November 1, 2010
I’ve started to make a bit of a tradition out of Halloween pumpkin carving w/ kiddo. A review of last year’s Halloween post showed we had more pumpkins, and I took a more of a leading role in the carving. This year, kiddo did them all….I just cleaned out the insides and roasted the seeds.
We only had three carved ones this year. Kiddo did one “freestyle”, the others following a pattern. Must say he’s getting the hang of things. Only one type of pumpkins seeds this year – the more savory with a touch of garlic olive oil, garlic salt, hint of pepper. These came out quite well. My kitchen tho, did not fare as well. Apparently, I attacked the scraping out the insides with a fury. Bits of pumpkin flew everywhere. Must have needed to work out some aggression or something…dunno.
What better place to spend Mother’s Day than Mom’s garden
May 10, 2010
One of my first blog posts was called Where it all begin. In it I talked about *my* first garden. But honestly, where my love of gardening and gardening experiences began were in the gardens of my Mom and my Grandma.
At the same time there’s bits and pieces of my influence- the corydalis lutea given to me by an on-line friend and shared with mom; the daylilies from an order I placed one winter as my life was about to change. I’d used Mom’s garden as a nursery bed during that time of upheaval in my life. Splits of these daylilies are spread around her yard, found homes in my subsequent garden but still have a home in this “temporary bed” by Mom’s vegetable garden 12 years later. Unfortunately, over time the plant tags for the daylilies have disappeared- hoping later this season I will recognize them – or at least be able to make notes of bloom time, height, and color, so I can divide and move pieces into my new garden.
On this trip I did dig up a few clumps of corydalis, and several of Mom’s ferns (including this one which had made it’s way out of the border), and was fascinated by the fiddleheads in the process.
I’ll take lessons from the side of the house where Mom says she doesn’t mess with – letting the plants spread as they may. Lesson one – I found the green white color scheme soothing, calming. It is one I will use in my own garden. Lesson two – skip the Snow in the Mountain, which is probably the influence behind the let the plants go attitude.
Left Mom’s with the car loaded to the brim with the spoils of our Mother’s Day adventures, two garden centers (Gurnee Garden Center and Jamaican Gardens), a stop by Wadsworth Feed and Saddlery for alfalfa pellets and cocoa hulls, a bucket of ferns in the back seat and Mom’s Corydalis tucked in the right corner.
When I arrived home, planted the ferns and potted up the smaller divisions. Made me smile this morning as I left for work to see these pieces of “home” waiting for their new spot in my current home.
Newborn, Natchez, Noshing, Nashville, November
December 6, 2009
Our family had a little something extra to be thankful for this year – my new nephew Jack Stephen. Jack is the first child of my brother. He’s named in memory of my Dad, Jack, and in honor of his maternal grandfather, Stephen. My brother was a confirmed bachelor who hit the jackpot in his mid-40’s when he met his wife, Gina. Smart, fun, beautiful with an incredible family to boot. Really none of us could have asked for more. So, this year for Thanksgiving, we loaded up the car, put the bikes on the rack and set out on the 10 hour drive to celebrate with Jeff and Gina’s family and new son down in Nashville. And celebrate we did.
Gina’s Aunt is a great hostess and great cook. As with many great cooks, they have friends who are equally good cooks adding to the fun. What a feast we had – a foodie’s heaven! Two turkeys, one oven roasted, one smoked, two kinds of stuffing – including Gina’s family recipe of an italian sausage and bread stuffing that was almost addicting.
More and more food kept appearing on the tables….a couple of different sweet potatoes, the most amazing layered jello salad, several versions of cranberries, I loved the cranberry ginger chutney. Wines of the day were Pine Ridge Chenin/Vognier, Edna Valley Chardonnay, and Ponzi Pinot Noir. Blue Moon Honey Moon was available for the beer lovers. A bottle of Woodford Reserve was around. (any guesses what hubby and I were responsible for bringing). I forgot to get a picture of the dessert table – but it was equally impressive – two kinds of pumpkin pie, pecan pies. All so yummy.
Thank goodness with all that eating, we’d brought the bikes. Got in several good rides. A couple around Nashville in the Oak Hill/Belmont areas. But the most memorable was a ride along the Natchez Trace. Beautiful and challenging with the continual rolling hills.
Discovered that I’m a bit of a wimp riding over this famous bridge over Hwy 96. Heading out I stayed a decent distance from the edge. Coming back, a crosswind had blown up, and I was scared to death. Rode at almost the center of the road. Even once we got across and I got off the bike to take these pictures I never was able to stand next to the rail. Just a bit too freaked out.
The nice weather also provided an opportunity for a walk around Radner Lake.
Ended the weekend with a celebration of Mom’s birthday. A great trip, wonderful meeting Jack and spending time with family. Enough to wear a guy out!
Growing up in *the* Garden
July 29, 2009
In my grand mental list of possible Blog topics, I have “write about the Missouri Botanic Garden”, and “tell people about the great plant database MOBOT provides”. However, as I looked through pictures last evening, I realized that I had a photo essay of my son growing up within The Garden.
The Garden, with emphasis upon “the”, is how I always thought of the botanic garden. I was a member, frequently took classes, and made a point of trying to visit in all seasons each year for inspiration. A gem in the city center of St Louis, MO. The Missouri Botanic Garden or MOBOT, along with the zoo, Forest Park/The Muny, the City Museum and a few garden centers/nurseries are the things I miss about living in greater St. Louis. While I frequently say it is not a place I want to live again, these are places I will go back to visit again and again over the years.
However, the real beauty and value of MOBOT is the draw for the both the gardener and non-gardener alike, young or old. Visit any June weekend, and you will see bridal party after bridal party doing photo shoots around the grounds; families walking the grounds, photographers looking for the perfect shot, couples strolling arm in arm oblivious to their surroundings. A hodge podge of people there for a hodge podge of reasons.
We first visited when my son was not quite two, and moved to Milwaukee when he was 8. Over our many visits, he developed some favorite areas of the garden. The Kemper Center was a first favorite. This area with it’s test garden, urban gardens, expanse of perennials is the spot within The Garden to bring the grandeur and splendor of the whole botanic garden down to the scale of the typical home landscape. It provides a help desk for both the homeowner frustrated with lawn care or the avid gardener with tomato blight. But for a child it also provides some great interactive fountains to captivate the young ones and draw them into the garden.
The grouping of stone sheep became a favorite photo stop on our visits. Funny how in the first visit, he is on the small sheep, but on the New Years Day visit with his big sis, had progressed to the full size version.
As he grew, other areas of the garden began to draw my son. The Victorian maze was a must visit spot.
The koi in the Japanese garden with their giant mouths brought smiles to both of us. And a requirement that I came prepared with quarters for the fish food machine!
The advantage to me was I never had to beg him to visit the garden. If I needed a bit of inspiration, a dose of beauty, or just a calming walk through this familiar place, at any age, my son jumped at the chance to accompany me. And this was before they built the actual “children’s garden”. A little bit of icing on the cake.
Finding this photo journey of my son’s growth while we lived in St Louis has been great. Even better this reminder of him with his beloved “Papa”, my Dad, who died from prostate cancer in December 2006, 5 months to the day after this photo was taken. One of the last days together before we knew how sick he was. How appropriate the day was spent in one of our favorite places!