March 29, 2011

Baby Lust and Baby Vegetables

This past week, I became a great-aunty for the first time.  I can't wait to get my hands on Baby Bea.  But since Baby Bea is in D.C. and I am in OKC, I'll just have to satisfy my baby cravings in other ways.

So I ordered (and you can too by clicking) John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds  Happy Baby Garden:

#9010 The Happy Baby Garden
This special garden is comprised of cherished baby varieties prized by chefs of all cuisines. The Collection contains a packet of each the following varieties at about 10% off regular prices:

  • Kestral Baby Beets (about 220 seeds)

  • Adelaide Baby Carrots (about 1,400 seeds)

  • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes (about 15 seeds)

  • Little Gem Baby Romaine Lettuce (about 700 seeds)

  • Lemon Cucumbers (about 35 seeds)

  • Wee Be Little Pumpkins (about 12 seeds)

  • Savoy Express Baby Cabbage (about 100 seeds)Packet of 2500 Seeds / $20.50

    # of Packets:    I bought just one collection, but you might need more.  My friend, Bubba, at Southern Living, even mentioned it in their March  issue.  Great for petite little gardens like my potager and container plantings as well.

    Not enough to satisfy your baby lust?  Then watch this.  L'il Sis told me she had the EXACT same conversation with her twin, L'il Bro, when they were that age.  Enjoy!

  • March 27, 2011

    Orville Redenbacher and a Spring Casting Call

    It is Sunday evening.  It has been a long day (not in a bad way, but in an I'm tired and all I want to do is take a bath and go to bed with a book  even though it's not 9:30 yet kind of way).

    But I won't be able to sleep, and neither will you, if I don't tell you what the stubby grass projectiles were in the ruffly clay pot I alluded to in the previous post.


    It was Orville Redenbacher Popcorn (not the microwave kind, but the kind in the glass jar kind) that I planted just like the grass seed.  Sadly, I don't have any pictures of it up and going from last year, but let me just say that it makes the cutest little lime green shoots that, when very young, are sweet and tasty in salads.  (Are you surprised?)

    So go splurge on a jar (share it with jar goes a long way) and watch the magic unfold.  You won't have done anything so strange in quite a long time.  (Or maybe you have, but that's your secret to keep).

    Now, as I said, I'm tired and want to go to bed, so I am just going to flood you with images of the plants in my front yard right now that constitute the supporting cast of the grand spring show now playing in my front landscape.  The tulips are the stars of course, but trust me, without the other members of the spring ensemble, they would hardly be as dramatic.

    So who made the casting call this year? 

    * the usual suspects from the viola and pansy family (this year lavender,     purple and pale yellow were my colors of choice)

    * creeping phlox, golden feverfiew (the golden frilly/ferny stuff), chamomile (the delicate daisy flower), purple cabbage, vinca minor

    * hostas, columbine, ajuga, a little golden moneywort, hellebore,    oh my

    What else am I forgetting?  As I said, I'm tired, so I'm just going to show you a bunch of pictures and you decide if the effect is pleasing.  I'm not even going to decide which are the best images....can I just let you do that too?

    I'm going to bed.  :)

    On behalf of the production team, I apologize to these talented supporting cast members.  I see some of those prima donna tulips just had to sneak in and try to steal the show.

    March 25, 2011

    Planting Easter Grass and Being Bubble-Brained

    A couple of interesting events, one a dream, and the other, a phone conversation, have left me bubble-brained.  I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I know it when I feel it and I have to respond accordingly. I need to do something that is straightforward,  simple, immediate, and gives me clarity.

    So today, as I have done so many early springs in the past, I planted some Easter grass---for baskets and table decor (a la fancy magazines) but mostly, to satiate  my inner kindergartner. 

