Sunday, April 05, 2009

And so it begins

Spring, that is. Yes, dear friends, spring has finally arrived here in Downeast Maine. The huge snowbanks are melting quickly these days and wee bits of green are emerging from the soil to greet the sun ever higher in the sky.

And the sleepy plants aren't the only ones to enjoy the warmer days. Even though there may still be snowbanks surrounding us, we Mainers take every opportunity to sit outside on sunny days.

A couple of days ago, we had a 50 degree, sunny day and I took the opportunity to do a bit of cleanup in the perennial beds. I raked piles of leaves out of the sunny side, but they were still frozen in the shady side. There is still so much work to do!

I've begun starting a few seeds. I saved all of the cardboard egg cartons over the winter and use them to sprout seeds. These have Italian Parsley in them and the directions said to keep them in the dark until they sprout, therefore, they are sitting in the closet as I write.

The Genovese Basil has already sprouted!

Whenever a bit of Jade plant drops off, I can't bring myself to toss it into the compost pile and now, I've got another "orphan" to find a home for.

Last year, I trimmed the Schefflera at the Clinic and rooted the trimmings. I gave all the ladies in the Clinic one and kept the runt of the litter for myself. The "runt" has grown quite nicely!

I over wintered the tradescantia "Purple Queen" in the background and it will be ready to set out around June.

Since most of the days are still chilly and rainy, I've been doing lots of baking, as well. I had a bunch of bananas in the freezer, so it was time to make Banana Bread again. However, since I like to experiment with recipes, I deviated a wee bit and added some good Ghiradelli cocoa, substituted dark roast coffee for the water, whole wheat for half the flour and voila!, I had a luscious Mocha Banana Loaf.

I was going to put in some grated orange rind too, but I forgot. Oh, well, maybe next time.

I also made pita bread for the first time. What fun that was to watch the dough puff up in the oven.

The recipe is from the "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" book. I then cut the pita breads in half and each half into triangles, sprayed them with olive oil and baked them til crisp. Sprinkled with Seasoned Salt, they made a wonderful chip for dips!

The boys have been very good all winter long, so we got them a little surprise the last time we went to the pet store. They love their new perch and so far, have been sharing the top seat quite nicely.

Life is Good!

Hugs, Giddy


Kerri said...

Life certainly does sound good at your place, Giddy. Isn't it wonderful to have a little taste of warmth? Not too much all at once, mind you. Mother Nature doesn't want to spoil us it seems, so she gave us a frigid wind, rain and even a bit of snow yesterday. The sun shone this afternoon though, and the temps were warm enough for the crocuses to open their petals to let the bees in.
I sewed Italian parsley today, among other things :)
The Schefflera has such beautiful leaves, and I love the color of the Purple Queen.
Those boys sure are lucky to have such a nice new perch. I wonder how our girls would like one of those. We now have 3 house kitties since our daughter reluctantly brought Hannah, the city cat, back to the farm (it's a story for a post). She's settling in nicely.
Enjoy your garden!

Zoey said...

How exciting it must have been to be able to get outside and start your clean up. I know exactly what you mean about having tons to do. I haven't been out, but I think it will be soon.

I have had two bananas in the freezer since December that I keep planning to bake into something. . . maybe this weekend. I still have to eat the cookies I froze a few weeks ago. I had the urge for a sweet and just pulled a peanut butter cookie from the freezer. It was quite tasty. I do love having a freezer full of tasty tidbits.

Happy Spring, Giddy! I hope I can join you soon with my rake.

Giddy said...

Dear Kerri and Zoey,

I sit here, unable to move. My day of cleaning up the planting beds today have left me a helpless wreck. All my muscles are screaming in pain! Thank goodness it's going to rain for the next couple of days. Perhaps I'll recover by then.

gnome cicerone said...

It's almost time to get my flowerpots in. Lots of blooms on the trees and daffs are up!!! Taking two teaspoons of local honey each day and it really helps my allergies. First time I tried that.

I take gnomes on adventures, and then post the picts. Lots of fun! Hope you can pass the word around and stop by. Maybe a gnome friend of yours would like to come along sometime.

Cheers and happy spring.

Anonymous said...

Our weather kind of went backward this week, didn't it, Giddy? I see that you got lots more rain than we did last night and more wind. I can still see snow when I look toward the woods, but the grass is turning green in the yard.

I have a rolling pin just like that!

Becca said...

I also saved many an egg carton (and TP roll) for seed starting, though I have had less success with the egg cartons. I manage to kill everything about 3 days after it comes up. Oh well.

I put my purple queen out too early, and she froze. I was told it would grow back in spring (zone 6a-5b) but I guess I should have waited until after the last frost to put it outside again.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Giddy, I sort of wandered into your blog via someone elses (not sure where I was!), and I've really enjoyed reading the posts. I too have a gnome name - and a black cat (Ceefer Cat!)

Your mocha banana bread sounds scrummy - must try that version of it soon!!! If it keeps raining like it's been doing here all day, I'll make banaba bread tomorrow - 'cos I sure as heck won't get in the garden!