Tuesday, April 24, 2012

spring is growing on me!

It's almost harvest time!  About 5 weeks ago, our container gardens looked like this:

We're keeping it simple this year, because we might be moving.  So, I just bought a few seed packets:

And contributed some of my own, like these red bell pepper seeds, saved from the veggie itself:

My sister-in-law bought me these lovely garden tools for Christmas.

They're based on a William Morris design.


I love working with them in the garden.  It's made great progress and now the radishes and the lettuce are nearly ready for consumption!

I've got a little company in the garden now.  While Tabitha is content to lounge around the house all day in any spot...

...Bosewichte is only truly happy when rolling in the sun.

I haven't wanted to bring him outside because the yard isn't completely fenced in...but he finally wore me down.  I had to commit to keeping an eye on him.  He rolls in the flowers...

...peers through the plants...

...observes the world from beneath the lilac bushes...

 ...and stalks prey (i.e. shadows) mercilessly.

It's only after an hour or two outside that he's ready to come back inside and take a nap to recover from his strenuous morning...preferably in Todd's office!

 Our irises are coming up.  They're so beautiful!  First we had the stalk.

Then, the buds pushed through the crackly covering.

At last!

I think irises are so pretty.

 I added them, and columbines, to my usual lilac bouquets this week.


The salvia is spiking...

Yarrow leaves unfurling...

The wild strawberries are ripe, too.  The birds are very happy!

 Lots of worms around, too...

...including these little grub worms that I often unearth when working in the soil.

The carpenter bees are out and about...

...and I discovered something amazing when following him to his hollowed-out nest.  A praying mantis ootheca...just getting ready to hatch!  Last year the oothecas hatched in early May. 

You know it's empty when you see the sawdust-like streamers coming out of the bottom.

The ants are bustling about.

Leafhoppers are everywhere!

I love sitting and waiting for the little things to come to life.  At first, when sitting among the flowers, you won't see anything.  But if you're patient, little things will creep out of their hiding places, or at least become visible, like this gnat.

We're still walking at the park, too, which is greening up by the day!  

I don't have space for a recipe today, so I'll leave you with a photo.  Todd's birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and I made Martha Stewart's six-layer salted caramel chocolate cake.   


I was originally going to cut the three layers into six layers like the recipe indicated, but I accidently put my hand through one of the layers to prevent it from falling on the floor.  No hope of sawing it in half, so I just made this a three layer cake.  Still delicious.  The icing contained a pound of butter and a pound of melted chocolate...so rich!  The recipe is available on her web site.  

Have a great week!

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