Sunday, April 24, 2016

EVERY BLOOMING THING UNDER THE SUN: GARDEN NEWS


The start of the tulip parade


One would think that I've been busy as a bee since it has been a little over a week since I last posted.         Really though, I haven't.  Just some normal 'catch up' after our trip...laundry, a car wash, making the house a little more presentable.  Errands, grocery store, light therapy for the skin 3 times a week.  And there wasn't much to photograph.  My Swiffer?  Do you ever feel as if a lack of photos means a lack of words?  Well, I'll do my best, I'm rarely at a loss for words.  ;-D

We had wonderful weather last weekend and I was really, really happy that I only had to make a few subtle hints to get The Husband to clean out our shed.  It has been a super mess for a very long time and I knew it would take me weeks and weeks to clean out.  Bags of old fertilizer and grass seed long expired, rakes, shovels and garden tools scattered all over.  In a far corner, Abby's  bike from when she was about 13.  He filled about 10 huge trash bags and had a huge stack of junk to be brought out on trash day.  Thankfully our son in law, Mike, came over and lended a hand in bringing it all to the curb. It's such a relief to have all of this space.  There is already some shelving in there as well as hooks on the wall.  I really can't wait to organize everything.  Gardening is going to be much more easy this year and clean up in the fall a breeze.  Thank you, dear. 



I forget the name of these tiny flowers each spring and I think you gals told me their name last spring.  Help!  Also, do you think I can divide them, they are great ground cover.

Last Sunday when The Husband was doing the shed makeover, son Kevin came by with little Elsie.  She's been walking for 2 1/2 months so it was so cool to have her in our back yard.  I took her hand and showed her the tulips, picked one for her which she promptly tried to eat.  She really loved the branches of the forsythia, so bright yellow now.  Abby and Tom pulled out my patio table and umbrella that morning so we spent time in the shade.  I made her some buttered toast and cottage cheese and she sat on my lap in the shade to munch.  Then we took a little stroll, hand in hand down the front sidewalk.  She babbled and I guess what I said was babble to her:  "This is where your daddy walked to school for years, from the age of four to thirteen".  We walked back to the house and stopped where you can see the gate to our backyard.  Milo and Layla were waiting and she immediately recognized them and pulled toward that direction.  Then she saw Grandpa in his bright red shirt near the shed and her face lit up.  We had a great afternoon and I think Kevin liked his alone time in the cool house watching the Cubs game.



More backyard babble.  Told you I didn't have a lot of pictures.  I can't wait for warmer weather to add to my herb garden.  My chives and oregano come back every year and you can see the dead foliage of last years morning glories.  I don't clear them out in the fall, the seed pods are ripe and ready to pop up once they get rain. Yes, a lot more clean up 

Speaking of rain, I have some bare spots in my lawn and I'm a perfectionist about my front and backyard.  I like to reseed when I know we have rain predicted but sometimes it doesn't work out for the best.  With rain in the forecast on Wednesday evening, I flew to Home Depot after my light therapy and paid a fortune (as usual) for grass seed.  I didn't even go into the house once I got home, rain drops had started to fall.  I opened the garage, pulled down the spreader, filled it up and seeded that front lawn in about ten minutes flat.  And then a light rain started and I did a little jig inside.  And  then the thing I dread happened.  The rain started coming down in torrents and that washed the seed around, and made puddles in shallow spots.  My only consolation is I do have about 1/4 of the bag left and I'll wait until June to fill in random spots.  Am I not a relentless perfectionist?



I might have forgotten to mention that the day after I came back from Canada I went over to Emily's house, she watches little Elsie on Thursdays.  The Husband and I always get her (Elsie, not Emily) a little something with the name of the places we visit.  Isn't it cute?  Later that day the three of us went to Target and wow, it was so cool to push a baby in a cart again!  And she is so good.  Even though she was getting tired, she was excellent.  She rarely, if ever cries.


