Berries Forever

strawberry jam, strawberry rhubarb pie, strawberry smoothie…

I once read a description of the landscape before New York City was an idea. I don’t remember the source or the author, but have always remembered the description of strawberry fields. The author claimed that Manhattan could have been described as strawberry fields forever. That sounds like paradise to me. Maybe I would move back there if it returned to that state of being.

I have never been able to grow too many strawberries, or blueberries or blackberries. If I can enough jam or jelly to last all year, then I can make pies. And if I bake and freeze enough berry pies to last all year, then I can make juice. And I have never canned enough juice to last my family of five all year, so therefore I can never grow too many strawberries, blueberries or blackberries (or grapes either.) Continue reading

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Fritillary and Echinacea

I can see echinacea blooming from my kitchen window. The past few days, while washing dishes, I have been seeing the same butterfly, or the same type of butterfly paying regular visits. An internet search for Upstate SC butterflies led me to this site, which leads me to believe that this butterfly is a Great-Spangled Fritillary. It seems a fitting name. I’m not sure why I am excited by the bright colors of spring, but I believe that I am not alone in my obsession.

An echinacea bloom entices a butterfly on a windy afternoon.

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Eye Candy for Labor

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Monkey grass and rocks were my obsession in very early spring. It became a family project when rotten timbers needed replacing and more rocks were needed to fill in an area of the garden that was getting flooded in the rain and overrun with weeds.

I had to get down with the mud and get to know my shovel intimately, but now I’m blushing with happiness in my morning garden. The daffodils are already over, but now there are bearded iris and clematis among the onions, lettuce, broccoli and asparagus. While I had all the monkey grass dug up I separated some of the roots and started a new border along the strawberry path. The fresh shoots are rising now, letting me know that I treated them well and they are happy. They look psychedelic while I drink an espresso in the shade…