Saturday is Picture Day: Veggie Garden Mini-Tour

We took a little garden tour last night so I could see how all of the veggies are doing.  The veggie garden is pretty solidly in Scottland (not to be confused with Scotland, which is a long way away), so I don’t get out there every day.  It was pretty fun as far as at-home post-work adventures go.

milkThe tour started off with a glass of cold milk.  My parents sent me the glass as a present after their recent trip to France, and I love it.  I’m not entirely sure what Mueh Cola is, because the websites that talk about it are all in French.  The cow is awesome regardless.  (Is it one of Peanut’s cows?)

blueberriesAnd then there were blueberries from the freshly planted blueberry bush.  I liked the colors a lot.  The blue ones are all in our respective stomachs now.  It was an eating tour of the garden.

squashThen there was a spaghetti squash sighting.  Yay!  We didn’t eat anything at that stop.  That will require at least a week-long wait and some time in the oven.  It was still nice to see the veggies growing.  I actually had to look this guy up to make sure it was really spaghetti squash, which is sad.  It looks yellow and slightly different in the store, but sure enough, that’s spaghetti squash home veggie garden-style.

We also have miscellaneous squash plants that either A) sprouted from last year’s plants in random spots throughout the garden, or B) came up from seeds in our compost.  They’re super healthy plants, but we don’t quite know what to expect vegetable-wise.  Zucchini?  Yellow summer squash?  Something totally random from the compost?  It’ll be a surprise.

And finally, on the home stretch to the kitchen and the real eating of the evening:

photo-2Sure, it’s getting dark, and the picture quality isn’t great.  But check out that rose bush!  It’s growing on a trellis to the left of the path.  We cut it back several feet in September.  Then we cut it back several feet in November.  And again in March or April.  This beast just won’t stop growing!  There were no rose branches extending anywhere near the path a month ago.  Craziness, I say.  Craziness.

(Yes, that’s Scott at the top of the stairs telling me that dinner is ready and I’d better get myself inside or risk cold salmon.  I said, “Yes sir, no more pictures, sir.”  You should always be nice to the cook.  Dinner was good.)

Blueberries of Happiness

This morning was rough.  We got in late from our roadtrip adventure (12:30-ish), and neither of us was exactly excited about getting out of bed this morning.  Two nights of too little sleep does not a perky morning make.

Scott had appointments to keep and errands to run, and I had to get to work (late day, but still).  Things were going more or less according to plan at a tired pace until I hopped in my car to pick Scott up from the rental car place.  My car battery was dead.  Not dead as a doornail, just dead enough that the car wouldn’t start.

So Scott rushed home to help with that and make sure I got to work on time.  There was frustration and pushing of cars and more frustration mixed with exhaustion.  Great, right?

But on the way out of our driveway, Scott stopped and picked blueberries for us to eat on the way into town.  That made me happy for lots of reasons.

berries about 2.5 seconds before consumption

berries about 2.5 seconds before consumption

  1. The berries came off of the newest addition to our blueberry plant family.  The ones we planted early in the season do look healthy, but there aren’t any berries there yet.
  2. Scott just planted this particular plant about a week ago, which means the plant had berries on it when Scott bought it.
  3. Thus, Scott is a genius.
  4. Also, the berries were tasty.

I love that the berries came on the plant.  Why not buy that one?  It’s obviously healthy, and we got “free” berries in the deal.  I know this might not sound like genius-level thinking to you, but just put yourself in my driver’s seat for a minute.  Remember the lack of good sleep for a few nights, the dead car battery, the hot day, the uncertainty about being on time for work.  And then imagine that out of the blue, someone hands you fresh blueberries from your very own property that you didn’t know existed (the berries, not the property).  It was nice.

Also, when we have more blueberries someday, I’m going to try making blueberry ice cubes with half water, half cranberry juice (and don’t forget those berries).  Southern Living told me it’s a good idea, and I believe them.

Bluegrass & Barbeque

Yesterday basically felt like one big sigh of relaxation and goodness.  The afternoon started with beautiful spring weather and time in our giant yard/garden.  That was good.  Nothing like a riding lawn mower and freshly watered plants to make you feel slightly accomplished yet not too worn out.

It’s true that our back yard looks like a drunk person was operating the mower, but I was entirely sober.  It’s just that I kept seeing spots that needed a second pass.  Or a third or fourth.  The nice “stripes” in the grass are kind of like a bee’s flight pattern, with no clear goal.  At least the grass is all the same (shorter than before) height!

Then the evening took me to a spot in the woods not too far from our town.  With our entire church and possibly a few extra people.  And some music.  Oh, and really good food.

It looked like this:

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photo by a friend, because my pictures were meh

The musicians were somewhere behind and to the left of this picture.  And yes, I definitely stole the picture from a friend because it was better than mine.  You should check out her very awesome blog sometime.

