Two bulbs of supermarket garlic divided into cloves and planted in late October 2010 produced 2 pounds of harvested cured garlic in June 2011… this first time success will insure that Eden Keeps plants garlic again this fall…!!

Listen to the Snow Melt

Sometimes we fail to pause and hear what we only casually see…

Yesterday, the weather was just beautiful around here and the sounds of the running water from melting snow made me giggle every single time I stepped outside.

A little walk around the garden revealed what are true signs of a returning spring.

green parsley under the melting snow

green parsley under the melting snow


garlic peeks out looking for the bright sunshine

garlic peeks out looking for the bright sunshine

I hope you get to look and listen to your garden’s signs of spring this week.

God as a Gardener

Saturday’s daily reflection, How Does Your Garden Grow? from Alive Now, suggests to share some of the plants and flowers in God’s garden for which you are most thankful.

Right now, I will just be thankful for the return of the first buds, blooms and bugs of spring…


Japonica or flowering quince bud 2010


first crocus

the first crocus 2010


ladybug and baby bug

ladybug and baby bug


I am also pretty thankful that the first digging in the garden is less than a month away…!!

the first diggers in the garden

the first diggers in the garden 2010

Back in the Garden Again

Soon, please soon, this snow will melt.

sunset snow

tracks across the snowy yard at sunset


Soon, the blizzards will be behind us for another year.

mk chicago blizzard 2011 wgn

daughter dear struggles through the Chicago blizzard

And soon I will return to blogging here to share all the joys of spring time and green things and fun along the way…!!

Fun things like making sure your name is on @cityslipper‘s list get free blue hubbard squash,

seed giveaway neck pumpkin

neck pumpkin, and paste tomato seeds… #skgseeds http://bit.ly/hDrRQT

But you better HURRY…!! Seed giveaway ends on Sunday, February 13.

There was much joy in the garden this week even when you consider the addition of an inch+ of rain we received. How else but joyful can you describe the feeling of a load of fine, black, aged horse manure getting delivered and dumped?

a truck of muck

a big red truck brought a rich load of muck

Grandboy and I were ready when Landworks Earthmoving brought the load of aged horse manure (3-4 years) mixed with fine sawdust, sand, and leaves that has been turned every 15 days.  I am so proud of it you would think somebody just gave me a load of black gold!

We soon put it to good use enriching the soil in the spots my hole-digger dug for a new yellow climbing rose and a scarlet honeysuckle vine.

yellow climbing rose

Golden Showers Climbing Rose

red honeysuckle

Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckle

When I was little, there was a yellow climbing rose that grew up the pole of Mama’s backyard clothesline.  I recall it having the prettiest tiny buds and have for years wanted to have one of my own.  The honeysuckle is to hopefully help attract hummingbirds this summer if I am lucky.

I wish you could have heard the thrill in Poppa’s voice when he saw these little green sprouts peeking through the soil less than a week after we planted them.  Who knows but what I can maybe even get him to eat some of these peas and greens.

little sprouts

mesclun, mustard and turnip greens spouted

first pea sprout

Extra Early Alaska Peas

The birds have been busy in the garden this week too.  A pair of bluebirds have been seen scouting around the place…

visiting bluebird

oh how I hope the bluebirds decide to stay

and a mama robin has been busy preparing for her brood.

mama robin has been busy

robin redbreast been busy playing in the mud too

Seems like it was a big week for gardeners everywhere with a great boost from Good Morning America when they featured Joe Lamp’l @joegardener and his $25 victory garden this week!

And sorry but due to lack of heavy lifters and high winds and still more tree debris to stack and burn, last week’s garden art project has sadly yet to be planted.  Hopefully when you check back here next week you can see the mysterious installation!

We played in the dirt this week instead of in the mud!  Finally some dry weather allowed us to do a little tilling and planting.  But first we burned the brush pile.  Yikes!!

the burning of the brush pile

the burning of the brush pile

We wonder if an early garden visitor will return in an attempt to share in the toils of our labor…

deer track in the garden

deer track in the garden

He tilled.  I made photos.  The gardener is refracted in the dewdrop if you know where to look.

while tilling the garden

while tilling the garden

We spent a couple or three days getting broccoli, cabbage and early peas planted.  We also set onions and sowed carrots, beets, spinach, swiss chard, lettuce, mustard and turnip greens!

Playing in the dirt!

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.- Thoreau

In my efforts to recycle and reuse as much as possible in our sustainable gardening adventure, I spent an afternoon on the deck in the warm sunshine this week playing with garden projects…

after all my work with my little dremel tool, leftover pot pie pans and some twine I proudly tied these little bird deterrents to sticks and stacked them in the garden… project number one done!

How many times have I retied them…?? you do not even want to know… LOL

somebody needs to teach me to tie knots... please!

somebody needs to teach me to tie knots... please!

For garden project number two I recycled and reused:

  • one floor lamp that no longer works
  • one unclaimed left behind dryer load of laundry
  • one curtain rod
  • one styrofoam packing insert
  • two old chair pads

Whatever will it be…??  I will give you a hint.  Grandboy is not too pleased with the creation as of yet…

garden project

mysterious garden project

hopefully he will like it better once we get it planted next week!

The word for the week on our weekly garden journey, 2009?  Muddy.

making mud

making mud

We had tried to play around in the dirt some late in the week before but found the garden still too wet to work.  But last Sunday it got even wetter.

so we had a little rain

so we had a little rain

After almost 1 1/4 inches of rain, once again we had to satifsy ourselves with more planning and purchasing.  But we did get the tomato and pepper seeds, ordered weeks ago from Victory Seed Company, started!

starting seeds

starting seeds

Since the full moon has passed…

Full Worm Moon

Full Worm Moon

we will have to wait until late March to get these broccoli seedlings in the ground.

too wet to plant

too wet to plant

But just so you don’t think all we had was a boring rainy week, you should also know we enjoyed wind gusts to 44 mph with a high of 80 degrees on Tuesday, below freezing temps on Thursday followed by a trace of snow on Friday.

There was joy in the garden this week too.  Friday the 13th ended up being my lucky day.  I never remember ever before seeing a cedar waxwing… that morning was like never before…

a first time for everything

a first time for everything

But never fear, we just decided that if you can’t plant, you just play!  And what could be more fun than splashing together in the muddy water?


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