Monday, April 29, 2019

At the End of April

"You are the only person in the world who loves me," said Elizabeth. "When you talk to me I smell violets."
L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars 

Whoosh - there went April in a flurry of rain, wind, sun, and lots and lots of blossoms. Under a rose bush in my garden, violets are flourishing. I know that they spread wildly, but for now they are confined to one bed and I like seeing them there with their little blossoms and heart-shaped leaves. I read that our Canadian violets are not as scented as the English ones, nor do they have the flavour that is prized for violet sweets. They are still lovely. 

Easter has come and gone - there was a hunt for treats (and while working in the garden the past couple of weeks I've found a few that were too well hidden. In my previous post I mentioned a discussion with Adria about choosing between Orange Chiffon Cake and Chocolate Mousse for Easter dessert. In the end I chose the cake, but gussied it up with an orange curd filling and whipped cream mixed with more orange curd for the frosting. I had some Hazelnut Praline White Chocolate Truffles in the freezer from another event and I used them to decorate the cake, along with candied lemon peel and some fresh violets from the garden. 

The next day Tim and I enjoyed eating the coloured eggs transformed into Deviled Eggs, always a treat. I made Paska, the traditional Easter bread recipe from my family heritage, and provided plates for the children to take some home. 

This past weekend we zipped over to the mainland on the ferry and celebrated my Dad's 85th birthday with a dinner out. After I got home I realized that I had taken no photos - that's not very good! 

In the garden, fig leaves are opening like butterfly wings ready to take off. There are quite a number of small figs forming, so I hope we get a good harvest this year. 

From the kitchen window I've been admiring the wisteria trailing across the garden shed. The vine grows through the hedge from our neighbour's garden. Its scent is intoxicating, sweetly fragrant. Although it doesn't last long as a cut flower, after Tim trimmed it from the roof vent, I clipped a few discarded blooms and brought them into the house where they fill the kitchen with sweetness. 

"Soon they were all sitting on the rocky ledge, which was still warm, watching the sun go down into the lake. It was the most beautiful evening, with the lake as blue as a cornflower and the sky flecked with rosy clouds. They held their hard-boiled eggs in one hand and a piece of bread and butter in the other, munching happily. There was a dish of salt for everyone to dip their eggs into. "I don't know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors," said George."
Enid Blyton

Blue cornflowers (centaurea montana) are in bloom just now. They spread a little in the garden, but are mostly well-behaved and welcome. Sometimes I'll move a plant that has self-seeded to a place that suits me better. Their colour is the bluest of blue and I love the combination of that deep hue with their silvery green leaves. 

Bright tulips, white candy tuft, blue cornflowers, and lots of greenery make this one of the prettiest times of year for the garden around the bird bath. We are often rewarded by the abandoned splashing of birds bathing there. I just need to remember to fill it with water. Once we begin the automatic watering, it will fill on its own, but for now I'm watering as needed. I was surprised at how dry the soil is already and we think we will be turning on the watering system earlier rather than later. 

How is your garden doing? I know the eastern parts of Canada have had some heavy rains and terrible flooding and my heart goes out to those who have been forced to evacuate. 

Have a great week and enjoy each day!

Linking with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Angie of Letting Go of the Bay Leaf. 


  1. Oh I love the quotes you shared. Picnic food DOES taste better than indoor food! And your flowers are all beautiful. I would love to be able to paint the violets. My hubby has been working putting new mulch down in the flower beds today. Hugs!

  2. April appears to have been a lovely and tasty month at your house, Lorrie. That cake looks almost too pretty to eat. I admire the way you added your special touches to make it look so fabulous. I also love your bunny napkin with the colored egg in the center. You are giving Martha Stewart a run for her money. :). Perhaps the reason there were no pictures taken at you Dad's birthday celebration was because you were too busy enjoying the moments. That certainly is a special birthday to be celebrating. As for my garden, we created a little edible garden yesterday and now I am hoping and praying that I am able to enjoy fresh blueberries before too long.

  3. Lots of loveliness in your garden especially the violets. Your Easter feasting looks delicious. Happy birthday to your dad. B x

  4. Your Easter table looked so fabulous Lorrie - beautiful cake, love how you made the recipe your own!!!
    OMG - now I know why I loved Enid Blyton's 'Famous Five' books - such a great description of a picnic, made me want to go on one this afternoon! Her writing was not only thrilling, she added much from the natural world to her stories - and you know how much I love Nature!

    Have a fine week dear Lorrie - I'll be off on Friday!
    Where are you planning to visit this year!
    Hugs - Mary

  5. Lovely violets. Mine spread like wildfire but are such colourful cushions.What a gorgeous shade of blue the Cornflowers are, but they ,like violets, wander. Does it really matter?
    George was absolutely right, picnic food is quite different!

  6. ...spring looks great in your neck of the wood and Easter sure was yummy!

