10 July 2009

A Day Like Any Other?

It was a day like any other.
Ran into town to make a deposit and get some groceries; the checker, finding out I enjoyed gardening, let me look at her garden photos--I LOVE it!
Came home, unloaded groceries and took my usual garden tour.
Checked the kiwi--no fruit, just spent blossoms; so very disappointing after an abundance of blossoms this year held so much promise.
Looked at the fruit trees closest to the house--made a note to hang apple maggot traps next year and possibly do some organic, dormant sprays IF we can do so and not hurt the fish (here fish come first--at least as far as the garden is concerned) Hopefully I will be able to salvage at least part of the pears; the apple and Asian pear trees look better.
Oh my! That Swiss chard is BADLY overgrown...feeling guilty now. Wonder if I can still use it? If not then I guess I will replant as I just bought some seeds for a fall harvest.

Ah! The raspberry is looking better and better everyday. Looks like that BIG one may be pretty close to harvest time. I will have to check on that:)
Figs looking good. Quick picture; the slithery ones like this area.
This has been the strangest year in our garden. Not too long ago I was still seeing 1-2 forsythia blossoms and now look at the dogwood. Strange --- and yet beautiful!
Under the kiwi arbor again---checking, checking ---nothing. How about the other side (you know the one I haven't checked). Looking up...what?
Those adorable, fuzzy looking things...that look kind of like baby kiwi are KIWI!!!

And then, now that I know where to look, I find more....
and as I continue to search I find still more.

Yes, it was a day like any other, except it wasn't
God had yet again given us another blessing;
I just had given up looking for it too soon.
Thank you, God.
  • Slightly overgrown Swiss Chard-'Bright Lights'
  • Raspberries-'Anne' (yea I know I posted one the other day, but I can't help myself! I am just SO captivated by this golden raspberry).
  • Fig--Desert King (yes the NW has figs!)
  • Dogwod Kousa 'Cherokee' (still showing color in July!)
  • Kiwi-this is a fuzzy kiwi; I think we have a Haywood. When you grow this type you have to buy a male and female to have fruit. Kiwi can be grown as far north as beautiful (love it there!) Vancouver Island. You will need one sturdy arbor or trellis to grow these on!

08 July 2009

More in the Garden

Well I was hoping to post the wonderful photos of our trip to the land of lavender and berry farms and the best cafe in the world today...but alas I am about to take off on another trip.
I know, I am SO bad! But it is somewhat a mission of mercy too. SO maybe just a little bad.
Anyway between laundry, dishes, etc I am probably not going to get the afore-mentioned photos done this afternoon, so until then more photos of our gardens-but first-a QUESTION. Yes, Aimee is calling upon any of her readers to help her with a QUESTION that desperately NEEDS an answer. HELP--pretty please.

OK now that I have pleaded properly for help, this is the QUESTION---
if you will please kindly refer to the photo above at this time.
No, that was NOT the QUESTION (in fact that really wasn't a question at all but more of a direction and request) HOWEVER the question is pictured above-sort of.
Complicated--yes I know--but I can be one complicated person if I try hard enough.
Let me make this easy---this photo above was taken before the major project of relining the upper pond was done, hence it looks better now except that the colors are really pretty in this shot I think. But back to the matter at hand.
I need HELP on deciding the color stain to use on the above pictured hubby-made bridge. I am thinking a redwood or cedar type stain but would like to know what you think.
Now let me tilt that question slightly in favor of one of those choices. I LOVE red and in fact can't ever get enough of it, but subtle is sometimes good too so ....
please help (and yes this blog happily allows anonymous comments so you can answer safely and securely knowing I will have no idea who you are unless you want me to).
Thanks and now on to the garden.. :)

Tree Cloud Hat. Really. I always like to think that clouds are God's cotton balls in the sky. He shapes them into things only an artist can and I LOVE to watch them--especially in southern Idaho where they look like animals and all kinds of neat things. I guess God does to clouds what some people do to balloons.

A cruel picture of a not quite ripe Sungold tomato.
Cruel because I LOVE fresh tomatoes and I want nothing more then to have one of these babies RIGHT NOW with some fresh lettuce. YUM!
This is why professional bloggers don't use point and shoot digital cameras but I could not resist posting it nevertheless because 1) I am in a one woman fight against perfectionism (mine) and 2) because I was like RIGHT there. And because it is blurry I will even let you know what it is--- a blue dragonfly.

The most of the way finished bamboo bench. Somewhere back in the blog archives there is a before (but it pains me to show you it, so if you really need to see it knock yourself out. But not literally please). The new bamboo, from my siblings Japanese-style garden, will fade from the greenish color in time and after sitting on it for a long time we have decided we are really people who need comfort so a bench pad will be made or purchased. Then we need to decide what to do about the weathered bamboo--maybe a stain or ??? Anyway I LOVE it and think it is great to sit on and watch the fish and clouds go by.

An astilbe--supposedly amethyst---but I have my doubts about it as it is pink not lavender IMO. This was when a ray of sunlight caught it just right. Us point and shooters LOVE it when that happens:) And it happens a lot if you spend time in the garden!

Now the bad, the really bad! I would offer a prize for guessing who did this but I have mentioned these bad boys in an earlier blog post so feel that wouldn't be too much of a guess. Anyway for those who just plain don't know this is the work of the dreaded gopher guys. Sigh and the worst part is they just found my mini rose bed.
Blessings from the NW,
Or do you have another suggestion for the bridge? We don't want to use paint but otherwise would gladly listen to suggestions. It is in a Japanese-style garden if that makes a difference (I am saying that because so far I have only found natural wood color or red or red and black used on wood bridges in this type of garden).

