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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Anemone explosion, Daffodils March 29, 2015

Welcome, today I am linking with-

Orange You Glad It's Friday  hosted by Maria

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I Heart Macto hosted by Laura

A coy squirrel who enjoys peeking-  "Guess who?"

"I'm a fan"

Spring here is marked by an explosion of Anemones.  They grow from little underground tubers and seem perfectly adapted to the PNW wet and dry seasons.  They start growing in spring, and spread rapidly, so can become large sheets of flowers.

The white ones, Anemone nemorosa, fade pink later.

The purple ones, Anemone nemorosa 'Robinsoniana', will fade to a blue later-

Then when the weather heats up and dries out later, they go dormant and disappear.  This is called being ephemeral, and makes them great for this climate.   During the dry summer and fall it is easy to dig up the little tubers that look like sticks and transplant them to a new area, spacing them out every few inches.

More Daffodils are blooming as well, Sound-



? rose

And finally, another very prolific spring flower that is on my naughty list, Forget-Me-Nots-

They are sweet little flowers until they take over all your beds and end a mildewed mess.  The change from pink to blue is cute, though.    

We chipped 4 bags of wood chips from branches of the fallen Almond of last week today.  I want to make a new rose trellis for some climbers from some of the branches.    I hope spring is soon arriving to the east coast, show us your flowers!    Hannah

Who is like You?

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I appreciate your comments and enjoy visiting your blogs as well.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Titanic fall, Glorious Pulmonaria March 23, 2015

Welcome, today I am linking with-

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I Heart Macro Hosted by Laura

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Wordless Wednesday hosted by NC Sue

Pulmonaria Benedict

First spring greens blooming

I have a monstrous Titan Peach-Almond cross in my yard, which is the tallest pink-blooming tree around, towering over the standard apple tree in front.

I was surprised to see her leaning a few days ago.  We had just had another windstorm.  The root ball was pushing up a mound on the downhill side.  Here is my sweet husband cutting the tree down with his trusty electric chaim saw, which had to have the chain replaced afterward, wearing his leather motorcycle jacket and helmet.

I'm planting peas outside now, Super Sugar Snap, Sugar Snap, Cascadia Snap, Sugar Sprint Snap, and Oregon Sugar Pod II which is a Chinese stir-fry type pea.   I only grow peas with edible pods since I don't see the point in shelling peas when I can eat the whole thing.  I got my plastic rabbit barrier fastened up from last year,  and planted peas along the sides.   I had to use tunnels to keep the ground dry before planting when we had some rain.

The Hellebores are continuing their wonderful bloom, here is a favorite-

The Pulmonarias are coming into bloom as well.  Like the Hellebores, they self-sow so I get delightful hybrids.  
The silver patterns on the leaves are in a wide range until you arrive at the maximum, Excalibur.  The flowers can range from white to pink, blue, and purple-

Under lights, I'm transplanting annuals now, one I haven't grown before that sounds wonderful is
 Ursinia anethoides  Swallowtail Seeds
Fast-growing, bushy 12-15 inch tall South African annual with feathery foliage and masses of long-lasting gazania-like orange flowers that close at night and on cloudy days. Bloom is in summer and fall. Ursinia plants tolerate heat and need little water. 

I got 15 plants from the one pot, it takes some skill to separate the seedlings.  I hope they live up to the description.

My grandchildren like to raise chicks, so this is some of this year's quartet-
Fluff balls
No, I'm king of the roost!
Found my quiet place.
No, I'm cuter.

Little chicks make me think of God's protection, which He likens to a hen gathering her chicks under her wings in Psalm 91, where Moses' confession is found that we can claim to enter the secret place of the Most High God.
Here is an excerpt from a blog writing about the Battle of Dunkirk and Psalm 91-
“C.B. Morelock, a war correspondent in World War II, reported an unexplainable and miraculous occurrence:   Sixty German aircraft strafed more than four hundred men who were pinned down on the sandy Dunkirk beaches without the benefit of anyplace to take cover.  Although the men were repeatedly attacked by machine guns and bombed by enemy aircraft, not one single man was hit.  Every man in that group left that beach without a scratch.  Morelock stated, “I have personally been told by Navy men who picked up those particular survivors from Dunkirk, that the men not only recited Psalm 91, but they shouted it aloud at the top of their lungs!”  ~Peggy Joyce Ruth
Another account of this same incident told about one man rising and seeing his body outlined in the sand with the enemies bullets, and he was untouched.  The beach was covered with bullets but the men were unharmed.
Hannah                              or cameras are macro
©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Grass is Always Greener... March 15, 2015

Today I am linking with-

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, hosted by Carol, to see what is blooming elsewhere join in.

