Saturday, April 25, 2009

Springing Into the Garden

Wow. How did it get to be late April so quickly? I've been waiting and waiting for the weather to be Spring-like, but it's been the usual roller-coaster 80's to 30's and back again, and here we are, nearly May!

Last weekend hubby and I drove to Yreka, CA, and Ashland, OR, to see his father and go to an Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas concert. I put some pictures up on my flickr page. We drove out on Thursday, out to Burns, south to Klamath Falls, and down past Mt. Shasta to Yreka. Parts of it can be pretty boring, so I amused myself by taking photos from the moving car. Sometimes you can get some great shots in spite of bushes, signs, and fence posts that literally jump in front of the camera.

The concert was on Friday night. We had a nice dinner in Ashland beforehand, at a Thai place. Alasdair was wonderful, as usual, and more relaxed and full of funny stories than I remember him being 20 years ago. Natalie was good too.

That day, walking around Yreka, hubby and I had seen a poster for the concert and saw that on Saturday morning in Ashland there was a Fiddle and Cello workshop! So Ken called and managed to get in. We drove up on Saturday morning. I sat in on the workshop. It was definitely worth it. I enjoyed it too, and I just sat and listened. Nice to see Alasdair again after so long. He was always a good fiddle teacher, in my opinion, but he's got much better at explaining things over the years.

After the workshop we walked around Ashland for a bit, then had lunch at the Standing Stone Brew Pub. I had an amazing pizza w/ pesto sauce, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, walnuts, and then sliced grapes put on after it was cooked. It was sooooo good. Probably helped to be hungry, but it's definitely a recipe I'll try myself. I also had a Belgian-style ale that was very nice.

We drove as far as Burns, OR, that day, spent the night, then went to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in the morning. Saw lots of birds in the marshes and seasonal lakes, including trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, ruddy ducks, cinnamon teal, buffleheads, goldeneye, grebes, white-faced ibis, curlew, and snow geese. At the southern end of the refuge is French Glen, with an old farmhouse hotel-turned-restaurant now owned by F&W. We had lunch and headed home Sunday afternoon, tired but happy.

This weekend I'm trying to catch up on some gardening. This morning we went to the Boise Farmers Market, then to the Botanic Gardens plant sale. By the time we arrived there weren't many plants left, but I found an aqualegia I liked, as well as nepeta sibirica "Souvenir d'Andre Chaudron". I hope this one does better than the one I tried to grow in England. It apparently likes drier conditions, so perhaps this will be a better climate for it. I did some weeding this afternoon, and planted the new gladilous "Espresso" bulbs.

Three of the four asparagus crowns have sprouted, so that's a relief. They don't seem real vigorous, but at least they're still alive. I should try to feed them up a bit. I think I'm going to dig over that area gently to get rid of the ant colonies, and take out the stupid strawberries. They don't look good at all.

Tomorrow I want to plant my new blueberry in the half barrel, pot-on the veggie seedlings, and maybe re-plant some parsnip seeds with seed compost in the row. It's been over a month and none of those have sprouted. Whereas six snap pea seedlings have come up. I'm excited about the rhubarb - it's doing really well so far, and I'm hoping I can cut some of the stalks by next weekend!

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