Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Snow, Ice, Sunshine and Gardens

And how do you like your weather lately? Pshaw! If yours has been doing anything like mine, then you've been on a roller coaster.

Norfolk, especially where I'm at on the interior river's edge, isn't really known for horrible winters. Cold, yes. Rainy, yes. Snow in March? Ehhh...apparently the answer is yes to that now too!

Here's a nice picture of my house after the snow had plenty of time to go away. We were not amused since we had just finished planting some things.

And yes, my house is missing some screens. We've had some killer wind storms and I can't find the same kind of frames for these screens. ::sigh::

And here the Pupperonski's are expressing their dubious feelings about leaving the cozy house in such weather.

Luckily for me, nothing major was transplanted yet, just a few seeds for radishes and other cold hardy items put in. You might notice that the normally even layer of pine needles I usually have is a bit bare. My normal source doesn't sell them anymore. I mean, seriously, dozens of bags are put to the curbs all the time and I can't get enough to lay down in my yard? Boggles the mind, it does. Alas, picking up some myself isn't really an option. No one, including me, separates out things so almost all bags have some of the invasive species contaminating them. And I certainly don't need to introduce more!

And during that windswept night, we had some crashing and falling all about the house. One nice big branch landed on the roof and caused a bit of work (no punctures) but this one is the hum-dinger. It may look small, but it actually comes up to my hips and is pretty hefty. It was sunk into the ground, spear style, almost a foot. Sure glad that one wasn't on my roof!

So the weather was so dreary and cold, we decided to stay in and keep trying out bread recipes. I'm still stumped as to why my white bread rises up so wonderfully high and light while my whole wheat bread is so low and dense.

Here we are above, about a week later, and you can see that I've begun the transplanting. Cold weather crops like cauliflower, brocolli and so on are in the new beds. Potatoes are in the big pots (well, a few are since my Peaceful Valley replacement order never did come in!)

After that, we were, shall we say gifted?, with 4 straight days of rain. Ack, it was horrid. So far we've have very few garden casualties though.

Above, just two weeks later I've finished all the moving of beds, with my final bed moved from behind that tree where the shadow is (unwise placement, I know) to a nice sunny front row seat. It is now mostly empty and getting a nice sunshine sanitization session before getting refilled with fresh dirt and compost.

For a nice peek at what I wake up to every day, above is the view from the back of my house. My bedroom overlooks this and the wind over the water and through those invasive phragmites australis is heaven to wake up to. They are mostly between 10-12 feet tall but there are a couple that are even taller. I remain at war with them, but it is a war of attrition and I won't lose!

I've slowly been replacing them with natives that have largely disappeared from this area like Lobelia Cardinalis, Joe Pye Weed, Dutchman's breeches, short spartina, Jack in the Pulpits and other lovely and appropriate things.

Gigi and Boscoe give you all a nice howdy-doo, too!


Kristina said...

Re: homemade bread. I think whole wheat flour has less gluten in it than white flour, hence the lower rise. I have the same problem. When I feel like it, I combat the problem by subbing in 1/2 cup of semolina flour for 1/2 cup of wheat flour. The darn thing poofs up like a hot air balloon, then. :)

Ruralrose said...

Hi - what an excellent post - best thing i've read on here for some time now - first of all what whacky wild weather we are having, at least we are all in it together - makes one feel so grateful escaping unscathed from such a storm - do you add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your brown bread (and your very welcome, happy to share this trick that was generously shared with me) - love your dogs - beagles? do they make that funny noise and go off nose to the ground? - they do look like a handful, especially that last shot of them - love your view, lucky girl, do you have trouble with mosquitoes? if so you could solve two problems by planting all kinds of mints to overtake your invasive - mine is perennial buttercup any ideas? i have had two seed companies not send me seed and the seed i got was outdated and still charged me 3.50 a pack - it is worrisome, i only grow open polinonated plants so i can collect my own 'cause you never know! peace for all

fullfreezer said...

What a beautiful view. Our weather here in the midwest has been a roller coaster as well. 70s one day, 30 the next. It will eventually even out.

ChristyACB said...

Kristina - Thanks for the Tip. I do have some semolina flour so I'll give that a whirl this weekend. I might also try substituting whey for the water in the recipe since I'm making ricotta also.

Ruralrose - You have them down exactly! They do make that totally bizarre noise and off they go. They are always leashed or tied because of it.

Judy - Thank you. I do love it here.

hickchick said...

Very cute beagles! I have been adding about 1Tbsp/cup flour of vital wheat gluten to my ww bread which helps, but I think I will experiment with the vinegar too! You and Rose have motivated me to share my views (pictures) as well-coming sometime this weekend.