reviving the garden

its finally warm enough to take my indoor-wintering plants outside again. they made the move this weekend...right in time for a windy rainstorm. but they seem to have survived! all the dead grass and leaves also got cleared over a productive afternoon. here's a quick look at the progress so far:

those lovely pink and orange ranunculus (ranunculi?) are actually newcomers this season. the spring colors make me instantly happier. the rubber plant was sheltered from the freeze in our guest room and looks happy to be back outside. the leaves of the climbing hydrangea come back each year without fail, but i'm keeping my fingers crossed for blooms this year.  

those lovely pink and orange ranunculus (ranunculi?) are actually newcomers this season. the spring colors make me instantly happier. the rubber plant was sheltered from the freeze in our guest room and looks happy to be back outside. the leaves of the climbing hydrangea come back each year without fail, but i'm keeping my fingers crossed for blooms this year.  

no idea what this lush thing is, but it looked tropical so it went indoors too. it's grown some since the fall too! i've returned it to its shady spot on the table right outside the door. 

no idea what this lush thing is, but it looked tropical so it went indoors too. it's grown some since the fall too! i've returned it to its shady spot on the table right outside the door. 

these grasses are coming right back! I'm soo pleased.  

these grasses are coming right back! I'm soo pleased.  

the ones next to it aren't doing as well though. I've been anxiously examining it daily for new shoots.  

the ones next to it aren't doing as well though. I've been anxiously examining it daily for new shoots.  

the cherry tree always looks so good in the spring and early summer, only to succumb to mildew in august. hope i can avoid it this year!

the cherry tree always looks so good in the spring and early summer, only to succumb to mildew in august. hope i can avoid it this year!

I loove these mini "blooms"...the stonecrop turns purple later on but they are a nice green now. so glad to see they survived this year's crazy temps. 

I loove these mini "blooms"...the stonecrop turns purple later on but they are a nice green now. so glad to see they survived this year's crazy temps. 

willa lounges in a sun patch while i work... 

willa lounges in a sun patch while i work... 

what else should I plant this year? I need to put in my herbs soon...i'm thinking rosemary, thyme, parsley, and basil. the mint is of course coming back by itself (weed that it is) and so have the garlic chives (super excited about that since i didn't expect it). I also picked up a little pot of oregano at the farmer's market. man do I love spring. 

hudson valley towns

it's in the 60s and it looks like the springy temperatures are here to stay.  yay!! here are a few moments from my weekend...

i roamed the streets of kingston while hhh perused the local record shop.

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we had lunch at duo bistro, which was totally delicious.  

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we also went up to hudson where i wandered some more while hhh looked for more records. (there's a theme here.) 

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i went to rural residence, which stocks gorgeous textiles and a nice collection of candles (above), as well as talbott & arding, a new cheese and provisions shop. there were some really tasty things there.

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looking forward to a lot more day trips upstate this spring!  

things i like (#11)

happy springtime! even though it's snowing yet again, i'm going to optimistically imagine that it'll be the last time. meanwhile, these are the things keeping me in good spirits: 

this beautiful  matcha bowl , picked up at  umami mart  in oakland.

this beautiful matcha bowl, picked up at umami mart in oakland.

a scoop of this  tea party tea  sloowly eases me into wakefulness each morning.

a scoop of this tea party tea sloowly eases me into wakefulness each morning.

these paperwhites, which remind me that it'll soon be gardening season again.

these paperwhites, which remind me that it'll soon be gardening season again.

two egg soaps in a mini carton, from korea via my friend june.

two egg soaps in a mini carton, from korea via my friend june.

paperwhites

my next-door neighbor introduced me to paperwhites when he brought some over as part of a very thoughtful holiday gift. they came in a bulb vase a lot like this one, and hadn't yet bloomed. as a result, hhh was convinced for weeks that they were scallions. the stalks kept growing until the plant was about twice as tall as the vase, and then tiny muslin blossoms appeared. 

the bulb on the left was started about four weeks ago, and the one on the right just about a week ago.

the bulb on the left was started about four weeks ago, and the one on the right just about a week ago.

the holiday paperwhites lasted quite a while, but eventually died off. i hadn't yet asked the internets what to do with the bulb after the flowers faded, so apparently did everything totally wrong and had to throw away the bulb. (what not to do: trim the stalks in hopes that more blossoms will come in. they will not.) 

i find it weirdly delightful to watch the roots grow.

i find it weirdly delightful to watch the roots grow.

willa enjoying new smells.

willa enjoying new smells.

then, i saw a whole basket of paperwhite bulbs for sale while we were in hudson last month. i grabbed a couple and vowed that i'd do everything right this time. i started one in the bulb vase, and waited a couple weeks to start the next bulb so that there would be some vertical diversity. since a lot of people have trouble with them toppling over, this tip might come in handy: you can add some gin (or tequila, vodka, whiskey or rum, for that matter) to the water. this stunts the growth of the leaves without affecting the flowers. (also, who knew there was a flower bulb research program at cornell university? i need to reevaluate my life choices.) 

they are also reeeaally fragrant. some people love it, some people don't. 

they are also reeeaally fragrant. some people love it, some people don't. 

this time, i know to let the flowers die off before trimming and drying off the bulbs. then i'll store them in a cool, dark place until the dead of next winter, when i'll get them out and force them (ha!) to cheer me up again. 

rhinos and ranunculus

yesterday, i swung by botanica on my way home from the new york historical society. spring is here...i think. well, it is as long as i have these ranunculus in my line of vision. 

these colors make me so happy.

these colors make me so happy.

the selection at botanica is always great, and although it's a bit pricier than the corner shop, their blooms are worth it. (right? see above.) i also brought home this little air plant and set it in the mini rhino planter that joy bought me when i was in asia.

it's like an adorable porcupine-rhino hybrid.

it's like an adorable porcupine-rhino hybrid.

i'd been looking for the perfect thing to plant in the little guy. what do you think? here he is keeping company with the rest of the foliage in my bedroom. 

it's a jungle in there! rhino stands guard with the basil tree and some rosemary, i'd also love it if someone told me what that spiky thing is.

it's a jungle in there! rhino stands guard with the basil tree and some rosemary, i'd also love it if someone told me what that spiky thing is.