06 July 2009

In the Garden

Variegated sage & lemon thyme
Chervil. I love this plant & I haven't even used any yet.
It reminds me of a beautiful fern.

Cosmos & a bee having a snack.
I absolutely love my cosmos-both the pink and white ones.

Baby carrot tops.
These will be small, roundish Parisian Market carrots when they 'grow up' and were planted after we harvested some lettuce.
Anne raspberries-a golden raspberry.
Since it seems to be doing so well in the wine barrel, I will plant another raspberry plant in their later this year.
Blessings from my garden to yours,

05 July 2009

Biblical Habits..

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.”
Psalms 1: 2 KJV
“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.”
I Timothy 4:15 KJV
“I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember Thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all Thy work, and talk of Thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?”
Psalms 77:11-13 KJV
Recently my DIL bought me a book to read. It is a combination travel - spiritual - autobiographical book, and an interesting look at other cultures around the world. And I found myself, though I don't agree with the author's conclusions of who God is and how mankind can have a relationship with their Creator, reading it and wondering why many Christians, myself included, don't seem to follow the practice of Biblical meditation, prayer & scripture reading to the extent that King David and other Biblical people did.
I have to ask myself----if a relationship with God is so very important to me why don't I prioritize spending time with Him? I mean more then just reading a few chapters of the Bible a day and praying. I mean actually spending TIME with God--time to really allow Him to speak to me through His word and prayer. Time when I am QUIET and listening not talking or doing 'to do' lists in my mind.
It isn't a matter of not having time, I think, for this book relates the hours spent by people in non-Christian, relatively poor countries in prayer and meditation and yet we (I), who have many modern time saving conveniences seem to get caught up in this world and often fill the time saved by these conveniences with things other then God and family. That challenges me to rethink just how important my relationship is with God and also to wonder just how much more joy and peace I would have if I became more like David who was a 'man after God's heart'.
Just what are my goals anyway for my life here on earth? More importantly I should be asking myself what are God's goals for my life here on this earth?
Something for me to think further on--but also something for me to ACT on for I have the same 24 hours available to me that they do.
And NOW bedtime before I fall asleep with my laptop in my lap...or dangling from my lap:)
Night all & blessings,
Cilantro flower.


Recently I made an omelet and it turned out well although the photo isn't that great:(

I sauteed some freshly picked Swiss chard, basil, lemon thyme and Greek oregano in a bit of olive oil for a few minutes. After that I moved this veggie-herb mixture to the side of the skillet, added some egg whites into the pan (as these cooked I flipped the veggie-herb mixture on top of it). I sprinkled some salt and pepper on top (lightly!) and then some shredded Parmesan cheese and a bit of bruschetta (capers, garlic, olives, tomato type--purchased "Sicilian").

Very good, albeit a tiny bit spicy -- but then I LOVE spicy--and easy.

What do you use in your omelets?
Or are you more the cereal type (I love whole grain cereal with dried fruit and yogurt)? When I went to YWAM (Hawaii base) for a week of conferences, years ago, we had hot cooked cereal, a granola type cereal topped with seasonal fruit and I think honey too every day.
It was such a GREAT way to start the day! Believe me somehow papaya, pineapple and other tropical fruit tastes SO much better when you are there:)
Other favs of mine are Aebleskivers, Dutch baby pancakes (AKA German pancakes) & Swedish pancakes.
Oh -- I am getting so hungry just thinking about breakfast foods. I had better stop and get to bed. I think my body puts on weight just thinking about food.
Sunday Blessings,
Note: you could, of course use whole eggs and add milk if desired. And yes--I know the 'pancake turner' is really a Nordic cheese slicer but it works great in a pinch:) I should say that I tore both the veggie and herbs into small pieces before cooking them. For those who may not know--Swiss chard tastes similar to spinach.

Of Gooseberries

Today I spent a LOT of quality time removing the tips and tails from what was left of our garden's gooseberries. It was interesting...and a bit maddening. Actually it was a lot maddening but worth it...

Now, for those of you who've eaten a gooseberry before you'll understand why someone would be willing to spend hours and hours to preserve these delightful, totally yummy berries--for the rest of you let me tell you about my almost poetic love for them in hopes that you, too, will try some.

How do I love thee oh lovely berry of green? Let me count the ways.

1) You taste a bit like a lemon when you aren't totally ripe and I -- am the original lemon lover. For those of you who like their fruit sweeter, every recipe I have seen calls for sugar so you'll be happy too.
2) When you ripen totally you're a bit like a kiwi, sort of like the gold kiwis I bought last month. Yummy and sweeter then before.

3) You're a pretty little berry--all nice and green (actually I understand some of you come in red too) with a totally cool round design. So cute!!!
4) I am told that you make the best pies and other desserts. I will soon know that for sure, for tomorrow -- if it isn't HOT again -- will be baking day around here:)
5) Preparing you for preservation takes a LOT of time and patience, and I need to practice the latter (actually picking you takes a lot of time and patience too--and a watchful eye for thorns.)
Have any of you ever tried gooseberries and what did you think of them?

Blessings from the land of gooseberries,
Recipe--still hunting around for a good one so no link yet:)
Gooseberries, before the tips and tails were removed. I read that you can do this with either a knife or your fingers, I used the latter and it worked well for me.

Gooseberries, after the tips and tails were removed.

Gooseberries in quart freezer bags (about 3 cups per bag). Dry packed without sugar.

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