Friday, April 22, 2022

More spring...

The backside of April is upon us, and I'm feeling behinder and behinder.  Or maybe I'm just being impatient. I've been wanting to plant some seeds in the garden for weeks now.  

While the cool weather and spring rains are welcome, they have made it difficult to get outside much and take care of things.  The weeds are flourishing!  Maybe I'll make some serious progress on them this weekend as it's supposed to be sunny and in the 80's.  A little hot for my liking in April, but there's a promise of more cool weather next week, so I'm not going to complain.  Much.  

I've been busy and distracted the last couple of weeks, but most of it isn't really blog fodder. We did celebrate four birthdays earlier this month (for which I have no pictures - I get so little cooperation when I try, I've all but given up).  Our birthday celebrations anymore generally include eating out at a restaurant of the birthday kid's choice, followed by games at someone's home.  It was a couple of weeks ago already that we went to a Sushi Club for all-you-can-eat sushi, and then back to two sons' apartment to play the new-to-us game WAVELENGTH.  A fun game that gives lots of opportunity for making conversation.  

While it's more interesting than it may appear, here's a demo of WAVELENGTH in case anyone is curious:

And now I hope I don't bore you with more pictures of spring. Though I must warn you, this surely won't be the last such post.  This week we turned a corner into it being downright beautiful here.  While there are spots on this property that need some serious attention to landscaping, I'll share the areas that I'm taking special pleasure in right now.  

It was in the 60's and gorgeous on Wednesday.  Between doing some weeding and cleaning up most of the straw mulch from the strawberry bed above, and rain storms later in the evening, I visited my friends Jack and Ruth (Ruth, some will recall, is a woman I provided companion care for for several years.  She is in a nursing home now).  I don't think Ruth knows who I am anymore, but she is just as sweet and welcoming as ever.  Visits these days give me opportunity to get to know Jack more.  These two are a treasure.

But back to the strawberries.  Caring for a strawberry bed is a totally new experience for me.   So far, it's not been hard, and best of all -  they're surviving!  Looking forward to having some to share.

Our Asparagus patch is in the foreground above.   Notice some spears tall enough to harvest?  They'll show up again later.   The larger garden area is in the background.  I plan to remove those onions by sometime next week, and plant some vining things that (hopefully) will make use of the trellis.  I have plans to try pickling some cucumbers this summer.

My plant ID app tells me that irises are growing in this mess of weeds beside the detached garage above.  I started weeding this area late Wednesday afternoon, and now I have visions of some additional flowers planted in this bed.  Maybe some old fashioned zinnias or sunflowers.  Or both!

These rose bushes are in serious need of some trimming, I think.  They were beautiful when we moved in last November.  Figuring these out will be a new experience, too.   YouTube is getting me brave enough to start making some cuts soon.   

It's impossible for me to tire of watching the birds play in the Redbud tree in bloom just outside our den window. 

They all take turns flitting from the Redbud tree to the birdfeeders.

And this Japanese Quince Shrub came into glorious full bloom this week:
I don't know why my cell phone wants to turn it into something that looks like an impressionist painting, but it's all I have for now.  Hopefully, I can get some better pictures of the sweet flowers on this bush with my DSLR before they've finished their run.

And, I was almost giddy when my plant ID app identified two smallish dogwood trees flanking this Japanese Quince bush.  They are just beginning to bud out.  Pictures of those will follow in a week or two, I imagine.  Edited to add:  Turns out the trees that flank this Japanese Quince are not dogwood, but one is a peach and the other a sour cherry.  No complaints about either!

My heart just swells with how pretty things are looking right now.  Even the weeds can't diminish the pleasure all these flowering trees and bushes are bringing this spring.


Continuing with the spirit of "New Things",  I must continue just a bit more discussing asparagus. 

I had my first harvest!  

And now I know mid-late April is when they are likely to make their appearance in our backyard.

There were only about eight or nine spears tall enough to harvest, but that was just enough to enjoy them one evening earlier this week.  They are definitely better than anything I've bought in the grocery.  Brighter tasting, very crisp.  I even ate one fresh, rinsed off, but without cooking.  I prefer them cooked a tad, but raw was totally edible.

Stirred in some olive or avocado oil (I don't remember), sprinkled with sea salt and roasted in the air fryer/toaster oven for just a few minutes, these were delish!  And now I can't wait for more to grow tall enough to cut.


I don't think I'm going to keep tallying all my New Things, but I'm still taking note of them.  And gratefully so. I'm finding that noting new things really is something of an act of gratitude.  Especially when all the new things are so lovely...

I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

Friday, April 8, 2022

Spring is full of new things at our new house...

While some of the trees are budding, aside from bunches of white blossoming trees in our yard (and it seems every other neighbor's), and the grass greening up, spring seems to be taking its sweet time to burst onto the scene here.  But in spite of up and down weather, and more "brown" than I care for, the signs of spring are here. 

A few days ago, just looking out a window, I spotted this bunny camouflaged against the mulch under a rose bush:

And look at what I found yesterday:

Look closer:

Standing at my full height, I almost didn't see them, but bending down and looking really close, I found scattered in a small (maybe 5x5 ft) square of bare dirt, five random spears of asparagus peeking through.  

I was over the moon excited that we (evidently) didn't neglect into oblivion our little asparagus patch.  And now I can't wait to harvest them - and experience how good newly picked asparagus tastes. I've read it's sweeter tasting the closer to home you obtain it.  Can't get any closer than this!

While doing a little clean up outside, it occurred to me that some of you might have some words of wisdom to share about this little crop of onions:

At least I think these are onions.   Ignore the wire cage - Hub just stuck it there last fall and left it.  I didn't even notice it until I saw the picture.

These plants were small things last autumn when we moved into our new place, but we left them alone (there were just too many other things to do) figuring they would die out in the winter.  But now it appears that even more have grown, and the tops are looking really vibrant.

When I dig up some, this is what they look like:

They look like onions, but I've never actually grown onions and have never seen onions with pink-ish stalks like this.  Do they look familiar to anyone?  Do you think they're okay to eat after sitting in the soil all winter?  I don't know why I feel hesitant to try them, but I have been.  Let me know if you know what kind of onion these are.  And go ahead and tell me if I'm just being weird not being sure I want to eat something I didn't plant myself, or watch grow (like the asparagus).

Then while digging up some weeds in the garden, I came upon this and I wondered if it's actually something edible:
I'm guessing it's a weed, but it didn't look like the other weeds I dug out, and it kind of looks like stuff I find in bagged salad.  Don't laugh.  Anyway, I thought I'd ask if anyone recognizes it (weed or not).

And while I'm waiting for some other spring flowers to bloom, I'm treated every time I look out the laundry room window to these soft yellow daffodils and a sweetly-pink flowering shrub of some sort:

It's coming on slowly, but spring is making itself known here in central Indiana!