  7. Your Canadian violets are lovely indeed, as are the rest of your flowers. I have never before noticed the loveliness of April as much as I have this year, I don't know whether it's been a particularly good year for blossom and blooms or whether it's just that I have been more aware of it. Your orange chiffon cake looks amazing! Your Enid Blyton quote made me smile because this year we celebrated Easter with a family picnic rather than the usual indoor lunch, and it was just perfect. x

  8. Lorrie, I love the cake! I am envious of the flowers as we had snow on Saturday! Have a great week. Sylvia D.

  9. Your garden looks lush and lovely!
    We had violets go berserk and they took over various borders. It took me two years to get rid of them...backbreaking work as they reseed like mad!
    Good luck keeping them in check!

  10. My garden is barely above ground. I did see a dandelion, but that is the only flower blooming. Your garden is beautiful and doing so well. I have really enjoyed seeing it this month.

  11. Lorrie, I am not sure exactly where you live but LUCKY YOU to have things blooming and growing. Everything looks gorgeous. We don't have anything green here yet. I see a green haze on the weeping willow trees but that is about it. The grass did start greening up in the last few days.

    Your cake sounds delicious and looks beautiful! I am sorry you didn't get any pics of your dad's 85th birthday. What a blessing to have your dad still in your life. My own dad died when I was 21 and barely a day goes by that I don't think of him and miss him still.

    I hope you have a wonderful week,Lorrie. xo Diana

  12. Lorrie, that is probably the most "gussied up" cake I have ever seen -- and decorated with delectable edibles, too! I'm saving its picture in my files... because... you never know!! I, who almost never bake cakes, might happen to have orange curd, candied orange peel, violets and truffles around all at the same time. Ha! Easter seems like the perfect occasion to present such an eminently celebratory offering!

    I want to comment on each of your other photos, the flowers and everything are gorgeous as always, through your camera lens. Thank you. Christ is risen indeed!

  13. Lorrie - I have a wee bit of flower jealousy … plants are sprouting in my garden, but the half inch of snow Saturday night and cooler temps have brought the process to a stop! Your cake is unbelievable - I am not sure that I would have been able to cut it up. Your "bunny" napkins are adorable - I must remember that! And wisteria - is there a more delicate and ethereal plant out there? Thanks for sharing the April beauty with everyone at Mosaic Monday!

  14. Wow, the colors of those flowers are stunning!

  15. Your garden is looking lovely. I love the wisteria.

  16. Lorrie, reading your beautiful post has been such a nice antidote to the local news this morning. Your cake looks delicious and your food photography makes me so envious of your skill! My laptop has been down several weeks now so I've not been commenting but I always live reading your posts.

  17. Lovely to see your garden in bloom. I'm working on bringing more seasonal color into my garden. Right now my garden is at its best last spring and summer.

    Terrible to hear about the flooding...

  18. Oh I didn't know about the Canadians. Im so sorry. Being displaced with the worry of losing your home must be horrific. Your beautiful flower photos are much appreciated. I'm waiting for more flowers, but am more than happy with green grass, shrubbery leafing out and trees leafing out. !!!

  19. Hi! Your flower photos are very beautiful. We have no Easter custom,so it's interesting to eat colored eggs. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Love the napkins shaped like bunny eyes with the colourful egg in the middle.

    The weeds have managed to thrive despite the cold and rainy weather so there will be some weeding in my future...

  21. Beautiful food display and beautiful surroundings!

  22. Love the area around your bird bath. Your Easter treats all look great. Love the sound of the flavors in the cake you made. Our back yard seems to be bursting with dandelions. :) Happy May Day to you!

  23. What a great re-cap of April in your corner. I am envious of your wisteria! Smiling about finding hidden treats while gardening. I can identify!

  24. Oh what a treat to visit your lovely post. Those violets are gorgeous. And I loved the tray of deviled eggs. I had planned that for my own Easter dinner and then completely forgot about it. Now I'm really sorry I did, as yours look so delicious. Love the plate they are sitting in. It feels vintage.

    Not much going on in our garden outside where snow keeps falling overnight. I'm grateful for the cheery whistles of the robins and chickadees.

    Wishing you a beautiful day...
    Brenda xox

  25. As always the photographs you've shared are so lovely.
    All your garden plants look so nice, especially lovely to see the Wisteria.

    Happy May wishes.

    All the best Jan

  26. What a lovely post, Lorrie! From the sweet violets to the Easter treats (oh, that cake!) to the beautiful blue cornflower . . . a feast for the eyes!

  27. ...yummy things for the tummy and the eyes! Have a good week.

  28. We will be moving our 24' Bayliner to the ocean from the lake for summer cruising later this month. Staying in fresh water from late September to May keeps the hull and zincs in better condition. Plus we can keep a better eye on it for things like mildew when it is on our dock rather than the town marina. - Margy

  29. Your garden is so beautiful!


Thank you for your comment. I read and value each one, cherishing the connections we can make although far apart. Usually, I visit your blog in return, although if you ask a question I try to contact you directly.

Hopeful Signs

Have you noticed how much brighter the days are? Even on the rainy, cold days we're experiencing there is a sense of lightness that assu...