Five on Friday and a Question

1. A rumble of thunder disturbed my sleep shortly after 5 this morning, followed by three more rumbles in the next 15 minutes. I dozed, content in my warm bed, then slept again after the soft dripping of rain began. Thunder is very unusual here, but I enjoy the drama of a thunderstorm and the way it refreshes the air and garden.

2. The peonies are slowly beginning to open. I was impatient at first, seeing those tight buds weeks ago, wondering how long it would take them to open. Now, I'm content to watch their slow unfolding, knowing their season will be all too short. This creamy pink one is new and there are just two buds on it. I'm quietly anticipating the delight of its blooms.

3. I took a risk and bought a mini watermelon from California this week. The risk is the taste - would it be mushy and flavorless or crisp and sweet. I'm happy to report the latter. We enjoyed it in a salad combined with olives, feta cheese, fresh mint and lime juice squeezed over all. 

4. I took a meander through the garden after breakfast. The rain lasted just a short while and now the sun is breaking through the clouds. Squash is growing well and the radishes planted last weekend have sprouted. I always mix radish and carrot seed together and plant them in the same rows. The larger radish seeds help disperse the fine carrot seeds and they grow at very different rates so by the time the carrots are forming, the radishes are long gone.

5. Chives in full bloom. The flowers are good in salads, too, taken apart and sprinkled over top for a peppery bite.

A question for you. I'm looking for some good reading material for the summer. Any suggestions of good books you've read? 

My recent reads include P.D. James The Murder Room, Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers, Philip Yancy's The Jesus I Never Knew, and I'm still engrossed in Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. 

I'd love to know what you're reading and what you might suggest.

Linking with Amy for Five on Friday.  


  1. The peonies are looking beautiful. Such a good tip for the carrots and the radish, I will give that a go next year.

  2. I've never tried black olives and feta with watermelon but I do love mint and lime juice with it. We risked one recently and it had no taste. I decided we'd wait for ones from Georgia to arrive. And oh, how short is the peony season, and astilbe here in the South too. I want to turn a fan on them and say, stay cool, stay longer.

    Books: have you tried all the Louise Penny mysteries with her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache?


  3. All wonderful late spring/early summer things!! Waiting for peonies to open is very exciting isn't it, can't wait to see yours - or mine! The watermelon salad sounds delicious, I really must try that one sometime! As for books, no recommendations really as I am not sure that I would recommend much of what I have read this year, apart from Good Husband Material by Trisha Ashley which was good. Thank you so much for joining in! I hope that you have a great weekend! xx

  4. Lovely five.

    Book suggestions: the school of essential ingredients by Erica bauermeister; keeping the feast by Paula butturini; one hundred names for love by Diane Ackerman. Top favourites for me.

    And keep watch for Susan branch's newest book the fairy tale girl--out later this summer.

  5. Lovely photos today Lorrie! I think raindrops on flowers are beautiful and make any garden prettier. Your salad looks incredible! I would have thought the same as you about watermelon at this time of the year and am now wishing I had picked up the watermelon recently. As far as reading I am going through a book on intercession right now, but hesitate to recommend it till I am done and have done more research. What did you think about Yancy's book on Christ?
    Blessings, Aimee

  6. The chives have such a pretty flower....what a surprise! I've never grown them. I just finished reading A Touch of Stardust and it was so good...easy to read and entertaining. Enjoy your weekend my friend. Hugs, Diane

  7. A beautiful five, the peonies are going to be gorgeous the rain looks so pretty on them. I only seem to read blogs these days so can't help sorry! Have a lovely weekend xx

  8. Lorrie, I'm eagerly awaiting the next Sue Grafton, X is for ..., coming out at the end of August. And I'd recommend Saving Saffron Sweeting by Pauline Wiles. I love your garden photos, so beautiful!

  9. What a lovely post, Lorrie. I love peonies and hope mine bloom this year...last year they were pretty spotty. Hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend. Have fun reading! xo Diana

  10. A couple of suggestions in my most recent reading blogpost -- Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk, and Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels (I've only read the first so far). Right now I'm reading Donna Leon's Death in a Strange Country and I only just finished Peter Robinson's Abattoir Blues (you probably know his Yorkshire mystery series already, right?)

  11. Your garden looks so lovely. Vancouver Island is a beautiful place. I had the pleasure to visit it numerous times since I'm from Washington state. Have a wonderful weekend.

  12. Have you already read Elizabeth Goudge, or George MacDonald? One of my favorites was Sir Gibbie by MacDonald. I've got to plant some chives!

