Spring Gardening Days Are Here! Can You Dig It?

Spring gardening days are here, my friends!  Can you dig it?  Recent snow (or as they say in Louisiana, sneaux) events, frost dusted mornings and the band of 32° and below temps has got to go.  My visual and vocal denial of last week’s light frost on the ground mornings brought forth the words of Sergeant Schultz of Hogan’s Heroes fame.  I see nothing, nothing!  I only have eyes for spring.

gallery-cl-fb-lilypulitzerCountry Living Magazine

If things rock on like this I may have to order this hoodie and whip up a hot toddy to garden by.

gildan-50-50-hoodie-FF6FADGardening Weekend Forecast Hoodie

The calendar says spring, my mind says spring, my heart says spring and the blooms and buds throughout the neighborhood say spring.



A kitchen vegetable garden flush with vegetables, herbs and color rich flowers is on my fresh from home farmers market radar.  Better Homes and Gardens has a free kitchen garden plan to download which includes planting instructions and plants list for the kitchen veggie garden shown in the illustration below.  Click on this link:  An Eye-Catching Kitchen Garden Plan.


A local radio personality gives a daily update on the produce progress of her vegetable and flower garden, and I must admit I look forward to and am inspired by her down on the farm reports.  In regards to the spring and summer salad season my question to you is this: Is there anything better than a fresh garden salad made with home grown tomatoes?  Pass the fine black pepper and the buttermilk dressing.


Don’t forget the fresh herbs, too!


Speaking of fresh, colorful and tasty edible accouterments.  Edible flowers add a burst of seasonal color to any garden and the dishes and drinks they adorn.

Salad (1)Victoria Magazine

Common edible flowers to consider planting in your spring garden areas and containers: marigolds, chrysanthemums, nasturtiums, pansies, petunias, snapdragons, geraniums, sunflowers, begonias, daylilies, dandelions, tulips,


violets, hibiscus, lilacs, honeysuckles and roses.


Spring plants a sweet treat seed.  Doesn’t this orange chiffon cake with buttermilk ice cream look fabulous?  Fabulous and fattening, but gardening is an excellent source of exercise so take that calories.  Dig in.


Orange Chiffon Cake with Buttermilk Ice Cream

7 large eggs

1 egg white

½ cup canola oil

zest of 2 medium oranges (about 1 ½ tablespoons)

1½ tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1½ cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. cream of tartar

1⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar

1 tbsp. melted butter


Buttermilk Ice Cream:

3 cups low-fat buttermilk

1½ cup heavy cream

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. Sea Salt


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Meanwhile, fit the bottom of a 10-inch tube pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, mix orange-juice concentrate with ½ cup water and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, oil, half the orange zest, vanilla, and ¾ cup reserved orange-juice mixture. Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the reserved egg-yolk mixture until batter is very smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff peaks.  Add about 1/3 of the egg whites to batter and whisk gently to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in remaining egg whites.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake on center rack of oven (do not open oven until end of baking time) until top is golden brown and springs back when touched, 50 to 60 minutes. Invert pan over neck of a bottle or heatproof funnel to cool completely. Remove when cool. Run a knife between the pan and outer edges of cooled cake, all the way around, and invert cake to remove from pan.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, butter, and remaining orange-juice mixture and orange zest. Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of glaze and set aside until ready to use. Place cake on a serving plate and drizzle with glaze. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.  Serve with Buttermilk Ice Cream.

To make Buttermilk Ice Cream:

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and refrigerate until very cold, at least 1 hour. Pour mixture into an ice-cream maker; process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Pack ice cream into a 1 ½-quart lidded container and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface before sealing. Freeze until completely set, from 2 ½ to 4 ½ hours, depending on freezer. (Ice cream can be made up to 3 days ahead.)

~Country Living Magazine


garden shedBetter Homes and Gardens

An early Easter gets the spring gardening ball rolling.  I’ve got my “she shed” area on the back patio mapped out and a spring gardening supplies list primed with items to aid in the task at hand.

spring gardening

It’s all nursery festivals, spring forward garden centers and merry, merry, how does your garden grow everywhere you look.  Here’s a spring gardening video from Garden Answer blooming with inspiration and how-to steps for longer lasting spring blooms.

Spring gardening days are here.  Can you dig it?


This Chandelier Is For The Birds

The moments of tranquility we’ve enjoyed staring out our kitchen window at the hummingbird feeder and waiting for the wonder of nature rank high on “the best things in life are free” meter.   We are experiencing oppressive heat and drought conditions here in the Deep South.  Birds of all kinds of feathers flock to the hummingbird feeder for water on a first come, first gets basis.  I got uncharacteristically quiet the other morning, that glazed look of decor inspiration came over my face, and Dave the Builder knew a wrought iron chandelier bird feeder DIY project was on the horizon.

A couple of years ago I purchased two ornate six light wrought iron chandeliers at auction sans wiring.  The price was fantastic- $20.00 each.  I gave one to a friend for a housewarming gift, and the other one I have kept at the shop in “don’t put a price tag on that one, I might keep it” mode.  I lovingly refer to the shop as my personal climate controlled storage unit but, I digress.  I rang up Dave the Builder and asked him to drop by the shop and bring the fixture home.  I let him in on my intentions for the fixture and he assured me it was doable.


I found a six pack of mini terracotta planters at Hobby Lobby.  The small drainage hole in the bottom of each planter was the right idea but not large enough to fit the bolt.  Dave the Builder carefully drilled larger holes to accommodate.


We both agreed it would be better to leave the terracotta pots in their original finish vs. painting  to eliminate any potential harm to the birds.  The modified pots fit perfectly into the candle cups, and we folded the leaves around the pots to further securing them.

You could have heard Dave the Builder all the way to Canada this morning when we had a hungry guest for breakfast.


Total Costs:

Wrought Iron Chandelier:  $20.00

6pk. Terracotta Mini Planters:  $1.24

Birdwatching enjoyment:  Priceless


Love your style!