observations, ideas and inspiration... from my pennsylvania home, garden, kitchen, and studio

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Flowers on Parade ~ Part Uno

Peonies that I have from my Grandparent's house

This morning was gorgeous here in PA. We have a stream (Pittsburgher's call them "Criks") that runs below our house here on the hill that has lots of locust trees and wild roses blooming around it. The air had a thick and heady sweet smell, just as I imagine heaven to smell like. Wish I could can it up for those cold winter days!

I am always surprised by how fast spring comes and goes. Here we are with Memorial Day past and before you know it fireworks will be lighting up the sky.

I have a little garden journal that I never seem to have time to write in except a few entries during the spring. Thank goodness I have this blog so that I can go back during a slow time (ha ha ha) and fill in the blanks. Last year in June I did a "Garden Tour for a Cure" with a bunch of other bloggers. I had taken photos of my garden and 40th birthday party and somehow (hmmmm) the whole bunch got deleted. The day before the tour I went to my mom's house and took photos of her garden but never had a chance to go back and retake mine. I've got a lot missing in the journal from last year. That's one reason I'm adding these. The other is I've got bloggers block and this gives me something to post about.

There is so much going on right now it’s hard to know where to focus the eye, or the camera but I think I got most of it or at least most of what I want to remember. Today I'm posting pictures of my "Sunny Garden" and later this week I'll add in the "Woodland Garden".

Mountain Bluets (Centaurea Montana) Love these shaggy blue flowers...they re-seed everywhere.

Blue delphiniums always make me smile

An old fashioned single rose growing up through the dogwood (can't remember her name?)

This peony is part of the graph of one of the tree peonies. It split away from it's host...a nice surprise.

Pink Foxglove...A mother's day present from my mom.

Rosa Rugosa smells wonderful

A favorite for the bees and the cats....Catmint "Nepeta Walkers Low"

Lady's Mantle and Hardy Geraniums

An old pink rhododendron...one of the few plants I kept when we moved into our home

Thought I lost this rose when the tree fell on our house last year. "Rosa Ballerina", she's a hardy little thing!

In front of my new studio ~ still so much work to do there.
As I always like to tell Dino "A garden has a beginning and a middle but never an end." Now back to work for me here. Thanks always for visiting! xoxo Jenn

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blissful Days

Spring is nature's way of saying,"Let's Party!"

~Robin Williams

That's my little bumble bee up there in her school play yesterday. It was adorable.

Oh what a beautiful spring morning we've had. I can't believe it's the end of the school year already. Looking forward to lazy summer days. I've been running around like a chicken with it's head cut off lately. I'm determined to go outside today in the garden so I'll keep this short and share a few photos with you....just like show and tell. Have a happy day! xoxox

My sweet friend Audrey from 1824 Antiques trying to take my picture.

We had a great turn out for the Spring Open House.
Lots of Goodies!
You can see more pictures here

The 2nd Grade Concert...Lydia left front row next to the boy in the yellow suit.
Happy Birthday Shelly! My dearest friend. She's 29 again...

And of course a recipe for the busy day.

Spinach Quiche

1 Pie Crust
1/2 pound Bacon ~ fried and crumbled
4 Eggs
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
5oz Spinach
1 Small Onion ~ chopped
1/2 Can Evaporated Milk

Press crust into a pie pan. Saute' onion in butter. Add eggs and milk to a large bowl and mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients plus salt and pepper to taste. Pour into pie shell and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Friday, May 15, 2009

"Gardening requires lots of water -- most of it in the form of perspiration"

Sorry I've been so neglectful this last week. My friend at 1824 Antiques is having a Spring Open House this weekend and I've been sewing sewing sewing! I'll post some pictures Monday and give you the low down ~ it should be fun!

Above is a doll I just finished for the show. She has crazy flax hair under her hat and is wearing a stained dress.

She was inspired by every gardener that loses them self in their work.

