YES! I think we can say spring is officially here in New Hampshire! The sun has been out in Northern New England for a few weeks now and weather has been in the very comfortable 60′s. The grass is getting greener and all of the spring flowers are blooming. As with every spring, I have collected a great sampling of all things blooming in my neighborhood. I hope you enjoy!
There’s always something beautiful out there, isn’t there? I hope everyone has a wonderful week!
Griff attended a summer program this month called “Enchanted Forest”. It is where my “garden gnome moment” came from a few weeks ago. He was taught all things of enchantment in the forest. The finale of this adventure was the making of a fairy house to put into practice all the knowledge (and items) they collected on a wilderness walk and from what they learned through out the two week program. Unfortunately, for them, the second week was very rainy. They were able to squeeze out enough sunshine to pick up all the items to make the houses, but didn’t get a dry enough spell to put them together. Lucky for us, that meant we got to make it at home!
His bag of natures best treasures also came with printed out instructions on how to make a fairy house. We wanted to be sure there was a solid foundation so started with a board broken from a past Tae Kwon Do testing. We found a spot under our Japanese Maple, next to a very protective rock to start our house. After gathering up some moss from my moss garden (I don’t mind sharing for a project as important as this one!) and covering the boards, Griff started adding sticks in a tee-pee arrangement. We then wove the large leaves he found on his nature walk in-between each stick making a very safe shelter for the Fairies.
A few additional adds, from Mommy’s sewing room, made for some great trinkets fit for the most fabulous of Fairies.
A thimble and spool of thread make the perfect place to sit and drink from an acorn top cup. No fairy shall go thirsty on our watch.
Under the protection of the shelter, a soft bed of leaves awaits to cradle her into a pleasant slumber.
Acorns accent the front of the home giving it (what Griff explains as) a “homey feel”.
An pine cone and leaf path line the way for the fairy to find her way into this beautiful place.
And one boy sits very proud of this accomplishment for his fairy. He has explained to me that sometimes fairies disguise themselves as Monarch Butterflies. So if we don’t see a fairy right away, she may just be scoping out her next real estate.
The next morning, there was a Monarch Butterfly flying through the back yard. :)
Have you noticed this year that there seems to be more of an abundance in wildlife than in the past? It seems we have spent our summer trying to ensure that the larger number of critters do not make our home their home. Don’t get me wrong, you know I love and respect the wildlife, I am just seeing numbers and behaviors I have never seen before. Take these beautiful Golden Finches for example.
We usually have one or two couples around the neighborhood. I love watching their bright colors float around the back yards as they chase off the chick-a-dees. However, this year, I see them traveling in packs, as many as 6 males and 6 females at once. This weekend, I followed them as they feasted on and destroyed my Zinnias and Black Eyed Susans. This is also a behavior I have never noticed before.
I know they are known for eating the seeds from Daisys, but I have never seen total destruction to my gardens before, especially, with neighbors who keep their bird feeders very full.
I have even seen them fight and force each other from the flowers.
I still think they are a beautiful bird. It’s just an observation I had this year. I have noticed many other critters who seem to be bigger in population. Maybe it was the mild winter. I just hope the destruction of my gardens isn’t because there are too many of them in population. Maybe it’s just because my flowers are so tasty?
Have you noticed any strange behaviors this year in your critters that you have not noticed in past years?
These beautiful Tigridia or Tiger Flowers were a new addition to my new flower beds this season.
As bulbs I planted in the Spring, they first come up looking like an iris. There can be more than one bloom on a flower, but each bloom only lasts a day.
They are large flowers at about 4 inches across and are visible from my kitchen. It’s such a nice start ot the day to see one bloomed up on the hill in the morning. In doing a little research, I found they grow in Mexico and Chile. I am not sure if that means they will survive the winter here. Does anyone have them in their garden? Or any experience with them?
Our fantastic neighbors have been setting us up with a nonstop supply of fresh garden veggies. I simply love the anticipation of coming home to find another back sitting on the front stoop and wondering what is inside. Last week, they started to harvest these Patty Pans.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to do with them. They are a squash, but I wasn’t sure if they were more of an acorn squash or a summer squash. I quickly went to work scouring the internet for interesting recipes for Patty Pans. I found what seemed to be a very simple recipe. It suggested cutting off the tops of the Patty Pans, scooping out the seeds, stuffing them with a pre-sauteed mixture of onions, garlic and fresh thyme and topping it off with an egg. I thought it sounded fantastic. A perfectly balanced meal all in one squash.
