after all that chatting and running on i did the other day, i totally forgot to update you on the garden. i know how everyone loves to see what’s growing in our yard.
well obviously from the photos, it’s time for hydrangeas to populate their globes with little blooms; how i love them in every stage.
first i think the entirely green ones are my very favorite and then they explode into blue-lavender worlds and i think, WOW. just wow.
and then, just when i thought i was sick and tired of pink forever, they transition again and voilà!
i am shown to be glaringly wrong.
this year our hydrangea shrubs are the greenest green, healthy and lush and abundant, but mostly lacking in flowers. each shrub has just one bloom—but what a bloom it is.
in each case almost vulgar in size and perfectness.
i don’t know what happened to the rest of the blooms but i gotta tell you, the ones we have are so spectacular, i don’t even care about the ones we didn’t get.
in fact, the whole garden is in vivid bloom right now, from lilies to green beans, so let me take you on a tour.
first i’ve got photos of the vegetable patch from each of the last three sundays, to compare with previous photos taken on june 19th, less than a month ago
first, when everything was still pretty new, before i left for denver.
then what it looked like upon my return last sunday—we had a lot of rain and cool weather when i was gone but the squash, peppers, and eggplant all had vegetables big enough to pick.
and finally, yesterday; it got hot near the end of last week and the soil was quite a bit more dry. but look at how those marigolds to the left have bloomed out
they are tall and covered with flowers to stand guard over the squash and greens nearby. we’ve eaten several meals so far that include squash—we pick them at a very small size to eat when they are tender and delicate tasting. today i even had enough to share with friends.
speaking of which, the last squash in the row has climbed up into the barrel where i put one of the tomato plants and is using the tomato as a trellis to climb further (the neighbor’s bees love our garden patch).
everything over there is starting to grow into an inseparable tangle; i love it.
these nasturtiums have the prettiest blue-green leaves and bright red flowers, wow.
lavender in a pot at the corner to rub between my fingers whenever i pass by.
while most of the garden looks just beautiful, thanks to david’s careful tending, my chard patch is in dire need of thinning and weeding. i keep thinking i’ll have time to do it “tomorrow” but that extra time just never materializes.
vegetables have the w=sweetest flowers—so delicate they last only hours; a day if we’re lucky.
at the back, the green beans are climbing vigorously up the wire fence and putting out white and purple flowers. at their feet, the bush beans are doing the same and when i peek underneath their broad leaves to take a photo
what do i see but the tenderest of little string beans. in a day or two these will probably be on our plates at dinner, mmm.
the potatoes and carrots populating the remaining back area are starting to take over in a lush jungle of vines and feathery tops. i love when everything fills in like this because it really cuts down on the number of weeds that can grow.
moving toward the front, we see my favorite row of the garden—i love the mix of green (radishes, eggplant), purple (asian eggplant) and gold/brown (marigolds) all in one row. the only thing that could make this better is if the parsnips i planted alongside had germinated, haha.
back up front i see a welcome sight—a pair of nearly ripe early tomatoes. another thing that will be on our dinner plates in a couple of days (i will let them ripen completely on the vine for maximum flavor).
circling around to the front of the house, we are in the middle of lily season. besides a proliferation of day lilies, we have a wide assortment of asiatic lilies with their extravagant flowers and scents.
showy stargazers seem pinker than ever (i feel like they were a lot more white in other years)
and the fuchsia gifted to us by our friend anne marie is thriving under the eves of the front porch.
for now, just keeping the status quo is reward enough, with all that we’ve got on our plates at the moment.
the new work/retail space is coming along nicely; david has finished painting and has begun moving yarn and equipment from the existing office.
on saturday afternoon, he and i took a trip to pittsburgh to procure shop furnishings. we were going to order them online and have them delivered but when we discovered how long that would take, david said we should go pick it up in person. i was a bit dubious about fitting it all in our little car, but he thought we should try. erica betz just laughed and laughed as we drove away . . .
