in the garden

Well hello! This is the most picture laden post I've ever made! We've been so busy and nature has been so busy, well, I've taken a lot of pictures because everything looks so pretty. The grass is so green; thank you rain. The peonies are blooming and are gorgeous. And yes, they are real. I've had some doubters as peonies don't usually grow in our zone. But truth: tree peonies will grown in zone 8 and I've had luck with them for decades. This year the wisteria is blooming at the same time as the peonies; so nice and just in time for Easter. Wow, it's Easter! Yay! The kids will be here tomorrow and I've made sugar cookies and shortbread. In case you think you never have time to bake cookies, you probably DO have time to make shortbread. It's way too easy and is always a favorite. Outside we've prepped the vegetable garden which took some doing. We both had sore backs for a week. I have been weeding like crazy and he has been repairing the watering system. We feel if we can get on top of these two big things in spring then we will have a little bit easier time managing the summer garden. These two jobs are for the entire garden, not just the veggie garden, so it's quite a job. We have a little helper two days a week and he works so hard! It's so cute to see him follow papa around. My heart almost bursts when I hear them talking about what tool they should use next. In late winter the greenhouse was cleaned out and seeds were planted for the summer annuals. The tomatoes, squash and cucumbers have already been transplanted. The radish, onion and dill seeds have been sown and next week the bean and beet seeds will be sowed. The zinnias and cosmos are still in the greenhouse and will go out next week. We had a party last week and I made the most beautiful strawberry dessert. I must write down the recipe and give it to you because it's not only gorgeous and delicious, but easy too. I'm making it again for Easter. My son has a kumquat tree and he gave me a giant bag of kumquats. I made kumquat marmalade which turned out so beautiful and so good. I ended up giving the jars away at our party and so made another batch. We squeeze fresh orange juice every morning and have had our first harvest from our little pink lemon tree. The neighbor's bees spend the day in our garden and they are very welcome.  Friends have been giving us fresh eggs. Even the roses are just starting to bloom. Spring!

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