Sunday, June 5, 2016

GREEN LIVING


All of the pictures in this post are of the outdoors and at the risk of sounding like a braggart, they may all be of my progress in the gardens and on my patio.  Yawn.  

The clematis is blooming like crazy.  I think it looks so pretty close up but in reality, I simply don't know how or when to prune back the woody stems so this is all you are getting now.  They thrive on this black trellis which some of you may know was actually a wrought iron headboard Emily and I scavenged from a neighbors trash.  I digress.  On one side of the trellis I have a variety that blooms purple and I think it's very common, I see it everywhere.  The cool thing is both the pink and purple varieties bloom all summer long.  For not knowing what I'm doing, I'm doing alright! 



I mentioned I had ordered some urns from Amazon.  None of them were over $30.00.  I am so pleased with them.  Each one is made of different material but all are lightweight, even with your potting soil inside so you can move them around until you're happy.  This is one of my favorites.  I love impatiens because I have so much shade (they dry out in direct sun) and I'm partial to that pretty peachy color.  This is a sweet combo of color and in another 2 weeks they will be billowing over the edges of the pot.



We have a lot of 'not so expected/invited critters' in our yard right now so I stand on my back porch a lot when I let Layla and Milo out, especially at night.  We have a family of opossum living in a cardboard box (of all things) in little alcove that leads to our garage.  It was hidden under some heavier things over the winter.  The husband was attempting to take a bit at a time out to the trash and last week that protective mother reared her ugly head.  Okay...have your way.  Raise those babies up to be cowboys for all we care.  But I digress.  No I don't.  I have a raccoon family under my shed and we've spotted foxes strolling down the street like nobodies business.  Life in the city.  But still, I digress.  This is my lookout tower on my back porch and if you peer down to the right you get a bird's eye view of the herb garden.  I forgot to get dill!  Can you believe it?  I must have brought some milkweed seeds home with me a few years ago from the lake because it's sprouting all over and I have these beautiful monarchs as well as some blue swallowtail.  And then I realize---no dill.  I had such a great time seeing the caterpillars munching away on my plants last summer.  So I'm off this week for some.  Forget using it in my recipes...I just want to see those beautiful (if not a little creepy) caterpillars. 

On a sad note, I had a birdhouse close to the house and just off our patio.  I had so much fun watching the two sparrows make a little home in it.  The Husband could hear the chirping of the babies last week (I couldn't).  And then two days ago I was cleaning up outside and I found a little featherless baby.  I buried it quickly.  The next morning I found another and before I could get my garden gloves on I noticed it was still breathing.  I broke my cardinal rule and climbed on a patio chair to get it back into the birdhouse.  Later in the afternoon I found another and had to bury it.  By then I hadn't seen the parents for awhile.  It saddens me.  I blame myself for having the birdhouse so close to the patio where they would be disturbed.  I'm moving it away to some mulberry bushes that are quite tall.  I thought I had learned my lesson when it came to manipulating nature for my own benefit.  I have a few stories I can tell...but the moral is, leave all of it alone.



I used to plant tomatoes in this humongous pot but they never made it with the squirrels and their daily volleyball matches with my just ripened babies.  Or they'd take one bite and spit it out like a spoiled child.  Back in March I planted spinach, butter lettuce and baby carrots.  I've already made a few delicious salads.  A nice trick I learned from a fellow gardener at the lake, don't pull the whole plant out.  Hold a few very gently at the tips and use a serrated knife to do a sort of 'crew cut'.  The plants will grow again and you'll get a second harvest.  We've had great salads and sandwiches and BLT's.  The little carrots are dwarfed by the lettuce.  Maybe next year I'll give them their own planter.  These may do well when I use up most of the other greens.  Am I boring you?



I finally got the patio tidy and clean.  I wish I had been patient enough to power wash it but I have to say, its seventy years old and has cracks like an earthquake hit it.  I make do with a cute rug and plants to distract. Recently I found an indoor/outdoor rug at Home Depot for a terrific price.  I had some mildew or mold on my last rug and I know I might have removed it but I never liked the bright lime green color.  I had really toned down some of the bright colors everywhere.  I had been one dime short of a few colorful gnomes from Walgreens.  Nothing else is very new.  I had these place mats which were pretty beat up (and I hope the birds don't find them perfectly satisfactory for nest building after my recent tragedy), and I also found some old pillows I can hide away.  I just tuck them in a corner when I know we have rain coming.  I'm so loving my retreat.  Afternoons puttering and pulling weeds, reading around 4:00 p.m. before the sun moves far enough west to start to blind me and then one last hurrah for the dogs about 8 p.m.  Heavenly.




