Sunday, April 26, 2015

Spring has (finally) sprung!

Hardy Cyclamen
Above are the first bits of colour we saw this spring. They are corms as opposed to bulbs and pop up above the leaf litter early on. As well as the flash of much-needed colour at this time of year, they have interesting foliage, which resurfaces in the late fall.

Aptly named, because they are often up while there is still snow on the ground.  They don't last long, but are a sight for sore eyes, especially after a long, cold winter.

They always remind me of Easter, but I love how they open and close with the sun, and how they attract swarms of the first pollinators.

Scilla and friend
These always look much more dramatic when they are in groups and I particularly like them when they cover a lawn.  Blue is a rare colour, botanically, and it contrasts beautifully with the bright green leaves.

Heath and Cypress
We have a large patch of Heath in the front garden, and in amongst it is a small, shrub-like Cypress that provides a lot of interesting colour and texture contrast.  It also gets swarmed with bees, a sure sign of summer's approach.

A Buttercup-bright yellow flower, above an umbrella-like stem and leaves, which are brilliant compared the greys and browns of the leaf litter, through which they emerge.

Aka Christmas Rose, Winter Rose and Lenten Rose, however they are not roses at all, but rather, evergreen perennial shrubs. They take time to get going, but are worth the wait.

Unknown bulbs
We have two small clumps of these in the front garden, and although we don't know what they are called, they are an incredible mauve colour.

Not the big kind that flower later in the summer, these are short, early-blooming and don't last long.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Easter lunch

Yesterday, CC and I had some of his family over for an Easter lunch. As usual, he had on display some seasonal plants, many harbingers of what's to come in the garden.

Primulas from Terra Greenhouses - four different colours, in pots, arranged in a copper jelly pan, served as the centrepiece.

Forced Apple blossoms - pruned from Apple trees in the front boulevard.

Miniature Daffodils, potted, in cast iron urns, in front of a friend's painting.

Blue Hydrangeas
CC did the lion's share of the cooking and presentation, but I helped out a little too.  We had a Spanish Cava mixed with fresh-squeezed OJ, along with Crab dip and rice crackers and devilled eggs for starters.

Crab dip with rice crackers on Imari plate.

Devilled eggs in Limoges plate.
For the main meal, CC prepared roasted Asparagus, a savoury Aperitif cake with bacon, olives and sun-dried tomatoes, a Leek and pepper gratin, and I made a Salmon Wellington with a sour cream, parsley (couldn't find Dill, so I had to improvise), lemon, red onion and caper sauce.

Roasted Asparagus

Savoury Aperitif Cake

Leek and Pepper Gratin

Salmon Wellingtons

For dessert, CC made a sponge cake, lemon curd and blueberry sauce and I made rabbit sugar cookies. We also had some Lindt chocolate eggs up for grabs.

Brightly-coloured Lindt Easter eggs stand out amongst our Asian shelves

Origami rabbit holds more eggs

Sponge Cake and Bunny cookies

Sponge cake with Lemon curd and blueberry sauce