Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Game of Thornes: Rose Rosette Disease

My yellow Knockout roses are blooming like crazy, but they could be doomed. Five other KO bushes have already died, victims of the dreaded Rose Rosette disease. Until recently, I didn't know this scourge existed, but it's been around since the 1940s. It was rarely seen until decades later, when Knockout roses became an ubiquitous--and beloved--feature in gardens. And why not?

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Cake Party for Exhausted People

For the last few years, I've pretty much lived in a state of exhaustion, the kind that cries out for Geritol and afternoon naps. Last fall, a heart arrhythmia wore me to a frazzle, and I just couldn't cook or entertain like I had in the past. But I come from a long line of stubborn Southern women, the kind who refuse let go of the things we love. And food is one of those loves. It's nourishment, yes, but it's also fraught with emotions.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Secret Garden

"Sometimes since I've been in the garden I've looked up through the trees at the sky and I have had a strange feeling of being happy as if something was pushing and drawing in my chest and making me breathe fast."
--Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

 Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else. Last night, a storm knocked out our Internet, but the cable guy repaired everything before I could drive to a place that offered free Wi-Fi (I was hoping Dunkin Donuts would). Later today, I plan to do a little gardening, applying lots of insect repellent. Would you believe I've already been bitten by two ticks?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Late April on the Hilltop


Late April on the hilltop: sunlight on the grass and dappled light in the trees.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else. This week brought summery weather, and I just couldn't stay indoors another second. I attended a tree identification seminar. (I've still got a long, long way to go until I can identify doodly squat.)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Each week, I enjoy looking at your contributions to Foodie Friday and Everything Else. Your photographs, words, ideas, and recipes take me far away from my hilltop, and suddenly we're in your kitchen, eating chocolate cake, or we're walking around your garden. These visits are a pleasure and an honor. Thanks to you, I'm always learning, always growing. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Good Time Was Had By All

I was sitting by the window, watching birds and drinking hot tea, when the mischievous visitors showed up. They usually comes in pairs--a Super-Squirrel and his cheerleader. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dogwood Winter

From my window, the wisteria makes the yard seem surreal, as if the pale purple flowers have strayed from a fairy tale. It would begin Once upon a time, an evil sorceress planted a magical tree, but she didn't want anyone to touch it, so she sent a bitter cold snap, forcing the peasants to stay indoors.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Welcome to  Foodie Friday and Everything Else. We've had a windy week on the hilltop. I'm looking forward to calmer weather, and I bet you are, too. 

Potting Shed Progress

Just a little pottering update. I added an old enamel-topped table. Eventually, I may move the table to the solid wall and add shelves--this idea was given to me by the owner of the most famous shed in the South, if not the world, Mary at Home Is Where the Boat Is. Thanks, Mary!. For now, I'm using old wooden crates.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Slice of Life: Wind


 
Another rip-roaring storm moved through middle Tennessee, with gusts up to 54 miles per hour. We're under a storm warning until 6:15 PM. But it's not as bad as last weekend: the wind knocked down a heavy outdoor chandelier and ripped loose some wires. Scary times until the fixture was repaired Monday.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Container Gardening for Cooks

When I dream about kitchen gardens, I imagine the lush raised beds in the film It's Complicated.  It's one of those fairy tale gardens, casting a spell over all who enter. Anyone who saw that movie is still spell-bound in some way. But what if space is limited? What if you don't have 25 hours a day to pull weeds (or have a full-time gardener)? What if you have a physical infirmity, and you cannot traipse out to a garden when you need a tomato? A container garden on your back porch may be the answer.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Mrs. Antsy Pants Makes a Pizza Garden


 When it's too cold to plant outside, the antsy gardener will not be deterred. She must DO something, and it must involve digging. She gets it in her mind to make a portable herb garden, so off she goes to the local package store. However, it's a cold April day, and the inventory is skimpy.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

It's time to party at Foodie Friday and Everything Else. 
What have you been up to this week? Me, I'm waiting for April 15th, the traditional planting time in the mid-South. Our weather has skidded all over the place--a warm, sunny day is followed by wind, rain, and cold snaps. During this in-between time, I've kept busy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Kitchen Garden in Late March

When I first saw the ranchburger, I was drawn to the fenced garden area. It had three raised beds (the herb garden was in the middle) and a small orchard. After we moved, my husband claimed the first bed. Earlier this month, he planted cold weather crops.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Temperature of Happiness

Did you know that happiness has an actual temperature? According to the American Meteorological Society, we are happiest when the mercury hits 57 degrees Fahrenheit. After being cooped up all weekend, I wasn't sad, but I wasn't dancing in the street. I was in a neutral mood, ready for breakfast and an hour of journal writing. Then, as I sipped coffee, I glanced out the window.

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