Gardening + Nature

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First radish!
lettuce
carrot
Italian pepper
yucca
penstemon
lamb’s ear
opuntia
penstemon
milkweed
hyssop
Jupiter’s beard
thyme

Hey there! Welcome to Friday’s garden, before a deep, cleansing rain cascaded down, and the lightning bolted so closely as to see, hear, and feel the massive crack in the atmosphere.

A house wren has set up in our little bird house, and what an animated presence it’s been, singing and flitting about. I shall never fail to marvel at the tiny lungs’ ability to project a song so heart and joy filled. It is fifty feet from my desk seat, yet loud enough to be on a perch in the room. Sweet sigh.

The garden, these pictures are mostly from the front, is yet another marvel. With so little encouragement and equally little weeding, that we are graced with such beauty truly makes my heart sing. The untold number of flying creatures arriving for a sip of nectar or a bit of pollen, it makes me wonder why more people don’t grow gardens. I’ve talked about this before, but it really is worth mentioning again, that if you’ve been a grass waterer and mower the whole of your life, a xeriscaped garden like ours really is less work. Try a little patch and see, won’t you?

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I am not normally one who likes to share our charitable giving habits, but I believe it is of the utmost imprtance during these times to support organizations that are run by and primarily benefit people of color. Since our passions lie in environmental justice, Greg and I chose to give to:

WE ACT: It is well-documented that some of the most polluted environments in America are where people of color live, work, play, and pray. WE ACT was started in 1988 when three fearless community leaders saw that environmental racism was rampant in their West Harlem neighborhood, and they demanded community-driven, political change. Today, the organization has grown to over 16 staff members and 2 locations in NYC and Washington, D.C., and is considered an active and respected participant in the national Environmental Justice Movement.

Black Family Land Trust is one of the nation’s only conservation land trust dedicated to the preservation and protection of African-American and other historically underserved landowners assets. The BFLT utilizes the core principles of land conservation and land-based community economic development to achieve our goals. We measurably improve the quality of life for landowners, by providing families with the tools necessary to make informed, proactive decisions regarding their land and its use. 

Normally, I am the one of this couple to be dashing about hurriedly for Greg to look at some strange bug or creature rambling about. Today, however, I was treated to this beauty, and I could not be more grateful. It is an eight spotted forester moth and a complete dazzler. Thank you, Buddy!

More iris blooms in the front garden. Like a true debutante, she took her sweet time.

This morning’s garden, at my favorite time of day, before the blaze of sun fades its luster. I like to wake before the hubster, kiss his sweet cheek, and roam in my nightgown, Juniper my ever curious companion. After taking in the scent of blossoms and tugging the spritely starts of weeds, I tuck in on the bench, listen to birdsong, and the sounds of a lively city awakening and heading off to work. It is good medicine.

This year’s first peony bloom. It never fails to disappoint.

Today’s lunch, before and after. I roasted orange wedges and sauteed chicken in an orange honey sauce, which bubbled down into the finest sweet-hot reduction. There was lettuce and fennel and carrot and feta, too.

Hello, and happy Wednesday! Greg and I have slowed down on the sweets, thankfully, with these from over the past few weeks rather than days. Our thighs are grateful!! A hazelnut brownie, pineapple upside down cake, and panna cotta with a ground cherry and grapefruit sauce. Eeek, so good!

I made a jalapeno and onion jam and topped pork chops with it, pineapple curry, lasagna (homemade noodles using the machine I inherited from my Grandma!), and Greg made the mac and green chile cheese and beautiful salad. All spectacularly good.

It’s iris season, and these are our first two blossoms. Woot!

Juniper eyes the squirrel atop the fence…

With a quiet flourish the aspen and chokecherry are alive with leaves shiny and new. Such a joy in these still strange times.

We are making our way, and even venturing out once for fast food, waiting and waiting in the parking lot. Then so rattled and paranoid when we arrived home that it was hardly worth it. Our food tepid and milk shake melted by the time we were actually able to eat. Oh well, we tried.

But, oh! Lilacs and wildflowers are blossoming and scenting the neighborhood with hope.

Our home cooking and baking continues to satisfy to the utmost, making little sausages heady with garlic and paprika, more fabulous hummus, and way too many sweets. Peanut butter cookies, strawberry lemonade cake, chocolate sandwich cookies all this week. Eeek! Oh, and a batch of strawberry rhubarb jam. Tis the season.

Hope you are hanging in there, healthy and happy and safe.

monster cookie

Sunday’s homemade ice cream, walnut and chocolate. I made the walnut with the green walnut liqueur, like the delicious variety I made ages and ages ago, but since there are no green walnuts to glean in my neighborhood, I resorted to purchasing a bottle. I suppose it ought to go without saying, but the ice creams were both fantastic!

locavore

Juniper does her sweet beggar best to convince the hubster to share his smoked BBQ chicken, corn, and ranch dressing topped salad.

Another stellar batch of green chile and a new recipe for homemade tortillas from Ford Fry. So. VERY. good.

Farmer Greg tends the carrot and onion patch. No sprouts, yet, but we do have two teeny tiny lettuces leaves going. Baby steps!

plum blossoms

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