  

This was another beautiful weekend and Milo and Layla are really loving the warm temps and the tease of summer.  I dug out the 'outdoor' water bowl and little Layla, who loves to stretch out in the sun, became a little overheated and decided that the cold water was the place to lie down next to in the shade.  

I have tons of work to do outside and I haven't even begun to plant flowers.  I have plenty in my flower beds but I love pretty pots.  Just not warm enough yet. 

 In between my time outside doing the chores, I'm catching up on some reading, visiting more blogs every evening than I have been in the past few months (thank you for understanding that life sometimes gets crazy) and I've been really experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes.  I take such terrible pictures of food and since we actually eat what I make, I can't spend a lot making the food look pretty; staging with various props and letting it get cold.  Each recipe I've tried, one from a restaurant in Vancouver with ingredients I sort of figured out and stored in my phone, have been spectacular and I'm sure I'm going to make these again and again and I'll be sure to get a few shots.  What's a recipe without a picture? And something I'm really happy about is I did dust off my little Canon, used it in Canada, and downloaded some pics today.  In fact, all of my flower pictures were taken with this camera so I'm keeping it at hand and definitely not grabbing my iPhone for pictures.  Hopefully my food will look better!  Some of the recipes I made for the first time were Quinoa Salad with arugula, red pepper, cucumber, capers and Feta cheese.  Another great recipe was a wonderful Chicken Paprikash that is very traditional to Hungary, and utterly the best.  And finally, an oven baked fish and chips.  How great not having to have it fried.  The secret?  Browning the bread crumbs in a skillet before you coat the fish with them.  I'll share these in upcoming posts.

Thanks so much for the visit.  I'll try to stay on track a bit better.  I hope all of you are having good weather.  Would love to hear what you are doing outside to get ready for summer.  What is your weather like?

Have a great week and I'll be back soon (just need that camera at my side!).

GO BLACKHAWKS!!!

Jane x

52 comments:

Sarah said...

Welcome home! Enjoy your pretty weather and working in the garden. We've had lots of rain here, but the weekend was pretty. Hope to be out in my garden this week. '-)

Anne Brew said...

Hello Jane, Anne here in Yorkshire, England. I think the plant is called Alyssum and I grow the same one as you quite easily. It spreads so you will get ground cover. However you do have more extremes in weather than us so you may need to keep an eye on it. I enjoy your blog very much - I don't write one but love reading a handful regularly.

Stacey said...

I know you are enjoying being a grandma. Pushing a baby would be so much fun! :)

Mary said...

Whew! Jane you are still in whirlwind mode I see from reading all you've been to since arriving home from Canada!
We all seem to try to do so much during our waking hours - no wonder we're workout, haha!

We gardened constantly the past week plus - now it's time to sit and reap the benefits. An hour now and then on the front porch includes watching the chickadees bring constantly snacks to their babies in the nest box, catching up on some reading, even watching grass grow etc. is very rewarding!!!

Enjoy this new week - how fast they fly by!
Mary x

Mereknits said...

You are making my head spin, you have been so busy. I am glad Spring has arrived and you are out in your yard tending to things, I love to do that too.
Hugs and have a great week,
Meredith

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I loved hearing about your afternoon with Elsie! How fun to go for walks and pick flowers. We should all take time to do those things more often. I'm curious, do you have to reseed your lawn every year? It's always interesting to me how it works in other climates. Our grass (St. Augustine) goes dormant in the winter and turns brown, but it comes back each spring and greens back up.

Linda said...

The icing on this post, is the pic of you and Elsie!
So glad that you are spending more time with her...
It is so rewarding!!
I am off to get Miss V for the day,as my daughter has an app't after work...
She will pick her up here...Hope to have her here for dinner with us ♥️
Enjoy every second, Jane...they grow way too fast...
We cleaned our shed at the cottage too!! Way better....
Enjoy your week...crappy rain and cool here...oh well...such is life, eh??
Cheers!
Linda :o)

Penny @ The Comforts of Home said...

