Thursday, March 26, 2015

March Into Spring

It was a good weekend to be out, walking, enjoying some sun,
saying hi to neighbors, and inspecting the yard. Ron and I began
our day early and slowly progressed into doing some chores. It
started with taking the VW convertible out of storage. We took 
it for a quick spin around the block, then parked it in the drive-
way and moved some other big things out so we could do sweep
out of the garage. That felt good. It was dusty and dirty. Moved
on to the bottom of the hill and raked ALOT of fallen sticks and
branches from the willow tree. From there to my Cottage/Potting
Shed. Ron removed the winter doors and I pruned the roses and
checked out my flower/herb garden. I can't tell you the joy I felt
when kneeling down, hands in the dirt, anticipating my spring-
garden-thyme coming up. It is so therapeutic and satisfying for
me to work in my yard and nuture my space. I did feel so good
right at that moment. 

It's hard to imagine the beauty of late spring and summertime 
when you look at all the brown and grey and drabness of our 
yards. But it will change and renew. Here's a little peek at what 
will happen!

I'm lovin' it garden friends. And now I want to share photos of the
inside of my cottage shed. It will be under going some changes this
season. I'll keep you posted.                    


Ron finished up a birdhouse he was working on and I got the  
bikes out and we called it a weekend done. I know Ron is anticipating golf. He deserves it!  

next up: Easter
& garden tips   

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring You Are Most Welcomed

                                                All through the long winter,
                                                I dream of my garden. On
                                                the first day of Spring, I dig
                                                my fingers deep into soft
                                                earth. I can feel its energy,
                                                and my spirits soar.
                                                            -Helen Hayes

Today we can celebrate, for the first day of Spring is finally upon
us and we can only look ahead to what awaits us. Yes, sunshine, 
warmth and longer days, blooming delights and garden bounty
galore. Fear not if we are "tickled" with winter leftovers of cold
and flecked with snow, it will pass quickly! I want you all thinking
of your grass getting greener, and the leaves filling out the trees.
The birds are singing!

Soon you'll be seeing the sprouts of spring bulbs like the early
snowdrops and crocuses. Then will come hyacinths, daffodils
and tulips. Can't wait. Forsythia will be a first of the flowering
shrubs to appear and they are quite spectacular. At a creek in 
our neighborhood there is a large mature pussy willow. The
branches are loaded with soft fuzzy-like "flower puffs."
Sam (the Pug) and I were walking and made a stop at this 
creek so I could cut some branches for display. Sam wanted
to venture into the creek. Oh no!

Birds looking for nesting spots

- you can now prune the shrub roses (like the Knock-Out variety)
  remove a third to half of old growth, make it dome shaped
- get out to your garden area and clean it up, turn over the soil
  and amend as necessary
- know your zone for growing flowers and vegetables, zone 6 here
- map out your plan for spring thyme garden projects…hmm a
  fire pit, water feature, new path or walkway, or maybe an herb
- 2015 selections from the National Garden Bureau:
   the annual, perennial, and edible includes these 3.
   The Coleus, the Gaillardia (blanket flower), the Sweet Pepper
   are chosen because they are easy-to-grow, popular, adaptable,
   maybe they can work in your flower or veggie garden.


think garden thyme!
think spring thyme! 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Top Of The Morning, And Irish Bread

For each petal on the shamrock.
This brings a wish your way
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.
                         -Irish Blessing

St. Paddy's Day, March 17th. Named after St. Parick, patron saint
of Ireland, who at the age of 16 was taken from Britain, in the 4th
century, to Ireland as a slave. He escaped but returned to convert 
the Irish to Christianity and used the shamrock to explain the 
Trinity. Whether the legend that he drove snakes out of Ireland 
is true or not, he is highly regarded by the Irish community. In the
United States we show identification with Ireland by participating
in the "wearing of the green,"corned beef and cabbage, green
beer, parades, leprechauns, feasts and religious services.

Now how about an authentic Irish bread recipe, Wheaton Bread.  
I found this delight while reading the books in the Irish Country  
series by Patrick Taylor. His wife Kate shared this home recipe.

See EARTHLY DELIGHTS for this delicious, hearty bread
recipe along with another one from last year, Irish Soda Bread.

There are some beautiful forced blooms out there that make 
wonderful spring displays in your home. Hyacinths are so 
fragrant, and adding to them daffodils and tulips, you can
create a spring-like atmosphere in your home. What to do
with them after flowering? 

Don't throw away those bulbs.  Here's tips on how to save 
and use for future blooming.
- Once blooming has stopped, no watering, and allow the 
  foliage to die back completely to dried and brown. Next
  pull away the leaves from the bulbs, and dust off the dirt
  while checking for any rotten or soft spots, (don't save 
  those.) Put them on paper in a cool, dry and dark place
  like the basement. Chilling counts. Check your hardiness 
  zone. If you fall between 3 and 8 (we are 6) this should 
  suffice. They will be ready to plant the following fall 
  outdoors. It may take a few springs for them to bloom 
  again, be patient it will happen.
- At the nursery I was told they could be replanted right
  away after drying. The catch, dealing with the deer and

Enjoy your day!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March, In Like A Lion...

I just wanted to put a positive spin on this.  A colorful, bright, 
flowery welcome to this month. You know the old saying, in like 
a lion, out like a lamb. I'm hoping the end of this month will show 
us sunny, warmer days. Aren't we just exhausted by it all. Moving on.

What? Garden chores might be a little difficult with frozen ground
and snow piled high, not to mention fluctuating temperatures. 
How about back in the house for another hot cup of coffee and a 
healthy muffin? Still plently of books to read. As tempting as this 
might be, you can be thinking about garden needs. It's not to early
to make a chore list, plan your garden layout, prep your tools, and 
sow certain seed indoors if you're so inclined. For info on that see (indoor seed starting). Order those plants and 
bushes from garden supply houses as soon as possible. They will 
send out at the proper planting time for your area. I ordered a 
new variety of tomato called 4th OF JULY TOMATO PLANT. 
It produces tangy sweet 4-ounce red tomatoes in as little as 49 
days. This would also be great for container growing. To assist 
in my tomato growing, I decided to try the new POP-UP-
serves as a mini greenhouse to create a warm protected 
environment for the transplants. I should be able to set the plants 
out in the garden a couple of weeks ahead of time. I will keep you 
posted. Remember to check out the last frost date for your 
growing area. May 15th is considered our date to safely start 
planting. But a reminder, weather is unpredictable, so adjust


 No matter how long the winter,     
 spring is sure to follow.