Friday, April 29, 2011

tea and scones

Spring always seems to require more outdoor clean up than I am prepared for. And we’ve had so much rain this April I haven’t had the opportunity to spend as much time in the garden as is needed. Worrying about the state of my garden I looked at the forecast for the week and the only sunny and shower free day seemed to be Friday. Luckily I was able to take the day off from work and it happened to coincide with the royal wedding. Now, I didn’t get up in the wee hours like some, but I didn’t hit the snooze button either.

While the newlyweds were taking pictures inside the castle I made some scones. Years ago one of our favorite family breakfast spots in Milwaukee, the Oakland CafĂ©, shared their scone recipe with us. We had to promise never to share it (and we never have). We’ve loved that recipe but it makes about 8 dozen scones. Let’s face it, that recipe only came out at holidays when we had large gatherings. They have been a treat and always an adventure of time, ingredients and, well, calories. Off and on I’ve tried breaking down the recipe into just enough for a few scones. Each attempt has been okay but they never tasted quite right or had that dreamy flakey texture. In honor of the Britain’s historical event I thought I’d give it another go and I am thrilled to say I have finally met with success!

Congratulations to Kate and William and thank you for giving me an excuse to try again…

Oh, and PS…the sun is indeed shining…it’s going to be a beautiful day. Cheers!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the artichoke

I’ve always liked the look of an artichoke.
Reminds me a bit of a flower blossom.
Haven’t figured out how to cook it properly, regardless of how easy it’s supposed to be.
But I haven’t given up yet…

Side Note: apparently one of the highest rated vegetables as a antioxidant

...if consuming the entire artichoke that is.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Flowers

Clockwise starting from upper left
Virginia Blue Bells, Daffodils (unknown variety), Grape Hyacinth,
Indiana Trillium, Trillium (unknown variety), Dad’s Favorite Daffodil (unknown variety)
and Cinnamon Fern.

A peek into my parents garden this spring.
We always have a great time touring their garden.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I was given a sampling of each of the daffodils found in my parents garden
and an Easter basket.

Sometimes it's great not to have to be a grown up...
A great day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Covers, covers, covers….

Been busy this week with many special orders
and working on getting a few
more garden journal covers
up and available for Mother’s Day.

See one you like?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lady’s Mantle Dew Drops

I’ve heard it said that the dew collected in a Lady’s Mantle leaf

is a token or blessing from Mother Nature.

Dab a drop on your forhead for luck.

Me…I don’t want to disturb all that perfection

and prefer to simply stare.

The dew drops look like sparkling jewels in the morning light.

Monday, April 18, 2011

April Showers, snow showers that is...

rranunculus, stock, creeping jenny

It would appear Mother Nature decided one more snow shower was in order.

Should I have purchased those spring annuals?…hmm, only time will tell.

ranunculus, linaria, pansy

and grass....that pesky grass..... lettuce, mustard greens, alyssum, and….something new… Another experiment of larkspur peat pots outside

and a few scabiosa seedlings I recieved from a friend.

This is when I really wished I had made a bouquet of all my lovely daffodils.

Perhaps they will perk back up?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

planning this summer via photos of last

Another view of the garden last summer.

I'm busy planning where my seedlings will go and found looking at photographs of the previous year are often a great way to see where there were "holes" and where I may fing the perfect compliment to a new addition.

Always a project in progress, such as the flagstone path leading to the seating area
and the extension of a concrete slab via pea gravel....I just love pea gravel.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oak Park Conservatory Plant Sale

love the combination of the moss roses (lime green above), coral bells (deep purple) and jacobs ladder(striated lime and green) just above the coral bells. One of the big parts of being a Master Gardener is volunteering your time. One of the side benefits of helping the community is getting to know other people that have a passion for gardening. We all learn from one another, bounce ideas of landscaping, seed starting, etc. I’m very lucky to be part of a group of wonderful people that help prepare for a plant sale at the Oak Park Conservatory each spring. Our group helps coax seedlings to the impressive plants you would buy. The above photo depicts some of the plants that have made to the great outdoors as they continue to grow in preparation of the plant sale. Most of my groups time is spent in the green houses and work rooms transplanting seedlings, cutting, pruning plants, enjoying the smell of fresh dirt and laughing. The countdown has begun for the plant sale. Will we see you there?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Faerie Queen Foxgloves

this years batch of foxgloves...

they are coming along nicely..

Foxgloves are magical and this foxglove is magnificient. I can almost see tinkerbell hiding in one of these blooms. Perhaps that’s why Renee’s Garden calls these Apricot Faerie Queen. My friend Mary Ann planted several of my seedlings and she clearly planted them in the perfect spot. They were in their glory last year at almost 5 feet tall. Wow!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Down the Rabbit Hole

Here is a drawing I just love by Donna McKenzie of corelladesign

She has several versions of this wonderful rabbit. Do swing by her shop and check it out.

Like every good gardener I’ve been busy clearing out last years debris. Often cursing myself for not taking more down and out in the fall. I also have a dreadful problem with grass in my planting beds. It just won’t go away (any advice is welcome).

Well, one of my freshly cleared areas has had a visitor. A momma bunny is making a nest. Rather worried about her and her babies (still to come) as I don’t think she has chosen her spot wisely. Not only had I intended to plant there (note the past tense), it’s not all that well protected and there are many predators in the neighborhood. Feral cats make my backyard part of their daily tours, raccoons prowl the night ensuring I don't dawdle on the way to my door. And there is a wonderfully rambunctious dog next door.

I’m hopeful she is wiser than I give her credit for and survives to see her rabbits leave the nest. Who needs the country when all you have do is look out your own window?

Okay, I still want the country...but this will have to do...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

dreams of summer

I was just sifting through photos of last summers garden. Somehow at the time I kept waiting for something more. Now, at this time of year, the lushness of the garden seems almost like a dream.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

before and after: balloon flower

It’s so hard to control myself in the spring. Plants seem to beckon to me. To take photos of my new gift tags I gave myself permission to purchase some plants. One being this beautiful miniature balloon flower….who’s latin name is escaping me. It would appear my furry child also finds it appealing. Each evening, regardless of where I try to hide it from her, she finds it and gives it a hair cut. I don’t believe it’s toxic, which is good. I placed the plant on the bed to take the "after" photo and by the time I got back with my camera my little friend had saddled up to it. Awww….maaaaaan...

here’s hoping the roots survive so it has a chance to make to the great outdoors.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Love texture. Don’t even need to touch it to love it. The more imperfect the better. I simply let my eyes travel over the ripples and crevasses. It’s as if worlds exist in the spaces in between. I’ve been acquiring cover papers loaded with texture.

I’ve offered the blue in my shop and

I’m trying to decide

if I should use a colored thread on the spine this time. This coral is begging to be sewn.

Looking at it close up,

I believe it may be destined for a knitting journal.

All those fibers,

what would be more perfect?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tourist for a Day: Hyde Park Oriental Institute and Robie House

Love having people in from out of town

and get to experience Chicago as a tourist.

So many wonderful places to go, so little time. Oriental Institute

Note how huge these stone reliefs are...

decided to include the photographer

so you could get a little perspective.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House

Friday, April 1, 2011

Succulent Drama

Found this succulent at a contemporary country style home store

in New Buffalo Michigan.

It’s drama was a magnet for all that walked by it.