Posted on April 16, 2013 by Nancy
Porch weather is upon us again, and I am trying to make full use of it before the heat of our Texas summer arrives and I’m driven back indoors!
As I sit on my front porch, I can hear various different birds singing their spring songs, and the wind blowing through the trees, who are becoming more and more green every day. Someone down the lane is building something. . . I hear the tap…tap…tapping of a hammer. Possibly our next door neighbor preparing a new pen for their growing flock of chickens, ducks, and bunnies. We have a chicken project to begin soon, too! – cleaning out Jack’s old pen and setting it up for the chickens we plan to start raising this spring.
Our irises are blooming off of the left side of the porch, and many of the rose bushes in the rose garden are showing colorful flowers as well.
I purchased these new perennials last weekend to plant here by the right side of the porch, joining the daisy that already lives there. Hopefully, they will come back each year and bless us with their beauty.
Jeff planted some lovely Petunias and Impatiens in pots on the front porch. The pretty pink Impatiens are right next to me on the table between the rockers. I really love them!
There are bags of soil, compost, and peat moss piled up by the driveway, waiting to be mixed and poured into the new raised beds in the big garden in the side yard. I will post pictures of this year’s gardens in a forthcoming post.
The temperature here today is 82 degrees. We are expecting rain in a day or so and a drop in temperature to the 60′s. Porch weather at it’s finest!
I hope you can get outside and spend some time enjoying spring in your neck of the woods!
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Posted on April 19, 2012 by Nancy
The roses are in full bloom right now in the rose garden. I am enjoying their beauty as well as their lovely aroma. As I sit on the porch, I can smell their sweet smell and it is truly a blessing. I think that there are more blooms this year than ever, but maybe I say that every year? No matter, I am, as usual, bowled over by the sheer blessing of this rose garden, planted by the previous owners of our house – and ultimately a gift from the Lord. Here are a few pictures that I took the other day as I wandered around in the roses.
My Mom brought us a beautiful Knock Out Rose bush on Easter this year, which we have planted in front of the front porch, where we can see it from the rockers. It should grow into a nice size bush and bring me joy for years to come – thank you Mom!
One of my favorite things about having a rose garden is when my children bring me roses like Anna did on this day ~
Have a lovely evening!
Filed under: Gardening, Nature, Spring | 4 Comments »
Posted on April 13, 2011 by Nancy
I took a stroll around the yard with my camera and snapped a few flower pictures. The rose garden is in full bloom and looks and smells wonderful! These roses were all planted by the original owners of our house, and they are such a blessing to me. Here is a small sampling ~
We have planted various annuals around the yard as well – pretty Vinca on the front porch ~
Pink Impatiens on the table between the rockers on the porch ~
Another on the porch rail ~
A mixture of pretty flowers in a pot right outside the porch rail ~
I planted this assortment in the ground by another section of porch rail ~
In the herb garden there are a few little flowers planted amongst the herbs ~
Although gone now, Sarah took some beautiful pictures of the Irises when they were in bloom a few weeks ago ~
And the bush outside the kitchen window (I really need to learn it’s name!) that is all bloomed out now, but has kept my dish washing view lovely up until recently – not to mention the joy of watching all of the butterflies that were attracted to it ~
Jeff planted bright pink geraniums in the hanging baskets around the porch this year ~
David just brought me this pretty pink rose from the garden – it is resting on my journal until I take it in and put it in water on the kitchen windowsill – such a blessing ~
Have a wonderful day!
Filed under: Gardening, Nature, Spring | 4 Comments »
Posted on June 30, 2010 by Nancy
Our blackberry bushes are producing enough blackberries this year to be worth it all! This is our fourth year of investment – the first year, everything died – the second year they survived, but produced nothing (expected) – the third year (last year) they gave us a handful of berries (also expected) – this year they have finally started really producing.
We have been out several times “pickin’ berries” this month ~ the kids love to pick berries and it goes much faster with their help.
Most of the berries we pick end up in the refrigerator to be eaten at whim, but I also made a blackberry cobbler one night with our fresh picked berries. I used my grandmother’s recipe, which I will share with you in another post. Next year I hope to have enough berries to eat, cook with, and freeze for the winter. I’m hoping to make some blackberry preserves, too – this year or next.
Filed under: Gardening, Summer | 3 Comments »
Posted on August 14, 2009 by Nancy
Our okra plants have really taken off this year. They have always been a good crop for us, but have done especially well this year. Maybe it’s that dose of fertilizer that Jeff gave them a little while back ~ or maybe it’s the “organic” fertilizer left by the two barn cats who, for awhile there, were using this garden plot as their litter box. No matter what the cause, these plants have gotten huge and are producing okra for cutting daily.
Here is what I do with them once cut. They usually gather on the kitchen counter for a few days until I get around to slicing them. Then I get out my cutting board and knife and start slicing.
Now, I only cook okra one way around here, and that’s fried ~ I do not care for the stringy mess that comes from the other ways of cooking it, but fried okra? – well, I grew up on that. Remember I do live in the South. So, during the summer, I keep a Ziploc freezer bag (gallon size) in my freezer, in which I have placed a mixture of corn meal and flour (no measuring here, just mix some together). As I slice the okra every few days or so, I place the slices in the freezer bag and shake it all up to coat it well.
I then place the bag back in the freezer until next time. As the bag fills up, I have ready-to-go okra waiting for me to fry up with a meal ~ especially good with fried chicken and mashed potatoes or corn on the cob (don’t ask me how our corn crop went this year ).
