Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring is in the air

We have been getting some nice rainfall which is helping to green up the grass and rejuvenate the garden. It also comes in handy after the dry winter we have had. Hopefully, the precipitation will help the newly planted tomatoes establish a nice root system. The showers are one sign of Spring. Here are few more I have noticed....

Several bluebonnets have been spotted in the backyard and around town.


 The Sweet Peas are starting to flower.


The Cyclamen from last year are blooming.


My favorite sign of Spring though is Miss Wren sitting in her nest. 



Happy Spring!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fabulous (New) Foliage Follow-Up

After debating what to plant in shade bed at the back of the house I finally decided on Mahonia 'Soft Caress', Japanese Aralia, a small Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum) and Creeping Jenny. I always try to do my due diligence and research a plant before planting and I happened to have a wonderful resource in a local Texas garden blogger, Pam Penick from Digging, who had featured the Mahonia and Japanese Maple on her blog. It is nice to know how a plant will perform in your area. The established Autumn Ferns were planted in a circle in anticipation of planting a tree in the middle. Please excuse the lovely garden hose we are using as edging in the "before" picture.

BEFORE:



AFTER:


As you can see this area gets dappled light and it only gets morning sun. In the afternoon it is in full shade.

Japanese Aralia

I love the large, glossy leaves on the Aralia. They remind me of a houseplant.


Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum)

 The Japanese Maple should be beautiful when it turns red in the Fall.


Mahonia 'Soft Caress'

 The Mahonia resembles Cousin Itt and is doing a great job catching the leaves from the Oak trees. While researching this plant I found out it is related to Nandina. Hopefully, with its soft foliage it will be just as tough.


Chocolate Ball Stonecrop Sedum

 I was smitten with this Stonecrop from the second I saw it. It has a coppery, red color to it and is extremely delicate. I was thinking of planting it between flagstone, however I think I might have rethink that decision. It looks like a plant that might stand up to our Texas heat in the Summer. I guess I will find out:)


Thank you to Pam Penick for hosting Foliage Follow-Up. This past Winter I definitely realized how important evergreen foliage is to a garden.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The not so unlimited salad


The Winter salads are coming to an end. The lettuce is bolting and becoming bitter. I have some Arugula that is still growing, however most of the space in the garden has been cleared for Mater planting time.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Oxalis Rainbow

The last few days have been rainy and cold, however there are little signs of Spring in the garden. For instance, the Oxalis are lush and in full bloom. The plant is a pass along from my Grandmother's garden. The bright pink blooms bring me so much joy and remind me of how my Grandmother loved gardening.

Oxalis

Friday, February 21, 2014

Swiss Chard in a Tomato and Garlic Broth

There has been lots of P&W (Pruning and Weeding) around here, needless to say there is also lots of sore muscles. The Winter garden is coming to an end and it is time to harvest some of the veggies and herbs. 


 Kale, Swiss Chard and Broccoli.


Parsley, Dill, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Cilantro in the Herb Garden.


Today I gathered a bowl full of Swiss Chard for my lunch. My standard way to prepare Chard is by sautéing it, I prefer to save the tender small leaves for a salad.

Rainbow Swiss Chard

I'm sure there are a thousand different ways to prepare this nutritional vegetable, however this is my favorite recipe.


Swiss Chard in a Tomato and Garlic Broth
1 bunch of Swiss Chard, rinsed and chopped into large pieces
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves of Garlic, finely sliced
1 8 oz can of Tomato Sauce
1 1/2 cups of Chicken broth
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika 

In a saute pan, over medium heat, add olive oil. Add finely chopped garlic and cook until the garlic turns a toasty, brown color. Add in the chicken broth, tomato sauce and smoked paprika. Stir ingredients until they are combined. Turn heat up to medium high and cook until broth starts to boil. Add in chard and turn heat down to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. 
Serve with crusty french bread and garnish with parmesan cheese.
Enjoy!


 Even though I made this side dish my lunch, it also goes nicely with some Roasted Chicken and Mac and Cheese. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year! A look back at 2013

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2014.

Here is a look back at some of my favorite photos from 2013.

Cyclamen 



Little bee with heart shaped wings on Broccoli. 



Pipevine Butterfly on Vinca



Ground Orchids in bloom




Bee on Pincushion flower


Passionflower with Bumble Bee



Artichoke Bloom




Lily of the Nile, Penta and Potato Vine

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Print available at http://besmallstudios.com/


Image via http://inspirationlane.tumblr.com/