Some hits( and a few misses) from my kitchen and garden
January 20, 2011
As temperatures dipped into the 40's this afternoon and a cold front promised another hard freeze in Austin tonight, nature is saying "Spring" rather than winter in parts of my garden. These daffodils were poking there heads through the ground and others nearby were 12 inches tall, looking like they are about to burst into bloom. The tall ones broke ground mid- December, believe it or not.
The clematis "pitcherii" that I transplanted in the fall are also poking through the leaves. I moved them near the roses with the hopes they will be happier with the light and climb up the branches. Three years old, they never flowered in the previous location which got a little AM sun but was mostly shady. This Texas native has small blue bell- like flowers and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that more sun will inspire them to flower. I've only seen pictures of the flower so it will be quite exciting when it blooms.
I've lived here long enough to know that these harbingers of spring are in no way an indication that winter has gone( we got snow on Feb. 23 last year!), but it sure is uplifting to see something green growing in the garden.
I came to gardening through my love of food. Growing up in the Midwest, most of our meat, vegetables, eggs and dairy came fresh from my grandparents farm and gardens. When I became a chef, the quest for hard to find or good quality fruits and vegetables spurred my first forays into gardening in upstate New York. I made ice cream from the antique roses and canned jams, jellies and relishes from the bountiful harvests.
But gardening in Texas has been a whole 'nother story. The heat, the years of drought, followed by endless rain and flooding not the mention the bugs and critters like I'd never seen. The years I got maybe 6 tomatoes from 3 plants.
But it just renews and lifts my spirit to see the flowers and the birds coming back in the spring or to pick a big juicy orange right from the tree.
I look forward to sharing my adventures with you and invite your participation and feedback.
Thank you for visiting.