i panicked all the way through the store and mentioned several times that we could still back out, but david kept saying we should try.
i was heartened a bit when we got back out to the parking lot to see a possible plan B in the distance. i texted erica betz with a photo of our haul and she was still laughing.
david started loading the car; i swear he must have emailed someone to ask the exact dimensions of the boxes because the length fit exactly.
and before i knew it, so did everything else. there wasn’t a sliver of space left for sunlight to penetrate and we had to leave the hatchback partly open with bungie cords to hold it, but it was all inside the car anyway.
on the way to and fro, i knit on david’s hat and by the time we got home, it was done except for weaving in the ends, which i did this morning.
the pattern is proofed and ready to go as soon as we can get some nice photos (hopefully tomorrow!)
yesterday was sunday, which means a long morning run for me. i wish i had gotten out earlier, but i go to bed too late to be up at dawn. i need to train for some upcoming long races, but still nursing an overly tight hip muscle, so i have to be careful. it’s slowly getting back to normal and this weekend i did my longest run in a while with good results.
we were having friends over for dinner (i love using our new kitchen and living space for this purpose!) so when i got home and showered, i got to work on baking a pie. while i’ve been pretty happy with the gluten free crusts based on my own pastry recipe, i’ve been so happy with the results from the america’s test kitchen gluten free cookbook that i tried their recipe this time.
first i made the filling—black and blue berry—using a standard filling recipe with a bit of thickener, sugar, lemon juice and orange peel.
i made sure ahead of time that i had all the ingredients listed for the dough, though i did substitute their second favorite flour for the blend they recommend (i will make that at a future date). it was a very hot and muggy afternoon which made for some gooey dough, but i managed to get it in the pan with a fluted crust without losing my enthusiasm for the project, haha.
they don’t actually list a crumb topping for pie in the book so i tried their apple crisp topping
which is made from a blend of toasted oats and nuts ground to a flour along with gluten free flour, butter and sugar. it was really tasty, perfect for apple crisp alright, though more crunchy than i prefer for pie. i’ll have to find another crumb top to use; maybe there’s a crumb cake topping i can use . . .
anyway the pie turned out lovely, didn’t it?
mark just lit up with delight when he saw it, haha (sorry, i couldn’t resist that photo).
the filling ran a bit because it was still warm, but it set up wonderfully once it was cool. next time i’ll remember to start earlier . . . these leftovers were much appreciated at knitting class this afternoon.
and speaking of this afternoon, today it was back to work for all of us. the first USA shipment of our purple club went to the post office this afternoon—that’s a lotta packages, right? tomorrow we are doing the photo shoot with the projects and on thursday, the patterns will be ready to download. i don’t know who’s more excited, us or our clubbies.
we are just about sold out for this club but we do have a few spots left; you can still get in on the fun if you act now.
being monday, sarah was moving a bit slow today—that is until larry, our beloved UPS guy pulled up with a double shipment of yarn.
first, boxes of cotton to restock our online store; if there’s a color you’ve been waiting on, emily and erica will have it restocked by tomorrow afternoon.
there are also a few new goodies in this batch—a chunky, super soft textured cotton yarn that will be delicious for simple cowls, scarves, and hats.
i’ll let sarah tell you all about that in her ravelry cotton KAL when she opens some of the packages.
and as if that weren’t enough goodness for one day, there were several MORE boxes of new yarn from another direction entirely—this time the fingering weight of our newest addition to the stone soup family, in travertine. this is the first brown we are adding to the stone soup line; we’re hoping to do a couple of shades in this more golden brown. isn’t it lovely? the caramel and white speckles just knock my socks off.
today our friend bil came over to put all the shop furniture together (bil likes to put ikea furniture together). i think we’ll be ready very soon to do an unveiling. so sit tight and we’ll be back with you in a few days; happy week ahead!