For GBBD,  daffodils have been blooming, as well as hellebores, and new flowers continue to appear, 2-4 weeks earlier than normal.   A tall Camellia shrub seen out of the second story window-

Camellia flower-

Magnolia rubra rusticana is blooming-

My favorite Grape Hyacinth, Muscari latifolia, I love the difference in the upper and lower florets-

Some Euphorbia blooming wth Muscari and Vinca-

Wojo's Gem Vinca, my favorite for the variegated leaves among the Vinca minors now blooming-

In an attempt to reduce the high level of maintenance on my 2 acres which have the gargantuan PNW weed problems of 30' /  9m Himalayan blackberries, thorny Evergreen blackberries, and small but lengthy and persistent native trailing blackberries, with sharp tiny spines good at penetrating gloves, so it is also known as "Vegetable Barbed Wire,"  I have been getting rid of overgrown shrubby growth where the blackberries can hide and turning it all into grass so it can just be mowed.  Here is an area formerly thick with tall blackberry vines and stinging nettle, with Scott's fescue grass mix sown in fall 2013, I chipped 12 bags of blackberry vines here back in the day-

Now I am using a No Mow grass mix from Prairie Nursery, also mostly fescues.  These were spring planted.   I removed dense Thimbleberry bushes here; it required a lot of weeding last summer.  Moles think I planted grass and water just for them-

Another area had many buttercups and weeds growing in a long narrow fenced bed with bean trellises, with so many voles there it was hard to grow anything, but now it can be mowed.  If you want to see how I worked it up, click here.   The grass was fall planted and has been under tunnels all winter to keep the ground warmer.  I'm now in the process of removing the tunnels so I can weed.

Weeds include Artillery weeds, Cardamine hirsuta, AKA Hairy Bittercress, it shoots its ripe seeds; a stoloniferous buttercup,  and the taller, lighter green grass that is coming in competition, the No Mow grass is shorter and darker.

Once I get it weeded and it gets mowed, it will be so much easier to maintain.  What labor-saving ideas have you tried?    Life can be tough, the weeds can be relentless, but faith gets me through the day.

I hope spring is finally coming to those on the east coast.   Hannah

or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy your visits and comments, and I enjoy commenting on your blog as well.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Flower Power March 9, 2014

Welcome to my Spring celebration post, today I am linking with-

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Spring continues to weave its magic early on the west coast.  Here are the blue purple whirligig blooms of Vinca minor, also known as Periwinkle-

More daffodils are blooming, wafting their sweet fragrance-

The plum trees, Beauty and Methley, are valiantly blooming early, I just hope enough bees also wake up early to pollinate them-

The valiant efforts of the little flies that mimic bees are accomplishing some pollination, I can see the tiny fly antennae-

I like the green star at the heart of the flower.  A hummingbird also came by for a sip.

Meanwhile in the house the spotted orchid is blooming again-

And a week ago it was my husband's birthday, we had sugar-free and gluten-free chocolate eclairs in celebration, I neglected to take a photograph but the recipe is-
Puff Pastry
1 cup / 237 ml water
2/3 cup / 85gm rice flour, brown, white, or mixed
1/3 cup / 43gm tapioca flour
2 tsp / 8gm Xanthan Gum
1/4 tsp / 1gm salt
1 stick butter / 8 oz / 112gm butter
4 eggs

Bring the water to a boil, melting the butter in it, then add the mixed flours and stir rapidly until a ball is formed that pulls away from the sides of the pan and becomes elastic.  Remove from heat and stir in one egg at a time, beating until completely incorporated.  Put on a greased baking sheet by 1.5" / 2.5cm balls, or form long shapes with a pastry tube.   I just make round balls since it is easier.  

Bake at 400ºF / 204ºC for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325ºF / 163ºC for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown and firm.   Cool and slice part way through, leaving a connection on one side.

Fill with whipped cream sweetened with Stevia to taste, and vanilla.

I added cherry jam to a few.

Top with chocolate made with raw cacao powder, softened butter, and sweetened to taste with Stevia.

I use the concentrated Stevia that only requires a tiny 45mg scoop per cup of tea.  Several brands are available on ebay.

This was the first time I made eclairs since becoming gluten-free, and I was amazed that I couldn't tell them from those I used to make with wheat flour, and also this is the only "cake" type recipe I know that doesn't require any sugar, honey, or fruit to sweeten it.  They can be stuffed with anything you like, even meat and gravy.;-)

This week was my grandson's 7th birthday, with a Star Wars Theme-

Do you know what day is Star Wars day?   May 4th.   May the fourth be with you.  But I don't worship a god of forces, chance, and evolution, I worship the God of miracles, faith, creation, and love, who makes an eternal covenant with and rewards those who diligently seek Him.  His name is Yahweh / Jehovah, the great I Am, and His son's name is Mashiach Yeshua / Messiah Jesus, Savior of the world.

I hope the power of Spring to bring forth new life is manifesting soon for you.   Hannah

                                                              or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy reading your comments, which enable me to also visit your blog and make comments.