  13. Your salad has me drooling, we had the first watermelon of the season, and yes it's always a gamble..but it was wonderful.

    Loving the shots of the rain soaked blooms, especially the pretty..

    Now I'm going back up to see if I can find any new to me authors...always on the lookout.


  14. Hi Lorrie, Well, I am very impressed with your watermelon salad, I never would have thought for making a salad like that. Now I want to try it:) Also, your tip for planting carrots. I already have mine planted and the seeds are so tiny that it is very hard to space them apart . . . your tip is wonderful. I'm going to write it down in my garden journal and put a big star by it, to try next year. This is only my second garden, so I'm learning as I go and open to any and all the tips and good advice you have to share. It will be fun reading your posts and watching your garden grow.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Connie :)

  15. Don't mention Peonies to me, mine were here one day and gone the next, due to heavy rain, the worst thing is I was going to pick two or three to have indoors but wasn't feeling well that day so I forgot, so all I have left are their petals on the ground. What a great idea sewing carrot & radish seeds together, as the radish grow so quickly they will soon be pulled to enjoy in your salads, and the carrots come later. Sorry I very rarely recommend books, as a friend of mine who knows me so well was always recommending books to me and I'm afraid they were never to my taste so I vowed never to do it to others.

  16. The peony buds are beautiful - I must get one for my garden. And will definitely try the watermelon salad although we don't get them until much later in the year. I've just started a book called The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls which has me gripped.

  17. What a lovely Five! Wonderful photos.
    Have a nice Pentecost weekend!

  18. Anonymous4:24 AM

    Your five choices are wonderful. My peonies are just buds right now, I love Feta cheese, but the temps dropped to upper 30's last night and I noticed I lost a couple of plants in my garden. 30's really? :-) I read mysteries all the time, but the last one that kept me turning the pages was Murder 101 by Faye Kellerman.

  19. We had wet snow here this morning and it even stuck on the ground in some areas! The watermelon looks so refreshing and yummy. I am reading Karen Kingsbury's "Angels Walking" series. Book 1 is the same title and book 2 is "Chasing Sunsets". Light and fast reading for me as I sometimes take months to get through a book. I do enjoy a good mystery too! Have a nice weekend.

  20. Your watermelon salad looks delicious! We had guests last night and I decided to make Fire and Ice Salsa using some of our fresh garden strawberries. It also has watermelon and at my first glance of your photo, I thought you had made something similar.

    I just finished reading The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts. I had learned of her blog this past winter, as she was reaching the end of her struggle with breast cancer. This is the book that she wrote of her struggle, but it is not depressing or morose. Instead, it is filled with grace and hope...a good read.

  21. Beautiful photos! Your salad sounds so delicious...a combination of unique flavors for sure! Oh I remember reading Yancy's book and being most disturbed. Now I can't remember why. That's probably just as well. Hope that you come up with some good summer reads.

  22. Love your peonies! I really must plant some in our garden.
    I just finished Nora Roberts, The Liar, and true to form for Nora R.
    What you might enjoy and I recently read are A Sweetness to The Soul, by Jane Kirkpatrick. Have you read anything by her? Or Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore.
    The watermelon salad sounds lovely, now if my husband only liked feta.

  23. Feta and black olives go together so well and look pretty against the watermelon. i need to try that salad. I read Far from the Madding Crowd (required) in high school--may go see the movie that's just out. Jan Karon has some new books and I think you would enjoy Bonhoeffer's biography but it's a long book.

  24. I too am looking for some good books to read this summer....the salad you prepared looks wonderful! I planted some chives in my garden area this year and they are one of my favorites when in bloom. Have a wonderful weekend!

  25. The watermelon salad sounds so yummy and refreshing will definitely be trying that one this summer, aren't chive flowers gorgeous!
    Some recent reads that I think you might enjoy, too - "The Miniaturist" by Jessie Burton; "The Orphan Train" by Christina Burton Kline and "Girl on a Train" by A J Waines (not to be confused with "The Girl on a Train" by Paula Hawkins which I haven't yet read!)

  26. These photos are lovely, Lorrie, you make me long for the summer - it's cold and miserable here in Shropshire. Thank you for sharing. x

  27. Anonymous10:41 AM

    Sorry for being so late getting around for last week's (eeek) Five on Friday. Your flowers and veggies are all so lovely. Don't you just love the beginning of the growing season? It's filled with so much hope and energy! :D
    Hugs for now,
    Beth P
    #17 Five on Friday


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