It sounds like you got a lot accomplished! I can see you running around spreading that grass seed before the rain :-).

TiffanyJane said...

Awww Elsie is a doll! Love the little flowers, I am not sure of the name either....I know alot of the more common names, save my tags so I can go back and look to jog my memory :)
Love your pics! Have a great week :)

Deserae said...

Your grand-baby is such a cutie pie!!!! I just planted flowers in all my pots this weekend. It is a little early but it was a much needed pick me up. We planted some grass seed in the front last weekend and it is already starting to sprout. We have a lot more work to do though to get our yard into shape. Have a great week :o)
~Des

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

Look how adorable she is! You are really going to enjoy gardening when she gets a little older and wants to help water, wants to pick flowers for Mommy, wants to see if a tomato grew yet or a green bean, etc. My little grands love that stuff!

laurie said...

oh my gosh the photo of you and little Elsie,, that is adorable,, just beautiful,, you are a busy lady and your gardens are busy too,,everything is so much further ahead than we are,, take care my friend,

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Sounds like you had a lovely weekend. Too bad about the grass seed. I find using my phone is so much easier than trying to grab a camera. And the pictures are pretty good to boot. That Elsie sure is cute and growing up fast. Growing season is slowing down here as the temperature heats up. Have a good week.

Kim said...

I am a stickler about my lawn, too. I like things to be perfectly green! Elsie is beautiful...you both are! :)

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Jane cleaning out the shed seems like a metaphor for life! It's the Spring season that fills our hearts with appreciation of nature's blooming bounty and encourages us to go nurture and grow. Speaking about growing ... OMGosh little Elsie will be soon riding that bike left from your daughter many years ago. Way too early for us to plant in Philly but waiting in anticipation until end of May I will enjoy my containers of Purple Pansies. Have an enjoyable week sweet Jane.
xoxo,
Vera

Kathleen George said...

I can read the happiness in this post!
Warm days ahead with family, gardening and light cooking.
Kathleen in Az

Kelly said...

Elsie is a cutie! I would feel the same way about pushing a child in a cart again. It has been years since I've done that. Sounds like you'll be busy getting your yards spruced up. I think we can all relate since winter isn't always kind to things. We've been enjoying sunny warm days and being outside too. However, come summer, we'll probably only go out early in the morning and in the evening. Sweltering heat and humidity is the norm here.

Kathleen Grace said...

Isn't it glorious to finally have some gardening weather? I spent part of yesterday cleaning out a flower bed and the rest of the evening with a heating pad on my back. It just proves I need to get out there more! Your time with little Elsie sounds perfect. Just watching little ones discover everything around them at that age gives us a new outlook too. I love seeing the wonder on a toddlers face :)

Nancy's Notes said...

Jane, Elsie is such a cutie pie and that picture of you two is priceless! What fun to hold her and walk her around your garden and of course she wants to eat your flowers! Mine too! Okay, your recipe for Quinoa salad with arugula, red pepper, cucumber, capers and Feta cheese sounds delightful and I want to head out and get all the makings soon!
Happy day, dear friend. I'm so enjoying your journal again! I've been away,but I'm baaack!
Nancy

Traci said...

Elsie is adorable! I haven't been blogging much lately. I just feel like it's the same old thing over & over.

Susie said...

Blondie, You better start squeezing Elsie...she is growing so much., I like that she recognized the dogs and her papaw. So nice to that babies along that aren't having hissy fits when you have them out. LOL. I think most times when children get tired, that's when they have a fuss. Aren't you loving this good weather? I have loved the sunny days so much. We are to start getting rain this evening thru Thursday. Bless you, xoxo, Susie

Rita C. said...

I love that spring has finally arrived for you, Jane - it's like reliving the forsythia and phlox all over again. Love it! Elsie is so, so cute, and you look wonderful in that photo with her. Enjoy these days, and I really look forward to seeing your lake house again soon!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Welcome back Jane. So glad that you had a wonderful time in Canada.
Your pictures are great and your flowers are lovely. Loved the picture of you with your little sweetie pie. She is darling.

