Monday, May 27, 2019

May Days at Home

"May and June. Soft syllables, gentle names for the two best months in the garden year: cool misty mornings gently burned away with a warming spring sun, followed by breezy afternoons and chilly nights." Peter Loewer

9 pm. Light lingers long. This evening, for the first time, I walked without a light sweater or jacket. It feels like summer. Beautiful days. Yesterday, Tim and I walked to the top of Christmas Hill. Butterflies flitted here and there, lots of them, chasing each other among the grasses and trees, alighting on the ground from time to time. Painted Ladies, gorgeously designed. 

Radishes are ready in the garden these days. And strawberries. I like the long French Breakfast radishes. They've become part of salads, dipped in melted cheese, and eaten plain. I like them sliced on buttered bread, too, with a bit of salt.

In my mind, a bit of pickle elevates a salad or a sandwich. On Saturday I did a quick pickle with red onions and another with radishes. Ready the next day for whatever takes my fancy. 

The jar holding the radishes is old - my mother used it for canning when I was a child. It has a glass lid and she used to buy rubber rings for sealing. I don't know if rubber rings like that are available any longer. The old zinc screw top still works like a charm. 

Lilacs and bluebells have given way to peonies, ruffled beauties with a delicate, sweet fragrance. There are plenty to come in the garden, and a bouquet of them is opening in the house. 

I found a spot for a new rosebush - a David Austin Gertrude Jekyll. Each evening I observe how the buds are forming and will soon open with the lovely warmth we're experiencing. 

The blueberry bushes are loaded with fruit. I'm amazed at how quickly the plants go from bare sticks to fruit. Spring and summer are so urgent in the garden after the long dormancy of autumn and winter. 

A couple of years ago a yellow poppy appeared unbidden in a corner of my garden. I let it linger and it rewards me with a spot of brightness in what is otherwise a bit bare at this time of year. A lovely bit of serendipity.

Two new little items for my kitchen - a Garlic Store by Mason Cash. It has air vents and a lid with a little hole in it for lifting. The copper oil dispenser is perfect for drizzling olive oil on vegetables for roasting, or salads. I like the shape of both items. William Morris' advice to "have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" is something I like to adhere to.

Finally, one last rose - this a John Cabot climbing rose that really climbs. I cut it way back each year and each year it rewards me with bloom after bloom. This is the first. 

I leave you with these words by Mary Berry: "Without doubt, without hesitation, I choose gardening over the gym. I can't stand going to the gym. It doesn't appeal to me at all. Give me gardening every time." Ha! Me, too. I tried a gym once, but gave it up after not very many visits. 


  1. Such lovely uplifting photos to start my morning. Your garden looks truly wonderful. Haven’t grown radishes recently, will have to look for the long French variety. Enjoy your lovely weather, I could do with a little of it over here please. B x

  2. Lovely uplifting post Lorrie. Your garden will bring you much happiness in these coming weeks as everything blooms - I so agree with Mary Berry!!!!

    Off to cool and green Ireland today - a change from what we're leaving here - the heatwave came far too early and is not pleasant. Just hope some rain will water the garden whilst we're gone! I have a John Cabot rose - it has climbed my arbor for many years, never fails to bring joy.

    Hugs - Mary

  3. I am spending a fair amount of time in a gym. Exercise equipment lines the walls, but I am always on the bench. I agree with Mary.

    Now this is interesting... my blueberry bush is almost as far along as yours. My peony is all buds...not quite ready for budding out. The daffodils are lasting a long time because it remains so cool. The lilacs are half in bloom and half in bud.

    We are back in a cool week. I am fine with it as the children are still in school and there is no AC.

    Love seeing your gorgeous photos. I have one zinc-lidded canning jar that was my mother’s. I enjoyed seeing yours and that you are still using it for food. Mine has chalk in it. 🥴

    A good week to you, Laurie. Hope that your students are still able to settle.

  4. Lorrie! Good heavens! That was a major slip...

  5. Such an uplifting post, beautiful photos to linger over and admire along with words that paint the picture. Stunning!

  6. Your garden is doing so well. My radishes started and then stopped and never produced. Yours look wonderful.

  7. Beautiful photos. I'll be looking at your recipes to spruce up my summer menu. Yay to the garden!

  8. Well said , Mary Berry!
    Gertrude Jekyll is a rose that every garden should have, even with its prickly stems. I have just brought one flower into the sitting room, and the perfume is amazing.

  9. You have so much gardening and lovely walks to take I wouldn't go to the gym either. But I go for the weight training and walking on the treadmill on rainy days. Certainly never on the day I mow the lawn. I like your new kitchen additions!

  10. Mary Berry is very wise! I agree! Lovely flowers. I am eagerly waiting for my roses to bloom. :) Kit

  11. We just got home to the cabin after being away for six weeks. We only got one inch of rain during our absence and a friend only came by twice to water the few plants I do have. Before I left I planted marigold seeds in two planters. I was amazed they were still growing and healthy looking in soil so dry it was hard. My volunteer pansies were blooming nicely, but I didn't get to enjoy them for long. A woodrat came on the deck the very first night and harvested them, leaving the`leaves and blooms on the deck to dry. I love nature, but this is one critter that really annoys me. - Margy

  12. I love the oil pourer. Maybe I need one! Your post brought me a wonderful memory of my parents ' climbing roses over the years. My father fed them with Miracle Gro all the time. They were so thick you never saw any green. Just gorgeous red flowers for a bit each june!

  13. Lorrie - you always have the best pictures in your posts. Just a few, and they are vibrant! My favorite is the blueberries - out of this world that they are already at fruit stage. I believe you used the word URGENT - yes, they have a job to do and a short time to do it! Enjoy the coming days of June!

  14. When i was child i'm also waiting for buds forming and when will they open their leaves.great blog thank you for sharing.
    Asmi recent posted
    Eid al-Fitr

  15. Your flowers are so pretty!

    I'm not a gym person either. Good thing the science shows that spending time with nature is good for our health.

  16. Isn't spring amazing? Everything is 'coming up roses' (or blueberries)! I like gym class routine and my fresh air exercise in the garden.

  17. My favorite picture is the canned onions and radishes! I've never had canned radishes, but you sold me on them by the beautiful photo.

  18. You've captured the beauty in your May days well. Those canned radishes and onions look wonderful. Beautiful peonies. Such a lovely time of year.

  19. Your handwork in the garden is certainly paying off Lorrie, everything is so beautiful! I have a David Austin rose of my wish list. ~wink~ I agree with William Morris' statement and try to adhere to it!
    I also prefer gardening over the gym. Thank you for sharing.

  20. I just love the Spring season, and your garden is doing well, especially those peonies.

    Love the quote from Mary Berry :)

    Have a lovely month of June.

    All the best Jan

  21. So much sweetness! I have never thought of pickling radishes, but such a good idea. Loving peonies right now in my garden also.


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