You’ve had those moments that you just want to soak up for a while, right?  Well, bluegrass, friends, and barbeque with a view like the one above is enough to get me well past the line of “Can this keep going, please?!”  I really can’t think of many better combinations.

So today I’m reliving Sunday a bit in my head.  Monday feels surprisingly good through a haze of memories.  Sunshine and a grassy hillside.  All of the great homemade dessert you can get your hands on.  (Sigh.)  Nice Monday thoughts, right?

I hope your Monday finds you with excellent Sunday memories, too.

Herb Garden: Day 1

This is what part of our front garden looked like yesterday morning.  Oooh, aah.

garden before1

I’ve decided to tackle it one small piece at a time, since the last owner of the house must have done nothing but garden 24/7 to keep up with all of the garden spaces on the property.

And this was the other side (when I realized I should take a picture, right before digging the deadster out of there).

garden before2There are happy new rosemary plants in the back there, see?

After digging around a bit and adding a few markers around seed-filled dirt, it looked like this:

BeFunky_main garden.jpgThe labels on the picture are mostly for me–so I don’t accidentally try to put a mountain of fresh oregano into a recipe that calls for thyme three months from now.  I think those are the only two I’m in danger of confusing.

Do you like our pot of rocks?  It turns out I’m good at killing potted plants, especially if they’re all alone on the front porch–a place I rarely have reason to visit.  I’ll work on finding a rock replacement for the pot someday.  First I have to concentrate on getting the seeds to sprout.  I don’t want an entire rock garden.

It isn’t a perfect herb garden yet.  For example, someday I’ll take out the plastic labels and the stick markers.  And there will be real, live herbs, not just herb seeds.  But for now, I like it a whole lot better than a collection of long-dead plants and weeds.  Progress!

There are a few plants to enjoy before the seeds sprout, although I’m honestly not sure what 2 of the 3 plants are.  Sure, I read the tags, but they were unfamiliar plants to me.  This one, however, is yarrow:

yarrowIt seems that yarrow has some medicinal uses, although I’ll have to learn about those in the future.  For now, I just appreciate that is has nice, feathery leaves.  (I also read that it can become invasive, which is fine by me!  I’ll gladly accept a whole garden bed of yarrow.)

This one is cute as a button:

pink flowerYep, I’m too lazy to learn the real name and will henceforth call it “Cute as a Button.”  I do know that we have cilantro and parsley and basil on the other side of the walkway.  Those are the important things to know.

Herb Gardens for All

On this lovely first day of spring, I’m grateful for rosemary.  We planted (and by we, I mean Scott) three rosemary plants in our front garden bed the other day.  It was our first major adjustment to the gardens around our “new” house, and I like it.

Rosemary is the perfect plant for the lazy and/or forgetful gardener, and as a result, it was my first huge garden success.  It’s perfect, I say.  I also got used to having rosemary around, so it wound its way into some of my favorite recipes.  The dried stuff just isn’t the same.

Now I’m waiting for our tiny rosemary plants to grow enough that I can start clipping off their branches for food.  Om nom nom.  It’s kind of like the whole “watched pot doesn’t boil” thing.  I need to just forget that it’s there for a year and check back in summer of 2015.  Boo.

In the meantime, I’m dreaming of our future herb garden.  Scott is master of the veggie garden, and the herbs are usually my domain.  I used to go for herbs in pots, but with oodles and oodles of space, I’m planning to go for larger plots of dirt this time around.  If I was restricted to teeny, tiny herb gardens, I might opt for one of these ideas:

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photo from Pinterest (via Lori Dugan)

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photo from Pinterest (via clutteredgypsy.tumblr.com)

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photo from Pinterest (via patiodesigndepot.com)

I love when people are creative with limited space.  And even though we don’t have a space issue, I’m still thinking about trying this technique for a few herbs we don’t use often:

photo from stilettosanddiapers.com

photo from stilettosanddiapers.com

I like that it makes use of vertical space and recycles materials while not making me get into any serious craft projects.  Happy herbing!

Faux Snow

There was a 30% chance of snow last night, and I tried not to get my hopes up.  I really did.  But I was still disappointed this morning with the total lack of snow.  I will say though, I’ve enjoyed seeing the frost on the grass lately.  It isn’t as fun as snow, but it does sparkle in the sun.  It does crunch under your feet as you walk through the yard.  And it does feel like winter.

I’ll take what I can get.  Doesn’t it look a teeny tiny bit like snow?

photo from oceanbeachbulletin.com

photo from oceanbeachbulletin.com


Okay, that’s not actually our yard.  Our yard does look more or less like that at a groggy 7:20 AM, however.  If you squint, it looks snowy(ish).  Try it a few minutes after waking up.  It’s most convincing then.