So glad that you are finally having spring. We have had spring already and all my roses bloomed and I have deadheaded all of them. Stop by my posts and see my garden.

Today I had my friends son over to do some yard work for me. Planted some foxgloves, margarites and separated my Santa Barbara Daisy's. So that is what I have been doing. Also going to a few Garden Tours.

Take care of yourself my friend and enjoy your week.

Hugs,
Mary

Love your post telling about all your adventures. Glad that your dogs are enjoying the nice sunny weather,

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I can hardly tell who's prettier...you or Elsie. Well, *maybe* Elsie, but just by a teeny, tiny hair. Reading about your afternoon with her made me smile. It must be wonderful for you to have such a doll around, to show things to, teach, and see the world through her eyes.

What happened with the lawn seeds is exactly what happened to me. I swear, Mother Nature is out to get me, but she's met her match with us both I think ;).

I like that tip about the breadcrumbs. I can see why that would be a good thing to do. I'll have to try it. I know what you mean about the recipe photos. I once thought that food bloggers have it made. After all, they have an endless pool of posts, but it's not all that easy.

It's great that you're using your camera, but remember...the most valuable tools you have are your eyes.

xxx

Melanie said...

Well, with this warm weekend we just had and now all the rain this week, everything should be blooming like crazy by next weekend. I just bought more plants at a garden center today and was hoping to get them potted this afternoon, but the storms rolled in just as I got home. Oh well, we still have plenty of time! So sweet to have a little one to show the flowers to and even take on a shopping trip to Target. When we were at our friend's house this weekend, his daughter stopped by with their little ones: a 4-year old boy and 1-1/2 year old girl. They were both so cute and the 4-year old talked to me non-stop...about Legos, his fire truck, his birthday party, his tools, Star Wars, etc. I miss the wonder and innocence of little ones! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Fox and Finch Antiques said...

Hi Jane,
I take care of six gardens for the village and I'm exhausted. I turned over the soil today and did the same thing you did, except I was spreading Preen, I had to run to get back to the shop in the rain with multiple trips carrying all the tools. That part was fun. I love, love, love my job with the village but the first month is a killer.
Your Elsie is a dreamboat. That must be a wonderful joy.
Nice to here what you've been doing....
Ginene

Linda said...

I have been trying to get our gardens in shape! The Seven Sister rose bush started blooming today!!! There's always SO much work to do in the spring and I feel an urgency to get things done before the heat of the summer bears down on us! It was 86 degrees here today!
Your Elsie is a real live doll baby!!!! I know you are enjoying her!!!

Theresa said...

Our shed needs a cleaning out too:) Love your cutie pie, what a little doll she is! Have a wonderful day dear friend, Spring has Sprung here in the South!

ann said...

You do keep busy. Good thing. Your daughter has the best job in the world--and a hard job, to--, teaching high school English. I hope she is in a good school. I miss my classroom and students, but I am glad to let someone else do it now. Have a good week, Jane.

Leslie Harris said...

Hi Jane! So happy to catch up with your life. Elsie is so adorable, I get all soft inside when I think about pushing a baby stroller again, especially with a little girl inside. Maybe some day the Lord will bless me with grand daughters haha I tell that to my boys and they say, no Mom I want all boys. Sigh.
So glad you got your shed cleaned out, I bet it feels good. We need to get our backyard in shape...no shed but lots of 'stuff' on the side of the house. :)
xo
Leslie

Michelle Dellene said...

Hello Jane! I just found your blog and I'm so happy I did. We have a lot in common including just cleaning out years worth of stuff from when our kids were growing up, including my daughter's old bike, from our shed (*sniffles*)and I have the same white flowers! (no clue what the name is either but we divided them and planted them all around our pond and they look gorgeous!). So yes, you can split them. We did. Just wanted to share and say hi! :)

xo Michelle Dellene

Carla from The River said...