I won't take much of your time with this recipe.  It's just one part of a salad that I found here.  I've never made the whole deal but I'm sure it's delicious.  I was curious about the shrimp and marinade and I just happened to have a pound of nice sized shrimp in the freezer.  I served it over thin Thai noodles (my new love) but it would be great along side rice or pasta tossed with your favorite sauce.  Keep it light to compliment the tanginess and spice of the shrimp.  I took the liberty of giving it my own name.

Spicy Marinated Shrimp

1/2 to 1 lb jumbo shrimp
1/3 c packed cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 c fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
1/4 c olive oil
1 T honey
1/2 t chili powder
canola oil for cooking
S & P

Blend all of the ingredients except the shrimp in a food processor.  Place the shrimp in a large zip lock bag and pour the marinade over.  Place in refrigerator for no longer than 10 minutes or the shrimp will actually 'cook' in the acidic ingredients.  

Heat 1 T canola oil in a skillet or grill pan.  You can also do this on an outdoor grill.  Place each piece on and grill 1 minute on each side until lightly charred.  

As I've said, you can serve this in so many ways.  I am looking forward to having this as an appetizer for company over a bed of lettuce, it's great at room temp.  Something cool to counteract the spiciness would be a yogurt dip with cucumber slices or tortillas and a salsa verde.

This comes together very fast if you peel and devein the shrimp ahead of time.  I do this unpleasant task because I save big $$$.  In any case~~~you will love it and get great rave reviews if you serve it to company.  :-D



The Husband has been making periodic trips to the lake to see what the crew is up to and meet with the contractor.  Things are moving along well.  I need to get an email out to the contractor and carpenter as to the details on the kitchen I've planned as well as the powder room. 

In the meantime, The Husband took pictures of my monster wisteria which I haven't seen in full bloom for 2 years.  You can look on my sidebar at the front view of the lakhouse to see how it grows up the left side of the house from the front  porch to the upper balcony which is off the master bedroom.   Above is a view from the bedroom.  It has flowed over the balcony and God knows where it wants to go after this!  I have to make some sort of trellis to get it to go up to the slatted arbor as you can see.



Another view.  Look at those blooms (in spite of a poor pic..though I know the guy tried).  I think maybe now my neighbors know what the heck I had growing up my house.  Even The Husband, who absolutely hates the ivy I've grown all over our little city house here is loving this.  I have a young guy who cuts our lawn in the summer.  I had asked him for an estimate to trim the wisteria.  I usually do it every spring myself.  He texted back the day after I saw these pictures and said, "Mrs. B.  This vine is so beautiful.  I would leave it alone for a few months!"  He's so cute.  I've waited 10 years to see this and now I'm not there!!!!!  But we have just a few weeks left.    Unpacking will consume most of our time but I have to get some work done on the gardens.  As far as the wisteria...you just go girl!

See ya soon.

Jane  x

41 comments:

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Jane,I love your cozy patio,gardens look wonderful too. Yes, I always keep a watch when my Angel goes outside to do her business, you never know what lurks outside in the yard..... The bush is pretty, happy gardening,Blessings Francine.

Rita C. said...

Hi Jane, boy, the varmints you have make mine seem minor by comparison! Those fox would scare me, especially with your dogs. The rabbits and squirrels here are wreaking havoc on mine and my next door neighbor's gardens. Yesterday I went out to putter after the weekend rain, and it appeared I had just dug 5 holes for planting, but the squirrels had dug up all the tulip bulbs I had recently planted from grocery blooms! Like you observed, one was spit out like a spoiled child wasn't happy....
Your patio and herb garden look great, and I like your new pots. I've been using the same ones for years, should've painted this year, but oh well. I like the new rug on the patio too.
Can't wait until you're able to get back to the lake and share all the work that's been going on there. Until then, make the best of and enjoy your days at home.
Rita

Theresa said...

Oh my goodness, too many pretty flowers:) I know that you will be SO happy to get back to the lake house! Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

Stacey said...

I just love it when the creatures find places to live..even if we don't necessarily want them in that exact spot. It amazes me how adaptable they are. Let those mamas raise those cowboy babies!!

Can't wait to see what's happening at the lakehouse. The wisteria is amazing but I'll let you have it. After planting it in Oklahoma, I decided it was a little too aggressive for me but maybe that's just with our mild weather.

Your plants all look so pretty! It's going to be in the 90s here this week. Thank heavens for air conditioning. :)

Penny @ The Comforts of Home said...

