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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Just another morning



at my house.



Now that the ice has left we can let the spring fill our pond again.







Snow on Saturday covered the only flowers I have blooming in my garden.  





They have frozen before, yet Hellebore always come out looking great.  





This time of year my flowers have to come from the store. 






You can just see the table to the left.  That is where I sit and paint. 






Montgolfiere tiles for a new side table...just out of the kiln. 






A couple of weeks ago my old orchids were throwing new spikes.  
They have now opened fully and even surprised me with a new color. 






All reservations have been made. 

 Soon I will spend the day with Maestro Mario of Montelupo, Italy.  
We will paint. 





When not painting or sight seeing I will learn how to make proper home made pasta at the 
Relais Sant'Elena, Bibbona, Tuscany, Italy.  

Wishing you a great week ahead.  

Gina


Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter Egg Hunt


Happy Easter

How many Eggs?







How many Rabbits?







I will tell you soon.





Have a safe and blessed Easter dear friends.

Gina




Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring, as usual



will be a little late around here.

There are Hellebore blooming in my garden. 
But that is all.  




But there are Cacti blooming in my greenhouse.





I didn't used to like them





I wonder if this big fellow will ever bloom and if so, what will it look like.  





If you take them out of a small pot and move them into a large container, they become giants.  





Like this one.  





It looks like every cabbage seed has germinated. 





The other side of the greenhouse holds my 20 year old geraniums.





Soon my Daffodils will bloom again.  

Then, I will celebrate Spring.  

Have a great week dear friends. 

Gina 




Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What makes these Goose Eggs extra special?



They are FERTILIZED

Would you like a dozen or so. 




Lola has just begun laying eggs.
(The egg in front is an ordinary chicken egg). 





No, this is not the story of the "Goose that laid the golden egg." 




You can even paint them. 




Every color of the rainbow if you like.  




Lola and Clyde were a very shy pair when they first came to our pond.  

I would love to watch both of them as parents of a dozen or so goslings.  

But we have a problem, Raccoons will kill her trying to get to her eggs and to her.  

Clyde will try and protect her but he is no match to a raccoon. 

Let me know if you are interested. 

Gina 



Saturday, March 12, 2016

You still have time




To get your Sweet Peas started



We live in zone 3.  My seeds will be planted in the middle of March.

In warmer climates, Sweet Peas should be planted in February. 


At least 2 to 3 weeks before planting start germinating seeds in a plastic bag.






  Place moistened paper towel and seeds into plastic bag.  Keep top open and place by window.








Check seeds a few times and rinse them in cold water  (to prevent  mildew) and return to plastic bag.  After  about 2 weeks your seeds will have sprouted and they are ready to be planted.  Sprouts look very tender but they are sturdy and are easily handled. 









Besides collecting my own seeds I will be ordering these "Wiltshire Ripples" from Thompson and Morgan.





 





It is the "odoratus"  and "fragantissima" varieties which have the most heavenly scent.  
Among the most fragrant Sweet Peas are the blue varieties such as "Chatsworth",  







Sweet peas love to be paired with other garden flowers.  









and Fruit










"Molly Rilestone"  maybe my most favorite Sweet Pea.

Have a wonderful weekend my dear Friends.

Gina


Monday, March 7, 2016

Well, I'll be !



Note to myself; 

Experiment.


When cut and placed in water Hellebore flowers will wilt in only a few hours. UNLESS.








you first dip their stems into  Alum powder.









These Helleborus  flowers have already gone to seed.  
They don't need special treatment. 






Helleborus orientalis, commonly called Lenten Rose,  belong to the Ranunculaceae family. 






It only takes one Hellebore blossom and a few galax leaves to make a fine boutonniere. 






Sweet little snowdrops show off Hellebore to advantage. 







Hellebore keep their green leaves throughout our cold winter months.  
The air dried blossoms make an interesting bouquet and will last for months. 





If you live in this harsh climate,  a flower growing through the snow and in February, deserves a space in every garden.  






They add mystery to every Spring flower bouquet. 






And the best news of all.

I have thousands of little Helleborus orientalis seedlings growing in my garden. 

I will share.  


Have a most wonderful week dear friends.   
Spring is just around the corner

Gina 

Note: All flowers from my 2015 garden

Friday, March 4, 2016

Do you know how to keep waffles crisp?



Whenever my little nieces come for a visit


We have to have waffles for breakfast. 

Waffles because I have a waffle iron which makes individual hearts. 





The little girls told me that they always toast their ready made frozen waffles when they are at home.  




I showed my nieces how to make pancake and waffle batter from scratch.  It only takes a few minutes to mix the simple ingredients. 






Even though my pancakes are crisp when they first come from the waffle iron, they soon lose their texture.  Keeping them seperate doesn't help either. 





So why not make a big batch, freeze them and then TOAST each individual waffle. No additives, no preservatives, and very inexpensive.  





Voila! It worked.  

Crisp, delicious, home made waffles made from scratch and always ready. 


Do you know have a favorite waffle recipe?

Have a great week dear friends, 

Gina