Filed under: Gardening, Recipes, Summer | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 12, 2009 by Nancy
Last month we planted apple trees over by the barn. I hadn’t set out to have apple trees, but when Jeff found the Dewberries at the nursery, he mentioned that they also had apple trees that were being cleared out. I love the idea of growing our own apples for cobblers, pies, and just plain ole eatin’!
So he brought one home – A Granny Smith -
No, it doesn’t look like much now, but just wait a few years! Well, in reading up on apple trees that night, we discovered that apple trees need a friend to help them pollinate, so we went back to the nursery and came home with two friends – a Red Delicious and a Jonathan.
Red Delicious -
So far they have withstood several severe storms and winds and are doing fine. They are sprouting new leaves, as well. These are dwarf versions, so they won’t get as tall as a normal apple tree, and are supposed to fruit sooner – yippee! So, our adventure with apple trees has begun, and I hope that we can keep them going long enough to reap the harvest!
Filed under: Gardening, Lessons, Nature | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 30, 2009 by Nancy
Most summers growing up our family would venture to North Carolina on vacation to visit our extended family. We always stayed at my grandparents house, unless we all rented a cottage at the beach (that would be a whole other post!).
Summer vacation at Grandmama and Grandaddy’s house always included lots of playing with cousins, visiting with Aunts and Uncles, playing Roll-A-Bat in the large yard, digging in the sandbox, climbing the dogwood tree, or planning and putting on shows and “spook” houses.
Meals were always full of home-grown vegetables out of my grandfather’s huge garden, prepared lovingly by the womenfolk in the kitchen. Sometimes we would make homemade ice cream (hand-cranked) or consume huge wedges of watermelon at the picnic table in the backyard. One thing that we could always count on during our visit was Grandmama’s Dewberry Cobbler, made from fresh Dewberries, picked by my grandfather out in the garden. The berries were so delicious and it became a dish that we looked forward to every visit.
I have always dreamed of growing berries on my own land and making my own cobblers just like my grandmother did. We tried blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries last year. We lost all but two raspberry plants and all but one blueberry plant (and it is hanging on by a thread!). The blackberries survived, but just need to grow bigger in order to start supplying more berries. Here is one of our seven blackberry plants -
Imagine my excitement when Jeff called me one afternoon with the news that he had run across actual Dewberry plants at Home Depot and was buying six of them to plant around our pool fence. They were nice big plants that were already flowering and growing berries. I never expected to find Dewberries in Texas – assuming they were native to the East Coast. Since then, he has planted them along the fence – three on one side and three on another with the blackberries in between. Here they are still gathered around a stake – we will be untying them and attaching them to the fence soon, so that they can get better air circulation.
We are hoping that they will establish themselves and that soon we will be enjoying Grandmama’s Dewberry Cobbler once again. Somewhere I have her recipe, if you could call it a recipe. One summer I interviewed her as she was putting it together – ” about this much flour and that much sugar . . .”
Filed under: Childhood Memories, Gardening | 4 Comments »
Posted on April 22, 2009 by Nancy
Some of our roses have started blooming, and are filling the air with a beautiful aroma. I was so excited when we found this home to discover that the original owners had planted a rose garden around one side of the house. While I am not a rose expert (or even close), I certainly have enjoyed having them, and hope that I will learn enough as the years go by to keep this garden going to enjoy for a long time.
Thought I’d share a few pictures I took while out in the garden the other day ~
We’ve been working hard getting the rest of the gardens finished planting, and there are a number of crops coming up now. I’ll share pictures as soon as I can. Temperatures are supposed to hit 90 degrees today, so we will be spending the afternoon outside!
Have a wonderful day!
Filed under: Gardening, Nature, Spring | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 14, 2009 by Nancy
I was raking in the garden last week preparing a plot for corn seeds, when I raked up this nest of bunnies. I actually pulled one out of the nest – which scared me to death, thinking that it was RATS I had unearthed! But when I had collected myself and looked closely, I noticed the distinct bunny ears and the frightening creatures instantly turned into adorable babies (in my mind, anyway). I gently scooped the little stray one up with my shovel and placed it back into the nest.
I called the children – the ones who hadn’t heard my initial terrified shrieks – and we all oooed and ahhhed over them for awhile. By this time the little one had snuggled back in with his siblings and I covered them back up with the fluff that I had raked off.
We’ve been checking on them daily, and there appears to be no damage done from my unwelcome invasion. They must be pretty hardy, seeing as how they survived my intrusion and then a few nights later made it through a hailstorm. We haven’t seen the mother yet, but my sister thinks that she probably comes at night to feed them.
I moved my corn plot to the other end of the garden and won’t need this plot for about another month or so (we are planting the corn in stages), so hopefully the bunnies will be grown and out of the garden by then – of course, they will probably be back to visit and nibble a bit!)
For now, we are loving watching them, and they will go along with our Peter Rabbit unit study perfectly! I love it when the Lord blesses our studies with living examples!
Filed under: Gardening, Nature | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 9, 2009 by Nancy
Flowers ready to be planted, landscape mixes ready to be spread . . .
The first mow of the year . . .
Taking a break to bask in the sunshine . . . and . . .
Popsicles on the front porch.
My small gardens are planted and the big garden is all ready for seeds. I’ll post pictures of them soon.
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