Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ubiquitous Forsythia

Forsythias seem to be everywhere, like them or not.

Some people call them garden thugs.  Which they can be.
I like them when they're treated nicely.
I especially admire this one.  It appears to have been pruned into a tree shape, allowing the blooming fronds to cascade in the wind.

This time of year forsythia shows up as a bit of sunshine around town.
One shrub provides a bright spot.

And many provide a feast of yellow rays for the eyes.

This bleeding heart shares some space.

Forsythia is often shaped into mounds, especially in commercial plantings.

Perhaps the caretakers are afraid of the wild and crazy look of an untrimmed shrub.

But I prefer that wild look. They seem to be shouting exuberantly, "Look, look!  Spring has arrived!  Isn't it glorious?"

Sometimes gardeners get very ambitious.  (From a gardening forum.)

"Crew cut" forsythia are another option.

But however you shape it, forsythias won't be denied.

How do you like yours?  Or do you?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring, Still

I was out in the garden this week and these tiny tulips were just about gone already.

Professor de Monserri tulips...

The red marks on the tips are very pretty.

Hen and chicks are perking up.

This time of year the changes happen quickly.
This ground cover has some great color going on.

Jessie and Felix relax indoors on a rainy day.

Hope you're able to get outside and enjoy the spring.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Springtime Update

These crocuses in our garden have come and gone. 

But they were lovely while they lasted.

Thanks to Lynda at My Boise Life, I have a new hellbore blooming this year.
It's good to have gardening friends.

The daffodils are up and blooming.

 And we may just get some lilac blooms this year.

Scarface is enjoying some of the rare sunshine we've been having.
I'm sure it feels good on his ten year old bones.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Chickens

And the winner is............Jeanne of Gone Feral in Idaho.

Thanks to those who entered.

It's been a great spring and our hens have been out enjoying themselves.
Here's a rare photo of all six of the girls.

The three hens across the center, Hazel, Brazil, and Peanut are now two years old.
Jelly Bean, the hen at the top of the photo, and Tootsie and Ginger, the two at the bottom, will be five years old this June.

They all still seem to be laying since some days we pick up six eggs from the nesting box.

Here's Ginger looking rather feisty.  Which she is.

Hens are enjoyable to own, and you may be jealous of our ability to do this:

.....gather beautiful, fresh eggs out our back door.

If you're thinking of purchasing some chicks, The Coeur d'Alene Coop blog has a great post on just that subject.
Candace gives some excellent advice.  I would add that the care needed for baby chicks can feel a little overwhelming at times if you haven't the required motivation.

We think of our "girls" as our pets, yet they aren't on the level as a cat or dog.  Although I have known people who kept their chicken in a box while watching TV with it. 
Some chicken breeds are naturally friendlier than others.  Research is required when choosing the hens that will be right for you.  We looked for good manners, laying ability, and weather tolerance.

I have lots of posts on my sidebar about our chickens, check them out.

Hope you and yours are having a great spring.

Monday, March 17, 2014

All About Idaho

I recently finished reading Keeping Private Idaho by Rick Just.

(Full disclosure, Mr. Just sent me a copy of his book to read/review.)

Perhaps it's because I'm an Idaho native that I liked this book so much, but I don't really believe that.   If you've ever been to Idaho, ever lived in Idaho, ever been curious about our state or have never heard of it, I think you would enjoy this book. 

The characters are interesting and flawed, the story unfolds at a good pace and keeps you guessing.  And there are gems of wisdom along the way that I certainly appreciated.  Will an Idahoan drop you like a hot potato (pun intended), if they witness you littering in the Boise River?  Yes. Yes, they will.

I've never heard of an anti-tourist "Private Newsletter" in Idaho but that doesn't mean it didn't exist.  I've certainly heard my fair share of Idahoans grumbling about Californians moving into "our" state.  I agree with the author's afterward notes in which he is "happy to report the xenophobia depicted in the book...."....."has largely gone away."  I agree.  Californians move here, Idahoans move away.  That's just life.

Here is the review of Keeping Private Idaho from the Idaho Statesman.  They liked it too.

So, for those of you who enjoy reading this blog, leave a comment and if you're chosen I'll send one of you a copy of this book.  Straight from Amazon probably.  I'll leave this open until March 24.  Good luck.

And thanks Mr. Just;  it's a great read!