Then reality set in. The squash took way longer than the recipe called for in the oven to soften up. I added the filling and topped with an egg, which took even longer. Once they were finally ready, we dove in. The tastes didn’t blend together well at all and it turned out that the Patty Pan is actually more like a Summer Squash than an Acorn Squash. It was a terrible disappointment. Luckily, that wonderful neighbor I speak so highly about, brought over two more. I plan on grilling them with some salt, pepper and butter tonight. Simple, easy and a great way to enjoy these beautiful squashes.
For Mother’s Day Griffin and I worked on a project for my Mom that has been on my “to do” list for a long time. After seeing this awesome idea for garden markers on Wabi Sabi Mama, I knew this would be something my Mom would like. We purchased some river rocks from the local craft store and some paint markers.
I simply found the flat sides of the rocks and marked them with the herbs I knew my Mom has existing in her garden, or adds each year.
Soon there was a great collection.
One special rock was chosen by Griff. He wanted one that said “Mimi’s Garden”. He decorated this one by himself.
They were a big hit, Mimi loved them. I can’t wait to see them in my Mother’s garden this summer!
Did you do any Mother’s Day crafts, or find any inspiration? Feel free to share the links!
It’s always a pleasant surprise to be perusing the produce isle and find it’s Fiddlehead season!
These tart little greens are a seasonal treat here in New England and are packed with antioxidants, omegas 3 and 6, fiber and iron. They are simply scrumptious sauteed in a little butter and garlic.
They are actually the beginnings of ferns and harvested early in the season, before they bloom their leaves.
I read that they are a non-farmed veggie. I am not too sure on all their details, but I am sure that they are something I look forward to each spring!
Okay- just one more…one more shot of my Azalea for perspective. Thanks for humoring me!
This is my favorite blooming bush that we have on our property. It is a large Azalea. It was here when we moved in, and by the size of it, I am pretty sure it’s been here for a long time. It only blooms for a few days a year and is early this season. I always try to take a good picture of it, but I can never seem to capture its beauty in pixel form.
I know how common a shrub this is, but this particular one gets me every year. Its beautiful buds cover it in a canopy of pink/purple. If you look closely they are also painted with a deep purple color in each cup. At dusk, it looks as though it is glowing turning a bright purple color.
While trying to capture it’s beauty, I suddenly got a visitor.
This guy buzzed around this bush, bobbing and diving into each bloom. I didn’t realize until about half way through his dance that my shutter was set lower than it should be missing a still frame of his busy wings.
He especially liked this bloom and spent a few more seconds to enjoy it.
It was so cute to see all the pollen dusting his beautiful black and yellow fuzz.
Another great year of blooms and new friends from my favorite blooming bush!
What are you especially enjoying in your yard right now?
This weekend found our amazing above average temperatures replaced with more seasonable ones and a bit of much needed rain.
Everything around the town is in bloom about six weeks too early. My beautiful Daffodils are almost in full bloom but are weighted down with the large raindrops. Much of the Forsythia bushes are also in bloom, looking like large bushes of yellow fireworks around the town.
I guess I won’t dwell on the fact that they are predicting a hard frost on Tuesday night. I can only hope that all the beauty that has been forced into an early spring will survive. On a happier note, I was excited to see the spread of so much of the moss I planted last year. All those shiny clean rocks are now aged with pretty moss.
We tried a new tea. We had been drinking the Traditional Medicinal Weightless tea. I had originally bought it to help with digestion, but fell in love with the licorice taste. When I saw Spicy Licorice Mint by a local company called White Heron at our local specialty store, I had to try it! It has even more flavor than the weightless tea and is loose leaf, which I always like better.
The kid has been making his own pudding. Yes, the boxed kind. He has to read the instructions, then I let him add the milk on his own and mix it up. Tonight it was pistachio- a very artificial colored green, but he was very excited it was green like the hulk.
Lastly, I got some knitting in. I have separated the sleeves from the body of Griff’s newest sweater and had him try it on. It’s a great fit!
A great weekend for sure. What was on your list this weekend?