Reveling in Spring!

Wild dogwood tree in our back yard

Wild dogwood tree in our back yard

It’s planting time!

Wild birdsfoot violets in the front yard

Wild birdsfoot violets in the front yard

I haven’t had a garden the past couple of years, and this year the urge is irresistible.  I’m starting with a micro garden in Earth Boxes.  Later I’ll get the raised beds cleaned up, reinstall the irrigation system, and plant them, too.

I also got pink caladiums and pink and white oriental lilies planted in a 3′ x 3′ planter.  Almost everything I plant has to be in raised beds as our ground is solid clay and white quartz rocks.

The trip to Coleman Lake tamed the cabin fever monster, so now we are back to our original travel plan for this year.  Camp within an hour of home for a week once a month and get all of our bills except the mortgage paid off in October!

Wild Stars of Bethlehem after an encounter with the lawn mower

Wild Stars of Bethlehem after an encounter with the lawn mower

We are planning to meet up with friend Peggy for 3 days in late April at a state park in NE Georgia.

I’m planning to get the Casita washed and shined next week as Peggy has never seen it.  🙂

I have lots more planting to do.  The seeds I started a few weeks ago should be ready to go into the ground next week.

This is the most heady, glorious season of the year!

Wild crabapple blossom

Wild crabapple blossom

Dianthus in Earth Box by the back door

Dianthus in Earth Box by the back door

Earth Boxes with radicchio, peppers and patio tomatoes. I have a total of 10 Earth Boxes.

Earth Boxes with radicchio, peppers and patio tomatoes. I have a total of 10 Earth Boxes.

I planted pink and purple impatiens around the hosta pot.

I planted pink and purple impatiens around the hosta pot.

 

 

 

This poor hosta has been in the same big pot for several years, and faithfully comes back each spring.  Maybe this fall I'll remember to divide it.  :)

This poor hosta has been in the same big pot for several years, and faithfully comes back each spring. Maybe this fall I’ll remember to divide it. 🙂

 

The square foot gardens-to-be

The square foot gardens-to-be

 

Lunch with the Girls, Bracken Fiddleheads & Luna Moth

Lunch with the girls. Left to right are Evelyn, Teressa and Julie.

Yesterday I met with friends at the Square in Carrollton.  We had such a wonderful time together.   We did decide that we are going to have to do it a lot more often.

After I got home, Ron and I went out to dinner, then shopping.  I found three beautiful blouses at Goody’s.  Very unusual as I have an almost impossible to fit shape that is a mixture of petite and normal.

Then we went to Walmart for Easter Basket supplies.

Bracken fiddlehead beginning to unfurl

I’m planning to make baskets for a neighbor who is single and doesn’t have family to celebrate with, and for Ron… just because everyone needs an Easter Basket on Easter!

I still have to decorate eggs this afternoon — something I haven’t done in many years!

In between trips, I wandered around the property to spot new wild edibles.  The bracken fiddleheads are up now.  Ron and I used to love them.  They turn a beautiful burgundy color when cooked and taste just like asparagus.

However, I’ve read a lot of material on how carcinogenic they are–enough that it has scared me away from enjoying them anymore.  But Samuel Thayer, who is the modern day wild edible plant expert, who has studied and thoroughly debunked many wild food myths, states that the carcinogens are no worse than those in grilled meat, potato chips or coffee.  The plant does become poisonous after the green fronds begin unfurling, though, so if you experiment, make sure the fiddleheads are still all gray colored.

Bracken fiddlehead

Nevertheless, I think I would only eat them if I were truly hungry.  But I still get excited when I see them emerging from last years dead bracken fern. (For more information, see the quote at the end of this post.)

The little wild strawberries are plentiful, but the ones along the edge of our property grow among young poison ivy plants.  Very fortunately neither Ron nor I are affected by poison ivy.  But I have read that can change, so I still am very cautious around them.

Wild strawberries and poison ivy growing together

Last night we got home pretty late.  I was in the kitchen and heard something hitting the kitchen window.  It was a huge luna moth trying to get closer to the light.  So I went outside and turned the deck light on to attract him to the wall so I could get a photo of him.   It worked!  Here is a photo of it next to a smaller, “normal” sized moth.

Luna moth

And finally, I just want to post a picture of a beautiful hosta that has lived in this same pot for 9 or 10 years.   It has survived drought and all the difficulties of container growing and still emerges beautiful and unscathed every year.

It also has beautiful blooms when I remember to pamper it with liquid organic bloom booster fertilizer.

Note:  Further information that puts the carcinogenic properties of bracken fern in perspective:

“Bracken fern contains a chemical, ptaquiloside, that is known to be carcinogenic to mammals in high doses. The International Agency for Research on Cancer places it in the same risk category as coffee and sassafras. This doesn’t mean that if you eat bracken you’ll die of cancer; many things that we commonly eat contain carcinogenic chemicals, such as char-broiled meat, potato chips, and all smoked foods. I still occasionally eat bracken fiddleheads.” — Samuel Thayer

Hosta - a long term container resident

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