It looks like summer is totally blooming at your home Jane! The salad sounds great.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

You seem perfectly happy with the opossums and racoons in your yard. I have them in the woods behind my yard and they (too often) come up on my deck and peer into my windows. It is a scary thing to see when sitting in my family room, half asleep at 10 pm. My husband has now gotten one of the grandchildren's big water guns to chase them away. It works for the racoons, but those ugly possums have no fear and will stare you down.

podso said...

Your little patio looks like a place to enjoy a good meal or time with friends. All your garden shots are beautiful and show the fruit of your labors. I would think getting those urns in the mail from amazon would be a fun package day! Hope the lake house is finished soon and that you are pleased! Yea for wisteria. Here is is viewed more as an unwelcome week but I think it's just because it gets out of control. I love the scent. Have a happy week!

Pondside said...

You have a regular wildlife refuge at your place, Jane. It's probably a good idea to keep on the lookout when it's time for the dog to go out. The Wisteria is fabulous. It takes such a long time to get going, but when it takes off, it pretty well explodes in blossoms.

Kathy Moreland said...

Great patio! You have it fixed up so nicely. I love wisteria, and the office where I worked for 24 years had it growing all around. Goofy me, I never brought any home to plant! Now I wish I had. We've been at the lake house for the last 10 or so days, and have gotten so much done. I'll post all about it in a few days, and give a little tour of what we've accomplished. This visit has been very productive, and we are loving the changes. Hope you have a wonderful week. Enjoy your sweet oasis (patio). :)

Mereknits said...

Hi Jane, your garden looks wonderful, so sorry about those baby birds. We have possums here and I saw a little baby armadillo the other day walking around my back yard. Lots of raccoon and deer, and even some coyotes and wild turkey on occasion. It is weird because we live in such an urban area. Hugs to you, Meredith

Kim said...

Lots of animal life at your house, Jane and it sounds wonderful. I know that it can also be heartbreaking to watch nature in action. We also found a featherless baby on the ground. We gave him/her a quiet little burial. Then my sister had the sweetest nest in a wreath on her door. We watched it fill up with eggs...and then poof. They were gone. Someone or something got to them. We felt so helpless. Your garden looks fabulous! That's the fun part of nature!!

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

Your Clematis is so beautiful! I didn't know that they bloom all sumer long. How wonderful!

Melanie said...

Your garden stuff - herbs, clematis, wisteria at the lake, planter with impatiens - all look so nice! This weather has been perfect for the patio lately, hasn't it? How scary to have opposum living in your garage. Maybe mama will take her babies and leave soon - I hope!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Your flowers are gorgeous!!! I love the urns too and what a bonus that they are light weight and can be moved around. That would be great for me as I'm always switching things up out on the patio. We have lots of critters too...squirrels, turtles, voles, raccoons, snakes (ewww!) opossums, gekkos, and my least favorite...frogs. I'm terrified of frogs. :) I can't wait to see pics of the lake house!

Art and Sand said...

Oh, my! You have lots of critters that would freak me out.

Do you spend a lot of time on your patio this time of year or will it be too hot and muggy soon?

20 North Ora said...

I know you are so anxious to get the lake house finished and moved back into. Hopefully, you'll have some great time there this summer.

Your flowers are doing very well. I have a possum also that hisses at me. It scares me with Bella coming in and out, so at night, I take her out on a lease. She goes out about 10 and then is good till morning. This possum is so big that I think he/she could really do some damage if aggravated.

Have a good week.

Judy

laurie said...

I can't blame you for being anxious to get to the lake house, my heart broke in pieces the day we left ours never to return,,
it looks amazing in your patio area!!

Susie said...

Blondie, I love your outdoor retreat. I am trying to get my porch like I want it for the summer. I make myself nuts at times. LOL. You have so many wild things in your backyard. :) I almost stepped on a blinking chipmunk today...on the porch. I hate those nasty things, they are cute but destructive. I like what the gardener said. So sweet. Blessings for happy gardens and sitting outside. xoxo, Susie

Dewena said...

What, no gnomes? I'm still watching for yard flamingoes here!

Opossums are cute though, aren't they? Even if they have faces only a mother would love.

I never could keep up with which clematis to prune when, and so I didn't and somehow they got better year after year. I love wisterias too and love to watch the bees on them. Hope you get to the lake house soon!

Traci said...

We have gross little animals all over too. I often see raccoons & opossums when I run in the mornings. I'm NOT a fan of raccoons! I was sitting in my living room in broad daylight one day & looked up & there was one staring into my soul through the living room window. Totally freaked me out.

