Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter Spinach

On Christmas Eve my daughter Emily wanted to make a quinoa recipe that needed spinach. I didn't have any fresh or frozen to use except what was in the garden under 20 inches of snow. She said it should be fine so she borrowed my boots and went out to scoop the snow off. She came back in with a basketful which she used to make quinoa au gratin with spinach, nice accompaniment to the broiled shrimp.


A basketful of spinach and snow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Greetings

May this Christmas be all that your heart desires.

May the New Year bring you good health and happiness.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December Snow Storm

We were hit with a major snow storm that started on Friday night and lasted through Saturday night. To keep ahead of the snow Dan snow blowed the driveway twice. I shoveled the section next to the garage three times. We woke this morning to another 4-6 inches which we took care of this morning. We salted it and then took a walk down the driveway and up the lane to see if the newspaper was there. It wasn't but Saturday's mail was. Our neighbor said the mailwoman came in the midst of the storm being driven by someone else.

Here are some photos.

Dogwood Road

Entry to the lane


The lane looking down towards us.

Bottom section of our driveway. Dan couldn't get to the pavement here. It doesn't get much sun so we hope the salt will help.


Straight away section.

The house through the woods on top of the hill.

The curve and the hill.

The steep part of the driveway. Fortunately at this time of year the sun hits it in the morning and the snow will melt.

The house with piles from shoveling.


The pond. The bench is covered with snow.

The front door before it was shoveled out.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Something for the Holiday

Here is a link to a nice rendition of White Christmas accompanied by photos from around the world.

Enjoy!


White Christmas by Nightingale

Monday, December 7, 2009

Poem

I just finished reading a mystery called "The Trail of the Wild Rose" by Anthony Eglin. The main character visits the Museum of Garden History in Lambeth, England where he sees this poem written on a Victorian sampler. There is no credit given to the author of the poem.


There is peace within a garden

A peace so deep and calm

That when the heart is troubled

It's like a soothing balm.


There's life within the garden

A life that still goes on

Filling the empty places

When older plants are gone


There's glory in the garden

At every time of year

Spring summer autumn winter

To fill the heart with cheer


So ever tend your garden

Its beauty to increase

For in it you'll find solace

And in it you'll find peace

Saturday, December 5, 2009

First Snow In Maryland of 2009

The weather forecast was for snow showers starting in the afternoon. The rain changed to snow at 9 o'clock this morning and has not stopped. It is now 1 o'clock and the roads which were supposed to be too warm to hold the snow are covered. The pond has a skim of ice on it and will soon be covered with snow too.


Here is the perennial garden covered in snow.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

There is no bread cut in cubes. No large turkey waiting to be stuffed in the refrigerator. No list of menu items to be made and when. Thanksgiving is not happening at my house this year. Relief? Somewhat. For the last three years I've hosted or been staying at the house where it was hosted. Last year my daughter Emily's in-laws came. The year before we went to Emily's so it was easier for them as newlyweds and for Sarah who was in her senior year. The year before that we hosted my family here.

There will be plenty of opportunities to put on the spread here in future Novembers. For now the house is calm in its lack of preparation.

p.s. I hope to snag a turkey carcass to bring home! Turkey soup would be nice.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Frost!


The first heavy frost of the season coats the leaves and the sedum. A new chapter is beginning.
My Christmas cactus has set buds. I hope that by bringing it in to the house and a new sunlight exposure that I don't upset it. We'll see.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Garden Prep Finished


Before

Ever since the fence was installed around the new vegetable garden, and the other raised beds placed and filled, I've been wanting to mulch the pathways. Rainy weekends and travel has prevented that until today.

It took two trips to Home Depot for mulch but I got it done. The blueberries will be so much happier this winter with the mulch blanket around them.


After

The small square bed to the right has garlic planted in it. I got that done last Sunday.

Only the beeches and some of the oaks have their leaves now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Counting Weeks

I've been asked a lot whether I was counting down my days til retirement. The answer was no until recently when I decided to count the number of weeks of school I had. This is week 32. Not included are the weeks for winter and spring break. Wow! 32 and counting!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Harvest

Spinach! Had a lovely harvest this evening. Steamed it and served it with butter. Yum!

I had a lovely photo of my harvest but blogger wouldn't load it - internal error?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rainy Weekend

Alas this was to be the weekend to plant the bulbs I'd ordered and which have now arrived. It was also going to be the clean out the dead tomato plants, put away the garden statuary, and mulch the new vegetable garden day. We're having a nor'easter so all it does is rain for now. I think I'll go Christmas shopping instead.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Preserving Hot Peppers


I was advised to save hot peppers by flash freezing them or by drying them. I cut the tops off some and removed the seeds. They went into the freezer in a cake pan. Once frozen I will bag them up to use one at a time. Others I threaded onto fishing line and hung in the mechanical room where it is very warm.

I wore my gardening gloves while I did this, but I realize now only the palm was non porous and the tops of my fingers are burning from the hot pepper oils. I don't dare touch my face.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

This spring I purchased a a tray of six hot peppers. I never stopped to consider what kind of peppers they were. Now the peppers are really producing and I've discovered they are very hot peppers - habanero peppers in fact. I made very spicy chili one night using one green one. I've made hot pepper jelly. Now they are turning red which may mean they are even hotter. I've been trying to give them away and though some of the ones I took to school disappeared there were two left which I threw out.

Aren't they pretty to look at?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall garden

Spinach is growing in two rows parallel to the length of this bed. The mesculun and arugula are perpendicular to that.
Here is one of the new beds with snowpeas planted. The sticks are to help the plants stay upright. I'm optimistic that they will get that tall this fall.

Here's the first harvest of the greens and the last 12 tomatoes.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Remembering Dad

Today my Dad would have been 91 years old.


Happy Birthday, Dad! You are missed!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Book Series

I just finished the third book in a series except it was the first one in the series not the third.

Have you ever read series books out of order? Some of them don't matter all that much. This one did because I knew what the ending would be. I just didn't know how they would get to that point.

The author is Jennifer Chiaverini and her series is called Elm Creek Quilts series. I just finished the first book, "The Quilter's Apprentice". The one I read first was "The Lost Quilter", which I think is the latest in her series. After that one I read "The Runaway Quilt" which actually preceded the first one I read.

I'm not a quilter, but it does make me consider maybe I should try it sometime.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Scenes from the Garden


Marigolds are lovely this time of year. Though, I do have one plant that hasn't bloomed at all.


Volunteer tomatoes are ripening nicely. This is the variety you see in the supermarket that's sold on the stems.


Volunteer cantaloupe is almost ripe.


Another volunteer cantaloupe that's much smaller. Don't know if it will ripen.


With all the rain there are lots of toadstools through the garden.


Chicken wire has kept the groundhog at bay so these could flower.


Miss Amelia day lily that I planted this summer. Of the three plants this is the only one to bloom.


Coleus looks lovely now with all the rain.


False dragonhead in bloom.


Another toadstool variety.


Goldfish think I will feed them.


A surprise flowering in the pond.


The largest tomato so far and probably for the year.


Arugula, spinach and mesculun (to the left) have sprouted.
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