Showing posts with label Gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gardening. Show all posts

August 26, 2023

Around My House

This is a hodge-podge sort of post, filled with random stuff that's going on in our busy house. First off, the garden and the usual end-of-summer bounty laid at our feet, or in this case, on our kitchen sideboard.
The tomatoes are literally falling off the vine, they're so heavy and good. I made a nice pomodoro sauce for dinner last night with them and basil and a dash of balsamic vinegar (though I totally forgot we're out of Parmesan cheese). So yummy and so summery; it's really a dish that allows you to savor the waning summer garden grub.

Onto another random thought: my house is a wreck, and to add something else to the mix, I decided it was finally time to paint the living room.
It's been this hideous but oddly coordinating yellow that I'm just so sick of looking at. I got depressed thinking about sitting here all winter, staring at pissy walls.
This is just a test, but I really like this color, a pale, teal, bluish-greenish something or other that doesn't translate to photos very well. I need to head to the hardware store to get a few gallons, now that I'm set on the color. Then on to the tediousness of taping off the trim work.
I'm not a huge fan of the wall-painting process, but I just love the results. If I could stand it, I'd probably paint the rooms in my house bi-yearly--I adore changing colors, but not all the prep work. Plus the moldings will definitely need to be painted too, since I haven't touched them since we moved in 4 years ago. Sigh.

But with new walls comes new artwork, and therefore I'm working on a piece for the living room. I collaged pages of an old book (yes, THAT book and THIS book) onto canvas
and will be adding some cut paper poppies onto it. This artwork is inspired by this post that I came across at Jones Design Company. I just can't get enough of crafts made with recycled books. Oh, and you might not have noticed, but I am trying to incorporate some of the bazillion paint chip rejects into the art work. I cut them into little shapes, however they're not sticking so well with the Mod Podge, as you can see. But they won't get away with that....get out the Gorilla Glue!

Any projects you're working on before the colder weather kicks in?

May 20, 2023

from garden to table

We've been enjoying the first tastes of the harvest from our tiny backyard plot--specifically greens.
The mesclun mix and red leaf lettuces have been wonderful, so sweet and buttery.  If you have only a pot and a sunny spot, consider planting some lettuce seeds. They're so easy to grow (and cheap) and the payoff is incredible.
Our Mizuno Japanese mustard greens are quite tasty too. Not as bitter as traditional mustard greens, these were excellent in a simple pasta dish I made last night for dinner.
While the photo above doesn't give them justice (these are the leftovers which I reheated for lunch, hence the darker colored greens), they were gorgeously bright green in the dish and didn't take long to cook.

My favorite part of the garden is the learning experience for Soren. We picked the lettuce together for today's lunch, and he was excited and engaged by the activity.  He even ate some lettuce without cajoling!
Mind you, this boy will fish out any secretly-placed green ingredient in any of my cooking and spit it out immediately and with much fanfare.
Next up, peas. This is the first time I've grown them so we'll see what happens. So far so good. Climb little ones, climb!
If you're curious how I made the pasta dish, I simply cooked some penne, then sauteed an onion and 2 minced garlic cloves in olive oil with some white wine, then added the greens at the end.  I tossed in the drained pasta, added some fresh oregano and Parmesan, and finished with salt and pepper. So simple and so delicious.

May 5, 2023

wordful wednesday: salad bowl and a cat

Our garden is progressing quite swimmingly, considering the pool-sized quantity of rain we got over the last few days. With clay soil (which we amended with sand and other things), it takes extra time to drain, so often we see pools of water flooding the plants. The pea plants (below) are looking great. They need to be staked on a trellis soon before they get too big.
I wish we had some more room because I'd love to plant some more things. That typically happens with first-time veggie gardeners--a desire to grow it all!
So far we've planted brussels sprouts, mizuna (Japanese mustard greens), tomatoes (a few varieties), radishes,
Swiss chard, spinach, mescalin salad greens, Japanese cucumbers, zucchini, and onions around the border to hopefully keep out pests.
I'm planning on adding a pepper plant or two and resowing lettuce once the current stock has gone to seed. I can't wait to incorporate all this into fresh salads this summer. There's nothing like picking fresh lettuce and tomatoes just minutes before making a salad. And lettuce is soooo easy to grow from seed. You should try it!

I's quite a happy garden, and I hope it continues to flourish, especially that we'll be gone for a week. Oscar the cat enjoys the outdoors too, lounging in the grass all day, moving from sun to shade to sun and back. He's such a sweet cat, and never wanders off.
For more Wordless Wednesday of the chatty kind, visit 7 Clown Circus for Wordful Wednesday

April 7, 2023

in bloom

After sleeping with the windows open for the first night since September, I'm eager to get outside today and enjoy the close to 90 degree temps in PA. Isn't that ridiculous?

I'm afraid my poor tulips are just going to pop open quick and die.
Though it's been great for the seedlings, which now will have a place to call home this summer.
It sadly takes up a lot of our teeny backyard, but I think the power of fresh, organic veggies will be worth the lack of play space for S. Especially since the park is just a block away.

Doesn't great weather just make you instantly happy? To quote Nirvana's song In Bloom:
Sell the kids for food
Weather changes moods
Spring is here again
Reproductive glands

Ok, so I won't be selling SoJo for food, but this weather is definitely mood-altering. So will you be gardening this year? Tomatoes in a pot? Acres of corn?

June 12, 2023

Local Goodness

The much awaited cardboard box arrived in my kitchen at lunchtime.
We ordered a medium share of produce from our local organic farm, and this was the first week of the farm's bounty. Here's what we got:
Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce, Red Russian Kale, Swiss Chard, Sugar Snap Peas, Broccoli, Summer squash, Patty Pan squash, one Goede squash (looks like an unripe pumpkin) and Potted Herbs (common sage and German winter thyme). Yes, I had to add the fancy names because they're just so charming. Oh, and those peonies are from my garden, not the co-op.

So I'm in need of some great recipes for kale, Goede squash, and patty pan squash, which I've never cooked before. Suggestions?

May 20, 2023

Wordful Wednesday: The Garden

I spent most of this past weekend tidying up the garden and planting, which I was so excited about since it's really been 2 years since I've focused on it due to being tiredly pregnant in '07 and preoccupied with an infant in '08.
May and June are by far my favorite gardening months, because so many of my favorite perennials are in bloom (peonies, irises, hydrangeas, columbine), and the plants aren't looking so spent and straggly like they do in August.

I need to get some mulch to neaten things a bit more, but all in all, it's lookin' good.
It's funny how much purple I have in way of flowers in our back flower bed. Lots of lavender, like in the above photo, because it's drought and heat resistant, and also purple salvia. I can't wait for my foxglove to bloom in the next few weeks. Did you know it's used for heart medication?
On the front porch, I have some pots that I fill with coleus and impatients for the shady spot near the door
and geraniums, sweet potato vine, and grasses for the sunnier side. You can't beat geraniums for a classic feel on a porch. Plus they're so easy to care for and last into the fall.
I also add them into the hanging baskets, along with purple sweet potato vine, which will be cascading out of the baskets in a month or so.
And the best part of the garden? Well having fun in the grass of course, even if the lawn is only the size of an envelope (ha, you thought I was going to say postage stamp!).
Finally, the kind of photo that I've been trying to take! And no, we don't usually dress SoJo in Polo was a gift!

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