Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sighting spring

After this unusually cold and snowy winter there are signs that spring is on its way.

The varmints have emerged from hibernation. The hospital grounds where I work are overrun with ground hogs the size of basset hounds. There are dead skunks all over the roads.

But best of all, I looked out the kitchen window while I was fixing dinner and saw bits of green. I went out and sure enough, where the snow has melted from the long bed along the fence there are daffodil noses up out of the ground! It was already dusk so I didn't try to get a photo but I will soon.

Things for putting things in

I received an email from SKS Bottle & Packaging, a distributor of plastic, glass and metal containers in upstate New York. Their representative, Kate Rosenberg, says:

"Our site features an index of gardening containers that could be useful for many projects, from seed storage and seedlings to feeding plants and composting. This index could offer both the novice and seasoned gardener many great ideas!"

Site Name: SKS Bottle & Packaging

I took a look and agree that it's a good resource. I am even more interested in their bottles and pots for homemade cosmetics and such. I make a hand salve, a last ditch treatment for gardeners' hands.

I take shea butter that I order from this fair trade site. I warm it in a sauce pan with an equal quantity of almond oil. I pour it into little pots and let it cool. I keep all but the container that's in current use in the refrigerator. I have used four ounce canning jars but these are much nicer.

While you're looking at the shea butter, take a look at these market baskets. I have one I take to the local farmers' market on Saturdays. Most weeks someone asks where they can get on like it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 6th, Higher and Deeper

The snow kept coming. A large branch came down out of the big pine tree.
From 20100206

Carolina Silverbell with the trunk buried and American holly 'Dan Fenton'
From 20100206

The meadow
From 20100206

The shed disappearing
From 20100206

Likewise the porch. Later I let a couple of the cats out and found cat tracks going all the way around the porch. One evidently tunneled under the snow and in through the hole in the screen door.
From 20100206

Friday, February 5, 2010

February 5th snow storm

We had a heckuva lot of snow for Virginia though we did not get hammered as hard as DC and Maryland did.

Here is when things were just getting started.

Red twig dogwoods
From 20100205

Oakleaf hydrangeas and Sweetbay magnolia
From 20100205

A lovely surprise to find in the snow. 'Jelena' witch hazel in full bloom. I had to shake a little of the snow off before I photographed it.

From 20100205

From 20100205

The wildflower meadow. Click here to see it in its summer glory.
From 20100205

Hazelnut catkins
The funny thing about hazelnuts, or filberts, is that the catkins, the flower, looks like little wormy things while the maturing nuts in their cups look like green flowers.

From 20100205

From 20100205