    Mindlessly easy, I promise.  Get a container.  Any container.  My Smith and Hawken wooden box is my favorite vessel for this.  Line it with plastic if it's not waterproof.  It doesn't really even need drainage, since it is a short-lived enterprise.  Think florist not gardener.  Put some dirt in.  Scatter some perennial or annual rye (or a mixture) seed (even some fescue would work, though it would take much longer to germinate).  A variety of seed, both fine and course in texture makes a nice display --- for example three different clay pots of varying heights, each with a different thickness blade --- on your table or mantle.  Lovely.   Fresh.  Delicious.

    But, wait, that's too complicated for today.  Just scatter the seed, water, cover the container with plastic.  Then put it on the top of your stove (or refrigerator, or some other source of bottom heat. Bake some cookies to speed the process along.  Ducky or rabbit shaped ones would be nice.  Freeze them though, otherwise you will eat them all before Easter, which is still a month away.)

    The seed will germinate VERY quickly.  A matter of 3-6 days.  Put outside and keep watered.  Enjoy the miracle and sheer delight of it all.  If it gets too long before the big day, mow with scissors.  Then just watch for the smiles and appreciation of live Easter grass.  Oh, some fledgling hyacinth bulbs make nice companions.  :)

    One more thing.  See the stubby looking grass in the ruffled clay pot below?  You'd never, never guess it if you guessed for a long, long while (with or without Brownie smile) what it is, so I'll tell you in the next post.

    You can't stand the anticipation can you?  Hee hee.

    March 23, 2011

    Elizabeth Taylor and Dicentra Spectabilis

    Even though we knew she was perhaps the last of the great Hollywood Redwoods (as Dick Cavett so  astutely  described her), it still came as a shock to hear of her death.  It was a greater shock to hear my son say that he had never heard of her; words that simultaneously made me feel not only old, but ineffective as a cultural conduit as well.   Sigh.

    So these images.....a bleeding homage to the exquisite Elizabeth Taylor.

    Good night, beauty.  Good night, Elizabeth.

    March 22, 2011

    Headline: Spring Explodes not Unfolds

    "Wait...wait....wait.....okay, Gracie, you good girl....come get your treat." 

    So says L'il Sis to her sweet dog, Gracie, as she gently but firmly demands patience and obedience of her pet.  Mother Nature dictates the same to this girl, though not always gently, as I wait, not always patiently, for spring.

    In this too warm, too windy, and way-too dry 2011 season, spring exploded on the landscape.  I've always envied climes where spring unfolded...slowly, evocatively, tauntingly...with attendant time and reflection and awe.  Moist, calm, fecund springs.  Aw well........It is spring, nevertheless.

    So, say hello (speak loudly because of the thirty mph wind gusts) to the delightful hellebore, the contemplative columbine, and color-coordinated violas.  As a little surprise to myself, I scattered some golden Black Seeded Simpson lettuce... to come up wherever it chooses amongst them.  Ha!

    Take that Mother Nature.

    My stunning windowbox exploded as well.  Cabbages now huge, tete-a-tete daffodils finished, ivy and euonymous full and spilling over.  Beautiful even when spent.  Remember that, Husband.

    March 21, 2011

    Another thing to love about gardening...

    One of the things I love about that it doesn't require a friggin' password!  So said I to Color Girl a few weeks ago in the midst of yet another nasty battle that I, and my sidekick Mac, were having in our digital relationship.  Temporarily at least, Mac had the upper hand and rendered me speechless in the heat of our mutual meltdown.  No doubt you noticed my absence (or I hope you did, at any rate...)

    But now, my darlings, and I say this ever so meekly (and with both my fingers and toes crossed), I think I am back in commission. After a nasty bout of restoration-from back-up-from-external hard drive-using Time Machine-gone bad,  I am gamely trying to get my digital health back and resume our little blog chats.

    So, for now, a little peak at some things that have been happening in the windowbox on the front porch over the past couple of weeks.  I must say, the little daffs and violas get along much more companionably with the cabbage and kale than I have been getting along with my computer.

    Oh, and thanks so much to those who inquired about my absence. Such warm and fuzzy words and thoughts.  :)