Hello,
I always enjoy catching up with you. I love how you shared with Elsie that her daddy walked the sidewalk to school. So sweet. XX OO
Carla

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Love your post! I always feel like we've had an "in-person" visit where over a cup of tea or coffee, you tell me everything that's been going on in your life, Jane. xo Lidy

A Joyful Cottage said...

Fun to catch up with you, Jane. You and Elsie are equally adorable. ;) We've been busting our backsides here, planting trees and shrubs. Love this time of year. Your flowers are so pretty. Hugs, Nancy

Lisa said...

Ok. I could barely pay attention to all your beautiful prose because I was so enamored with Elsie. She is just too stinking' cute. And that face she is making! Like, "Hurry up and take the picture already!" Priceless!

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Jane, So nice to catch up with you tonight. I can imagine how gorgeous your gardens are coming along and how sweet your little Elsie tried to eat a tulip. haha so sweet She is adorable. Love the pic of you two together. What a delight she is walking now too.
Have a great rest of the week. xo

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Spring has sprung Jane! The Lake house is calling your name:)
What a great Summer lies ahead of you.
Sweet, sweet photo of Elsie and you, those grands, I tell you they win us over every time!
Jemma

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Jane. Loved you telling about strolling with Elsie in the garden and babbling!! I used to do that with Jake too, telling him stories of all the flowers. We built a scarecrow together. You should try that, it was so much fun. I miss those days and now the days are more 'grown-up' which are fun too, but I never forget when he was little. Have a happy rest of the week..Judy

Saimi said...

Ah, spring cleaning! One of my favorite things to do!!! But another fav of mine are the grandkids and your little Elsie is just as adorable as can be! How fun strolling around in the yard looking at and eating flowers haha.
Have a great weekend!

Saimi

bj said...

the baby, Elsie, is so adorable. It is a great feeling to have a small one to push in carts..even our GREAT-grands are getting too big. Growing too fast....

Art and Sand said...

You have been busy!

Lori E said...

Sounds like time well spent.
Sunshine, kids, grandbaby, gardens. Nice.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

It's nice to catch up with what my blog friends are doing! Love the photos. It's been a busy spring here thus far, but I love this time of year. I'm always happy to be looking for and planting flowers! Take care and have a nice weekend!

Pondside said...

We're having a lovely spring up here, but we could use some rain. I've had to water the flower beds and post as lot as the temperature climbs and the wind blows all the moisture out of the soil. Not complaining though - I love the warmth!

June said...

Little Elsie is a doll Jane...so glad you've been able to get some snuggle time with her.
Can you lend me a husband to clean out my shed? I hate how dale grumbles when he does it :)
I'm planting the seeds you sent me now that the weather is getting nicer here, and can hardly wait to see them bloom. Thank you again sweetie.
I'm sure glad you can't see my lawn, you would be so ashamed of me. It's full of dandelions this year (well, only part of it)

vintageandart said...

Hi Jane...loved reading your post this morning, I especially enjoyed seeing the pics of Elsie who looks very wise (and so cute) for such a young'un, disregarding tulip nibbling of course:-) How lovely to spend precious time with her and yes her Dad would have loved the chance to watch the game uninterrupted. It sounds like you really love gardening and l loved hearing your planting plans for when the weather warms up enough.
How fantastic to move 10 bags of garbage from the shed....and can see how that will make such a big difference to the space. My hubby's shed is sacred ground (to him) and throwing ANYTHING out is considered a mortal sin...SIGH!!!l also had to smile at your lawn seed story...just in that it's so typical that it would bucket down raining after all your planning and work...l have my fingers crossed for you that it'll all come together in the end...hope your weekend is beautiful.

Suzanne said...

What a lovely post! Sounds like you are making beautiful memories with the next generation! I love that little flying pig in your garden, too. Your flowers are gorgeous!

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