).
Here’s hoping for lots of basil this summer!
Merry Christmas! Oh, wait, it’s APRIL 15th!!
Yuck. This was the (admittedly gorgeous, if it were December) view out my back door this morning. Ten inches of snow since yesterday, and it’s still falling. All the area schools are running two hours late today.
Needless to say, my vegetable garden is no longer bare of snow.
And, underneath all this snow, you can see the damage the rabbits have done on my potted arborvitae.
I keep telling myself, at this point, how long can it last?
Yes, I know it sounds odd.
But my Hedwig was wearing out.
Ok, so I’ll start over. It was my birthday last week, and my family gave me a couple of beautiful garden ornaments. A really pretty glass rain gauge, and a new Hedwig for my Harry Potter garden.
If you missed that part, I’ve had a Harry Potter garden for years–it’s one of my favorites. It lets me indulge my sense of whimsy (which is substantial). I’ve got it filled with plants like Wormwood, Snakeroot, Ghost Fern, Lupines, Dragon’s Blood Sedum. . . you get the idea. But I’ve also got quite a few garden ornaments in that space. I’ve got Trevor the toad, Hedwig the owl, and a garden gnome.
But this was actually one of my first gardens, and Hedwig was starting to look pretty ratty. She was not really right from the start, anyway, since she was grey (at one point–now she’s sort of a non-descript un-color).
But now I have a beautiful ivory Hedwig that will be just the ticket to liven up the Harry Potter garden again.
Assuming it ever stops snowing, of course.
I had the pleasure of working the registration desk at Cass County Garden Day on Easter weekend. I met a couple of new people and enjoyed chatting with them about gardening (and cooking and canning).
One of the bonuses of working the registration desk is that you typically have a little time to shop the vendor booths during the sessions. Of course, this appeals to me. There was a bookseller there, and I found some great books–it was difficult to choose just a couple from all the options.
In the end I settled on a canning and preserving book called Nature’s Bounty that had some interesting things I’d never seen before–things like honey ginger banana butter and a few others that were completely new to me. I’m always looking for new canning recipes, so I was excited about that one.
But the real excitement, for me, came when I saw The Produce Bible. It’s a huge one–it’s going to take lots of perusal time to get through it. But I’m really looking forward to that. It’s all about cooking using seasonal produce, a topic that I know you know is near and dear to my heart. Also, it has a forward by Deborah Madison, who wrote my favorite cookbook, Local Flavors. So I figure it’s got to be pretty good.
We’ve been busy enough the past couple of weeks that I’ve not had a chance to even quickly look through them yet, but I’m really looking forward to spending some time poring over the recipes and marking pages. (Not to mention doing some actual cooking.) :)
It’s a common theme, I know. Everyone is sick of winter. I’m not going to whine about how sick I am of the snow and cold and wind and the fact that EVERYTHING is shades of black and white. I promise. (Oops, maybe I just did, a little.)
I take some small comfort from the fact that once it gets warm it will probably stay warm, considering it’s already mid-April.
Maybe in your part of the world the weather’s better. Here’s a photo from last summer (July 15th, to be exact) of the front garden, which contains our old pump handle. See how tall it is?
Here is a photo from last weekend (Easter Sunday, to be exact) of the same pump handle.
Kind of depressing, isn’t it?
Well, it can’t last too much longer–the old pump is showing more every day, I think. And spring really is coming. . . but it can’t come too fast for me.
. . . reason number 156. At least.
I know, I know. They’re adorable, and furry, and soft. And they have to eat, right?
Well, I have had enough–it’s war. We disposed of at least 10 last summer; I always want to believe we’ve seen the end of them. I really should know better.
There is a family of at least three living under our deck right now. We have lattice-work panels under the deck, lined with chicken wire, to prevent just this scenario. But the deck has sunk a bit over the years and the bottom isn’t as straight as it once was, and now apparently the little fiends have found a way under there.
Ok, so I digress. Here is a photo of why I hate rabbits.
These are our cotoneaster shrubs. That’s not dappled sunshine on the branches, it’s actually missing bark. The rabbits have chewed the bark off multiple branches of every single shrub in the border. Well, we’ve been planning on pruning then anyway, but they’re going to have to be pruned pretty severely to get past the rabbit damage–like down to six inches or so.
We do have plans to fix the deck this spring, so we’re hoping that will help with our problem at least for next winter. Until then, it’s war. :)
Every last detail has been attended do–actually, last Friday we finished up the little things we still had to accomplish so the house was ready for company Friday evening (nothing like doing things at the last minute).
Here is a photo of the living room pre-project.
I should say that I love, love, love(d) this rug, but it was becoming very threadbare so we’ve been talking about replacing it for a few years. If it were still in good shape I would have chosen to keep it–I love the colors and the design. BUT. It was wearing out. So we had to do it. I also love the burgundy curtains, but was starting to think they might look pretty dated–they have been hanging there for about 17 years.
So, we bought a new rug with our tax return and decided to take the curtains down for a lighter look. Which meant we had to paint. And one thing led to another, as it always does. But it’s finally done.
Excuse the crookedness of the photo–apparently I took it after my first glass of wine.
I’m really happy with the way it turned out–I love the quality of the light, especially in the afternoon. I suppose when it gets really hot out (something I’m having a hard time imagining at this point) it might not be as wonderful, but we do have light-blocking shades on all these windows, so we can close them if we need to.
This weekend, I think we might paint the upstairs hallway. . .