"Gardening is a kind of disease. It infects you, you cannot escape it. When you go visiting, your eyes rove about the garden; you interrupt the serious cocktail drinking because of an irresistible impulse to get up and pull a weed." ~Lewis Gannit

Last week while in the garden, Dino took Lydia to her dance class for me. I'm sure it's the last place he wants to be with all the moms and little girls. When they came home it was dark and I was planting rocks by the porch light. Unbeknownst to me, my hair that was neatly pulled back in braids before, had now come out ~ just on one side of course ....who has time for hair?? Dino is like "You are a sight, have you seen yourself lately?" "You look crazy." "And yet for some reason I'm oddly attracted by it" Ha ~ that's true love, must have been the pheromones. When I saw myself I definitely looked nutty as a fruitcake. Not only was my hair wacky but it was caked with mud on the other side...probably why that braid stayed in. I was wearing this lovely green shirt with holes and shorts with clogs and I'm SURE my legs were shaved. When I'm in that gardening zone an elephant could be sitting in my driveway having tea and I probably wouldn't notice it. If you have an addiction I'm sure you can relate.

Thanks for reading my ramblings....back to work for now. Have a happy weekend!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

"Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends - but only one mother in the whole world."

~Kate Douglas Wiggin

Friday, May 8, 2009

We've Got Sunshine But I'm Praying For Rain....

Some of you may know that when Dino and I were just out of high school we moved to Santa Barbara, CA. We lived there for a little over 2 years and then moved home to be with our immediate family.

While there Dino's Uncle Tom and Aunt "Zia Skinny" gave us everything. They opened their hearts and they opened their homes for us. Sometimes we didn't have money for food and they always warmly welcomed us to their table....more times than I can count.

They are simply the best. It's our home away from home now. Dino and I both dream of owning a little beachy cottage there someday.

Please pray for them and all the other homeowners, the firefighters and for all the people who live in and around Santa Barbara.

The last we heard they had evacuated their home and the fire was less than a mile away. These photos were taken by their son Matt from their rooftop yesterday.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another Rainy Day in PA

"Perfect day for a catnap" says Hannah

She has taken to sleeping in my fabric cupboard. Notice how she made herself a little nest without thought to all my folding. I wish I could sleep that good. Busy day ahead so probably good that it is dreary out. I'm headed to the grocery market then home to sew sew sew ....and maybe a good hot cup of tea. Have a happy day!

"Yea I'm talking about you baby."

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day Wishes and Catching Up ~ Plus Apple Cake!

Happy May Day! What a welcome it is. This is terrible but when I was little I remember stripping the apple trees behind our house of the blossoms and leaving them for our neighbors on May Day. Wonder why they just didn't seem to be as pleased as I felt they should?

The grand opening is today for the Early Work Mercantile Group. Stop by and take a peek at all the talented artists.
I've made a few simple May Day rag dolls named Rose, Violet and Lily of course...

and a wee primitive garden fairy from old scraps.
I can't believe its been over a week since I've wrote. The weather has been lovely and that just puts a little skip in the old giddy-up. Do you get that way? I like to take advantage of it while I've got it. Plus we've had communions, birthdays, reunions etc... May and June weekends are so busy.

My painting in the house is finished for another year (I think) and now have started working on the little garden around my studio shed. It's going to be a cottage garden with lots of flowers and veggies.

Here's a picture right after I finished digging the sod and passing out....its a LOT of work. (No I didn't get a sod cutter, yes I'm too cheap.)

This is as far as I could get before the rain came that afternoon. I've got the "bones" in (bushes and roses). I need to get more rocks for the the patio which will have thyme growing in the crevices once its finished. And that arbor was free from a local sale! Heavenly Blue Morning Glory seeds are planted to grow over it.

There is still a ways to go, if only I had garden fairies.... I will keep you posted and again any suggestions are welcomed...has anyone ever built a cold frame??

I leave you now with this delightful recipe for apple cake. It is wonderful with a hot cup of tea! Have a lovely weekend.

Apple Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspooons baking powder
1/2 cup butter, cut up
1 1/4 cup cooking apples, peeled, cored, & finely chopped...I use 1 giant Granny Smith
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

Butter and flour a 8.5 x 4.5 x 3.75 -inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift flour, sugar & baking powder into large bowl. With pastry blender or knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine meal. (You can use your food processor also ~ just pulse and don't overdo it).

Toss chopped apple in flour mixture and set aside.

In small bowl, whisk together egg & milk until blended. Stir into apple mixture until mixed. Spread batter evenly in dish....batter is thick.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes until skewer inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven. Cool on rack 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan.

You might also like:

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular Posts