Wild Thing

wild_thing_april_2016The wildflower patch continues to produce surprises. You never know exactly what’s going to come up, and in what quantities. I’ve been fascinated by this particular flower, for example, which seems to be constructed out of several smaller flowers! What a wonder, and of course, there’s just one example of its parent plant in the entire patch, so once it is gone, it’s gone.

-cvj Click to continue reading this post

Wild

wild_flowers_March_2016I got a lot of plants and seeds into the ground early this year, so they got the benefits of some of the rain we had, and got in a good amount of growing before the relentless heat begins. Here is part of a patch of wildflowers that have been putting on a generous display these last several weeks. It has been great to enjoy them with the whole family too – the young gentleman is a big fan of flowers of all kinds.

-cvj Click to continue reading this post

When Life Hands You…

When life hands you tomatoes, red onions, a little bit of garlic, ginger, some cardamom pods, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, and a pinch of paprika… make chutney! (It’s about as easy as lemonade, actually.)

chutney_10_mar_2016_montage

Oddly, a carmello tomato plant that had been struggling a bit during the Summer took rather well to the late Fall and Winter months, loved the rain, and kept producing more and more tomatoes. They were all green on the plant for a long while, and then we had a return to some long stretches of sun that […] Click to continue reading this post

Secret Pie

Yesterday’s secret pie. I tried to make it secretly over the course of the day while making a batch of bread at the same time, but my cover was blown when rolling out the pastry in the evening, which is too hard to hide. (Click for larger view.)

steak_onion_mushroom_etc_pie_small

It’s a large (so hopefully will last for a few days) pie of primarily steak, carrots, mushrooms and onions, flavored with herbs (bay leaves*, rosemary, thyme) and tomatoes from the garden. I wonder if this is one of the nine kinds favored by the wielder of the purple crayon? (Yes, children’s book references riddle my discourse these days…)

Roughly finished, but very delicious (I’m happy to report), it reminds me very […] Click to continue reading this post

Red and Round…

red_tomatoes_aug_2015

Some more good results from the garden, after I thought that the whole crop was again going to be prematurely doomed, like last year. I tried to photograph the other thing about this year’s gardening narrative that I intend to tell you about, but with poor results, but I’ll say more shortly. In the meantime, for the record here are some Carmello tomatoes and some of a type of Russian Black […] Click to continue reading this post

To Fill a Mockingbird

baby_mocking_birds_1Meanwhile, here at the Aviary (as we’re calling the garden because of the ridiculously high level of bird activity there has been in the last few months) there has been some interesting news. Happy news, some would say. This is hard for me since it is all about my arch-nemesis (or one of them) the Mockingbird. Many hours of sleep have been damaged because of them (they do their spectacular vocal antics during both night and day – loudly), and there seems to be more and more of them each year. I’ve been known to go outside (in various stages of undress) in the wee hours of the morning and thrash long sticks at parts of trees to chase persistent offenders away.

Well, we’d noticed that a particular spot in a hedge was being visited regularly some weeks back, and guessed that there might be a nest in there. Then one day last week, two juvenile mockingbirds emerged, practicing their flying! I knew immediately what they were since they have the same markings, but their feathers still have those fluffy/downy clumpiness in places, and of course they were not nearly as acrobatic as their adult counterparts. They hung out on […] Click to continue reading this post

Warm…

So far, the Summer has not been as brutal in the garden as it was last year. Let’s hope that continues. I think that late rain we had last month (or earlier this month?) helped my later planting get a good start too.

This snap of a sunflower was taken on a lovely warm evening in the garden the other day, after a (only slightly too) hot day…

sunflower_june_2015

-cvj Click to continue reading this post

A Mother’s Day Flower

Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers in my life, to all others, and especially to the wonderful mother who recently made me a father! Thanks for all that you do every day.

techniflower

After a recent bit of rain this single spectacular bloom was poking out from the undergrowth, in a seldom-tended part of the garden. So vivid! It almost looks like I’ve done some sort of enhancement to the colours and contrast post-photo. But I have not.

-cvj Click to continue reading this post