Carla from The River said...

Opossums, fox, racoon....Oh MY!
You have a lot of critters visiting.

I am so excited for you to get back to the lake house. I am excited for a blog tour of it when you have it all ready for us, your blog buddies. :-))
Love Ya,
Carla

Scribbler said...

You really have a green thumb. Your wildlife situation sounds scary. We are being threatened with an overabundance of snakes this year, probably because of our past too-warm winter. I have told the husband he needs to wear boots when he is working outside, but does he listen? Looking forward to seeing your beautiful new lake house!

Deb from frugal little bungalow said...

The patio looks so inviting and all of your blooms and plants are lovely! :)

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Your yard looks lovely Jane. It's always so nice to enjoy the flowers. We have critters too and rattlesnakes...ick! Have to keep my eyes open around here. Looking forward to see the Lake House. xo

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Your patio looks like a wonderful place to six and relax. As to the birdhouse, it might not have been its location but the opossums or raccoons that got to it. I know you are anxious to get back to your lake home…the wisteria is beautiful.

Lisa said...

Jane you are such an amazing gardener and I am taking to heart all your tips! I'm so sad about the baby birds. Something must have happened to the parents. :-( Thanks for the tour! I always enjoy your posts!

Unknown said...

Gosh I love your clematis Jane. Beautiful flowers and patio. Bet you can't wait to get up to the lake house.
Oh that wisteria!
Well Dan and I are just living day to day right now. My daughter is still having so many issues and sometimes I think it will never end. We have the kids a lot.
Hopefully we can still plan a get together for this summer.
Hugs friend,
Cindy

Sarah said...

Jane, I know your back yard looks lovely. You are a dedicated gardener! The shrimp dish looks delicious. Dining alfresco is my favorite! Happy Summer!

susan said...

Everything looks beautiful, Jane. Don't you just love being able to spend time outdoors again? That shrimp dish is right up my alley. I'm a big fan of Thai noodles and shrimp and this looks perfect for summer.

vintageandart said...

Hi Jane...once again l've loved sitting here reading about all the happenings at your place, which sounds more like a wildlife rescue sanctuary:-D especially when you're there trying to put a baby bird back into it's nest...so sad they died though, their parents must have met with something sinister, but l'm sure the nesting box will be "rented" again quickly:-) We too have a birdhouse in our backyard and the sparrows are non stop all year round, we've also had a few babies end up on the ground, but the birds breed on regardless. l love to watch them out the kitchen window, they're always so BUSY. Poor hubby trying to clean up and getting attacked by a racoon...heavens above!! Love your clematis it's so pretty and a great idea buying the lightweight pots so they can be moved around...impatiens are such a giving flower aren't they and always look fab...Your wisteria is FANTASTIC...what a show she's putting on, and a new age sensitive gardener, who'd a thunk, you'll have to hang on to him, most men including my hubby love to pull out the back pack full of weed killer and the chainsaw at any old drop of a milky thistle seed:-) Your recipe looks delish with the shrimp (prawns to us in Oz:-) and if l was a cook l'd test it out, it looks so yummy. Sounds like things are gearing up at your house in readiness for your move...l hope all goes well and smoothly, have an awesome weekend coming up too:-)

My Grama's Soul said...

You and I both did a post about green living and gardens today....please come see mine. Yours are spectacular.

Can't grow wisteria here....wish we could. I would have a pergola covered with the stuff.

xo

Jo

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Hi Jane, I always love stopping by for a visit! I've enjoyed seeing your pretty gardens and cozy sitting area. Your clematis is so beautiful. I can't seem to get them to grow here except for one spindly little sprig that actually bloomed this year for the first time. I love that you have left the possum and raccoon family to raise their little ones. Sad about the bird babies, though. I think we've all had experiences with life and death with the wild things! I am just getting to know you, so I have not 'been' to your summer home. A wisteria covered cottage sounds so wonderful:) I'm looking forward to that! Love the recipe - sounds delicious and really simple, which is so nice for busy summer days. Hope the rest of your week is sweet. xx Karen

xinex said...

Your garden is very pretty, Janie, looks very relaxing. The shrimp looks yummy. I love spicy, cilantro, shrimp and lime so I know I will like it.....CHristine

Linda said...

