carolinainmymind

can't you see the sunshine….

Spring Farmers’ Market Visit

A few days ago I finally wandered out to the State Farmers’ Market, here in Raleigh. If you go on a weekday, the crowds are not too bad. Here is my haul for the trip

In Italy, I used to buy fresh, in-shell English peas at the regular grocery store. They were a little bit pricy, but in season they were so good. I would buy a big ole bag and shell them. There was a Julia Child and Jacques Pepin cooking show where they compared in their fresh pea cooking methods. I don’t remember Jacques’ method, only Julia’s. In a sauce pan, tiny amount of water, hunk of cold butter, kosher salt and a bit of sugar. Then get your hands in there and ‘bruise’ the peas. Cover and cook for a few minutes. Ben and I would squabble over these they were so good. Then the dog who moved with us to Italy, ‘the Sainted Siena’ discovered them and started demanding her share. Our grocery budget was shot.

These were sugar snaps so I just cleaned them up a bit and lightly steamed them. I also got some fresh, new crop red potatoes. Freshly dug potatoes are as good as freshly picked corn or properly ripened and stored summer tomatoes. Our friend BK, brought to Italy some of her Momma’s freshly dug potatoes. They were about the best I have ever had.

And I got some strawberries. They were certainly better than store bought but I thought they were a little watery.

I feel for the farmers. We have had wild Spring weather. A good bit of rain but it could have been spaced a little better. (Really! Seven weekends in a row, RAIN!) Monday, the 13th there were tornados close by. And hail. Then there was a cool spell when night temps dropped to the 40s. And now it is in the 90s during the day and will stay that way with small chances of rain for at least the next week. I’ll spare you whining about the hail damage to my Elephant Ear Forest.

Advertisements
2 Comments »

Dressing the Deck

It is one of my favorite times of the year, Spring. We don’t have much outside space. I do my best to fill it all with plants and flowers. I am doing more foliage in the big planter this year.

The new whoop dee do elephant ear is hidden in there. It is a more upright variety. The one on the left side of the picture will eventually sort of droop over. The new one remains more vertical. It will be interesting to see how it does.

In March, inside, I started elephant ears bulbs that I wintered over. The pots are not real pretty but the price was right, free from the agricultural recylcing bins at the State Farmers’ Market. I have been using them as a protective border for the new hydrangea bed that I started. My friend Jim gave back to me the hydrangeas that he provided a home for when we moved to Italy. The one that was in a planter under the tree that was cut down needed a new home too. It made sense just to start a nice bed in the back shady area.

After they grow a bit and if I buy some more mulch I might regroup my elephant ear forest.

The elephant ear forest and hydrangena bed is that darkish area above the terra cotta pot on the deck. You can just see the begonias peaking over the deck railing. They are doing well and will be a nice display in another week or so.

Look for another post about the tomatoes. I do know how fortunate I am to have learned to love plants and to have the means and the ability to be able to do this.

I seem to have lost spell check again. Sorry.

 

Leave a comment »

Things that fall from the sky

We’ve been having a lot of rain. And reliably warm temps have arrived. It is so nice to be able to walk outside without having to bundle up. I would say that spring is safely here, in Raleigh. All the rain brings a clearing of the pollen from the air and things from the recent re-roofing that was done on our building.

Oak tree tails

They’re everywhere. Coming out of the downspout

Along with roofing nails

This is the haul after the last rain. Are there any nails left on the roof doing what they are supposed to be doing? Note the pollen too. Ahhh, Carolina in the spring.

The dogwood was very pretty this year, Each rain storm more of its blooms drop.

We are still mourning the recent cutting down of our cherry tree. Right around the corner there are three planted close together. I imagine I am in Japan when Guppy and I walk through there.

So glad that spring is here. Have a lovely and safe holiday, whatever kind you celebrate at this time of year.

1 Comment »

Daffodils

It has been a very good Spring for Daffodils here in Raleigh. Not too cold or hot. Occasional rain but not heavy downpours or any hail. My daffodils have looked good for over a month.

I think this is the best they have ever looked. I think this is also the first time that the bloom time of all the different varieties has overlapped. Usually, heat has done in most of the first ones and some of the last ones get nipped as buds by frost. It’s a delicate game daffodils play here in North Carolina.

Around the property there are clumps of daffodils that appear but don’t bloom. Last Spring I looked at them and thought, next fall I’ll move those. Well, that didn’t happen. So this year I just moved them even though it is not the best time of year to do that. They just needed to be separated and moved to a sunnier spot. A little food wouldn’t hurt either. So we’ll see next year.

Leave a comment »

Early Spring

This was our first daffodil.

I found this in very early February. It suffered a bit from a nasty cold snap. Don’t know why it bloomed so early. Even now (2/23) all the others are still buds.

Flowering trees have started. The cold snap did not get them. The cherry tree that was cut down a few months ago would be in full bloom now. We all miss that tree.

Daffodils are doing well elsewhere on the property. So I am thinking that spring is just about here. Tommorrow, 2/24 we will be finishing 8 days straight of rain at least some if not all of the day. Not been a fun week to have a dog. On our walks, other than glancing over her shoulder to make sure I am close enough to receive the maximum benefit when she shakes the rain off, Guppy is unfazed by the rain. One morning this week she had to stop and smell every daffodil. While I am pleased to see her interest in flowers, REALLY! EVERY FLOWER IN THE RAIN!!!!!!

These pansies have done very well all winter.

They are planted in Miracle Gro with a slow release fertilizer. I think that is why they look so good. Anyway, spring is moving right along here.

1 Comment »

Ah, Spring in North Carolina

Now that it is mid-March I think I can write about Spring.  I saw a cartoon where Mother Nature is saying “You can’t have all 4 seasons in one week!”  And the state of North Carolina says ” OH, Just Watch!  Here, hold my beer!”  That is what this week has been like.  Monday, March 12 it snowed and Thursday, the 15th it was 70 degrees.  We are not in the mountains, instead towards the eastern part of the state.  Go figure!

Anyway, February was wonderfully and consistently mild.  The cherry trees bloomed early and were outstanding.

DSCF3024 (1)

DSCF3026 (2)

They bloomed.  No cold snap or heavy rains to damage the blooms.  Looked good for 2 weeks like they should.  The Asian Magnolias or Tulip Trees or whatever you want to call them were spectacular.  Sorry, no pictures.  I was having camera issues.  The blooms were so full and large on these trees that petals dropped and covered the ground while the trees still looked good.  For here, the variety that is planted usually is not that showy.  The buds will get nipped or something will happen.  But not this year, it was their year.

Last summer I saw an offer for 50 mixed daffodil bulbs from White Flower Farms in Better Homes and Gardens for a very good price.  So I went ahead and bought them.  Planting them in the fall.

DSCF3038 (1)

What a show they have been putting on.

DSCF3034 (1)

DSCF3031 (1)

DSCF3028 (1)

The first one opened on February 4.  Gradually more and more have opened.  And it was a nice mix of bulbs.  I would buy it again if I just had more room.  When I planted them I also stuck a day lily in. We’ll see how they look this summer.

DSCF3053

So, is all this snow?  No, flower petals from the tree out front.  See the hydrangea at the base of the tree?  Monday as all the snow and sleet came down it was asking for a coat and gloves

DSCF3055

I have been very conscientious about covering it up every night.  Hopefully the tender buds have been saved.   Never a dull moment here.

Leave a comment »