Forest Presents and Stuff

Scott asked if I wanted a present from the forest the other night, and I nervously said yes.  I didn’t really know what a forest present would look like.  Nice dirt for my potted plants (that’s our source of “potting soil” these days… works pretty well)?  A dead critter exhibit?  (Peanut has been tracking down moles in our yard for some time.  Maybe he finally found one.)  I had no idea.  But then I got these: ImageOkay, a couple of them were from our yard the other day, but I added the forest presents to the mix.  Turns out that dogwoods do exceptionally well as cut flowers.

ImageAlso, I like forest presents much more than I thought I would.  And my husband is nice.  And because I procrastinated until the very last instant, it’s now time for me to make a grocery list in the remaining 16 minutes of my lunch break.


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.

Dog Paws and Sunshine

Imagine that this dog is a human and that it’s in a VW Rabbit with the windows rolled down.  It’s still basking in the sun with that exact expression.  It’s still in heaven.  That was me at lunch today.  There aren’t many things that top the feeling of sun on your skin at the beginning of spring.  And dogs have this soaking-in-happiness look down so much better than humans.  I guess they have more time to practice while we’re at work.

While we’re on the subject of cute dogs, I’ll put in a plug for mine.  I’ve mentioned this to lots of friends, but it’s worth repeating.  Have you ever smelled a dog’s paws?  It sounds weird, since I see where my dog’s paws go on a regular basis.  He isn’t going to win any prizes for cleanest dog on the block.  And somehow, despite all of the gross places that his paws land, they smell absolutely wonderful.  Granted, it’s still a doggy smell.  If you can’t stand pets, this probably isn’t the moment that will bring you around.  If you do like pets, this might make your day.

I did get a little carried away with testing this once and smelled the paws right after we took a walk in the rain, and I will advise against that.  They still smelled like plain old wet dog.  But in general, you should try it.  You can borrow my dog’s paws if you don’t have your own.  He’s not one to turn down a belly rub.