Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

After a semi-rainy, and oftentimes very cold, winter (okay, cold only for Sacramento), it is Spring! The hills are a beautiful green, and the air is cool with a hint of softness and warmth to come. Afternoons have been featuring bright blue skies and fluffy white clouds. I only wish I could enjoy it more. The problem? The arrival of spring inevitably causes me to feel the impending doom of another hot summer. Instead of reveling in the change of seasons, I dread the upcoming months when it will be 90, 100, even 110 degrees. I could write post after post about why I hate this valley in the summer. And please don't try to tell me it's a dry heat. Please.

However, I am trying to cultivate a mindset of embracing the moment, for whatever that moment might be. I have decided to put off thoughts of Summer, and focus on the beauty of Spring!

The turn of the seasons means new produce coming in our CSA box. Yay for asparagus! This first picking was sweet and perfect. A little salt & olive oil and I roasted it right up on the grill:

I love our front yard, it's almost completely hidden from the street and sometimes it feels like our secret. Everything is starting to wake up from the winter hibernation:

I especially love the Breath of Heaven bush. I had one outside my bedroom window growing up and now we have one beneath our front window. I have big plans for that spot (stay tuned).

We planted a second row of these little Italian Cypress last fall and they already have grown a couple of inches (look at the bright green new growth). In a year or so they'll be shading the driveway!

And of course, the Little Orange Bush That Could:

I went to pick the oranges a few days ago and discovered nearly 50 hidden among it's branches! I picked around 30 to juice, the rest should be ready in a week or so.

Jason discovered this gem last week:
On a whim we planted two artichoke plants in the garden last year, not really having any idea how to take care of them. Nothing happened all summer, then in the fall they suddenly grew really big. Our curiosity was piqued, but we still didn't see anything. Then all of a sudden -- a baby choke! It's barely bigger than a golf ball and buried way down in the core of the plant. It's absolutely adorable and we're bursting with parental pride.

Lest you think it's all sunshine and roses here at the compound, let me show you something. See this tree? It is an evil, evil tree. Oh sure, you think it looks all majestic silhouetted against the evening sky. Don't let that fool you. It is pure evil. It's not flowering yet, but soon it will be. And that is bad. Both Jason and I are super allergic to it, and it is right outside our bedroom window. So much for enjoying a spring breeze! After some sleuthing, we're pretty sure it is some sort of pecan tree. But never fear -- I have my Claritin, my Zyrtec, my Flonase, my Benadryl, my eyedrops, and even an N-95 mask should I need it. This tree will not take away my spring enjoyment this year!

Disclaimer: check back with me when the tree starts blooming.

So there you have it: a little peek of Spring at our abode. I'm truly enjoying it, thinking about new flowerpots and vegetable beds and only dreading the summer a tiny, tiny bit. Did that sound convincing? I've almost convinced myself!

We've also been doing mad reno on the house, so keep your eye out for before & after pics!!

EDIT: I decided to come back and link this post up to the Outdoor Wednesday series over at A Southern Daydreamer. Check out everyone's awesome Spring pictures!


Mara... said...

Your pics are great!!! Love the photo of the evil tree, there are a few of those around here too. Just haven't identified them yet.

Yeah for Spring!!

Mara... said...

Oh and congrats on your baby artichoke. You and Jason must be so proud!!!

robin said...

love all your photos!!

Tink *~*~* said...

I am jealous of your oranges! I want citrus trees in the worst way, but there are so many regulations about them here in SW Florida, I'm afraid I will screw up. Not that I blame anyone for the regulations - one could seriously wipe out the crop by allowing disease to spread. Hmmm, maybe I'll get over my nervousness someday.

Tink *~*~*
Flower and Garden Festival Surprise

lacylegend said...

spring has sprung!!!
awesome photos, sarah....
you ARE ready for the allergy season, 2.
see you sunday......

Prudent Homemaker said...

I have artichokes too.

Last year my husband and I visited a home where the owner grows many more artichokes than I do. He told me to cut the artichoke back each time you cut off a choke down to the set of leaves below it. He said this will encourage side blooms and more artichokes.

Our artichoke plants are huge this year but so far we don't have any coming up! Hopefully soon!