Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ah, Spring!

The sweetness of spring is almost painful. Soft breezes, tiny leaves, bright flowers and today the butterflies returned to put the final touch on a beautiful morning.

I am making a new herb garden this year. Actually, this was my herb garden about 10 years ago, but family complained that the gardens (there were two, one on each side of the small walk) were in the way and the dogs seemed to like them too much as a place to dig and sleep. So I abandoned those gardens and made a new one--which has turned out to be too shady for the Mediterranean herbs. I will leave it in place with the plants that do well there--copper fennel, bergamot, chives and a few others--and start again in the old patch which was really beautiful in its prime. I have a bit more digging to do, and we may put in a small brick path in the center. I'm still thinking about that.

On the side of the ridge, redbuds flare their purple-pink against the still-bare branches of oaks and poplars. I am going to try making some redbud jelly and maybe some muffins too. I read that the redbud flowers can be used as a salad garnish, having a slightly nutty taste. Has anyone tried that?

The begonias and gerniums I brought into the house for the winter survived, although they're looking a little rough right now. But they provided a bright spot of flowers all winter, and now they have a head start on Spring. I owe them--even on the snowiest day, they reminded me that Spring would indeed come.

Back to work! That's the other part of spring--plenty to do.


Matthew Burns said...

Besides saying I love this post and the photo's, I want to just say, "That's alot of crock you have there!" lol.

Three of them, right? Using them as plant stands? That's a new use for them.

Oh, and is that a mulberry tree that I see blooming in the first photo? Nice.

Are you going to try and make Redbud pickles as well? Some folks have been discussing them on one of the foraging groups that I am on. I've not had them but they sound like they would be good.

I've heard of people using redbud blossoms with wild game dishes, especially venison. I haven't heard of redbud jelly.

While I haven't had redbud in a salad, I have eaten the bloom plain & right off the tree. To me they have a sweet, slightly spicy taste. I don't recall a nutty flavor, although it has been a few years. From what I recall, they would probably be really good in a salad.

I saw a bunch of poke along the road near where we live. I was tempted to stop and get some, but it's a little close to a well-travelled road, and it's in Charleston. I decided not to risk it.

Granny Sue said...

Matthew, the 30-gallon one is cracked, although probably useable. The other two I used to use to make wine, kraut and pickles. I may make wine again one day, but will probably never make pickles or kraut in those quantities again--those were the days of five growing boys.

We were planning to make venison on Friday, so maybe I'll look for some recipes with the redbud addition. Sounds like it might be tasty. I read that they could be used in quick breads and pancakes too. All these years and I'm just now learning the uses of this tree!

John M. mentioned that the poke was up. I have not seen it, but honestly I've been so busy I haven't looked. Poke is my all time favorite wild green.

Angela said...

Hey Granny Sue!

I think I did see some Poke around my house but I'm just now starting to try to figure out what wild plants are actually edible around my house. I do remember when we first moved to our farm my Granny came over and took home bags of it and ate it!

Your place looks just beautiful in the Spring!

Granny Sue said...

Angela, you really should try the poke. You need to cook it in about 4 waters though--bring to a boil, drain, add more water, boil, drain, etc--that takes the bitterness out of it and it is just delicious.

It is pretty here now, I just love this time of the year. Soon we'll be fighting the losing battle against weeds and grass and have our hands full trying to keep up!

Ann Flower said...

That must be a peaceful place to take a photowalk. Lovely shots.My Fav is the one with the pots of plants.

Morningstar said...

Oh Granny SUe,
What a lovely home in Nature you have!! I LOVEEEEEEEEEE your yard!!
Thank you sharing!! I bet you make GREAT JELLIES AND JAMS, don't you??? hhhhhmmmmmm

Debra MOrningstar

Twisted Fencepost said...

Tell me about it. Just as I'm getting one thing caught up there is a whole slew of things waiting.

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