Hi Jane...
Your backyard retreat is looking very nice!!
Soon...you will be able to devote your time to the lakehouse...
And...know that your home in the city is all beautiful!
I am just getting ready for another long weekend at the cottage...
Gonna meet my boyfriend out there this afternoon...he is out on business right now...
I have the truck packed with more plants!!! It is basket time! hahaha!
Thanks for always leaving such lovely comments over at mine...
Hoping your daughter is feeling well...and over the first few months!
If you and your husband are ever in Toronto...DO let me know!
Would love to chat!!
Take care my friend...enjoy your Thursday!!
Cheers!
Linda :o)

Madame Daria said...

Hi Dear,

I see you have a very nice blog. Very nice post ! It keeps my eye. I wish you all the best and keep working! Wish you success ! Anyway,I want to invite you on my blog www.madamedaria.blogspot.com, maybe you would like to follow each other ? If yes, just follow me and let me know quickly, i ll do the same asap. Best wishes / Daria

bj said...

Hi, Blondie...I think every gardener should have a Wisteria...they are sooo pretty.
Hopefully, you'll get to go to your lakehouse and start fixing it all up again. Our girl and her family bought a lake house last year, 4 hrs from home, and they stay there most of the summer. It is so gorgeous...just like yours...xoxo

Vel Criste said...

I am jealous of all the greens your having! Ours on the other hand are turning brown from the lack of rain, hence, I filled my patio with green decor! LOL! That shrimp looks yummmmy, may try that one of this days. As for the lake house, I can't wait to see some progress on it dear. Your Wisteria is what we're hoping ours would be someday. It's year two, and it has improved but not as think as yours, maybe because ours is in a pot! I had to put it there since I wanted it to climb the pergola. Anyway, I'm glad so far your enjoying your summer!

oakleyses said...

gucci handbags, louis vuitton, louboutin pas cher, replica watches, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren, ugg boots, christian louboutin shoes, louis vuitton outlet, chanel handbags, nike free run, michael kors pas cher, christian louboutin outlet, nike free, tiffany and co, nike roshe, sac longchamp pas cher, jordan shoes, louis vuitton outlet, nike air max, longchamp pas cher, christian louboutin uk, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, tiffany jewelry, burberry pas cher, longchamp outlet, nike air max, jordan pas cher, polo ralph lauren outlet online, tory burch outlet, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, kate spade outlet, prada outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses wholesale, christian louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, ugg boots, prada handbags, uggs on sale, polo outlet, air max, nike outlet, longchamp outlet, longchamp outlet

oakleyses said...

hollister pas cher, coach outlet, oakley pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, guess pas cher, nike air max uk, michael kors outlet, nike free uk, true religion jeans, sac vanessa bruno, mulberry uk, michael kors outlet, ralph lauren uk, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, polo lacoste, michael kors outlet online, uggs outlet, lululemon canada, true religion outlet, coach outlet store online, north face, coach purses, nike air max, north face uk, nike air max uk, hogan outlet, sac hermes, michael kors outlet, nike roshe run uk, replica handbags, vans pas cher, ray ban pas cher, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, nike air force, new balance, converse pas cher, burberry outlet, burberry handbags, michael kors, uggs outlet, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch uk, kate spade, timberland pas cher, nike tn, ray ban uk, hollister uk

oakleyses said...

herve leger, nike air max, iphone cases, north face outlet, vans, ralph lauren, gucci, longchamp uk, nike roshe run, beats by dre, new balance shoes, ghd hair, nfl jerseys, bottega veneta, babyliss, hollister, converse outlet, reebok outlet, oakley, chi flat iron, valentino shoes, lululemon, vans outlet, north face outlet, nike trainers uk, abercrombie and fitch, nike huaraches, giuseppe zanotti outlet, ferragamo shoes, nike air max, hollister clothing, lancel, jimmy choo outlet, mont blanc pens, soccer jerseys, p90x workout, hermes belt, hollister, ray ban, celine handbags, soccer shoes, mac cosmetics, wedding dresses, baseball bats, louboutin, mcm handbags, instyler, timberland boots, insanity workout, asics running shoes

oakleyses said...

supra shoes, wedding dresses, ugg, links of london, canada goose, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, louis vuitton, moncler outlet, canada goose, marc jacobs, montre pas cher, swarovski crystal, moncler, pandora uk, hollister, canada goose, canada goose jackets, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, toms shoes, canada goose uk, moncler uk, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, moncler, louis vuitton, moncler, canada goose outlet, thomas sabo, doudoune moncler, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, canada goose outlet, pandora charms, coach outlet, moncler outlet, ugg pas cher, moncler, karen millen uk, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, swarovski, ugg uk, replica watches, pandora jewelry, juicy couture outlet