Ya'll ready for a little yard tour here? We've been at the office WAY too much. So, finally we came home kinda early. Like before 7pm. Connie's not laughing. I am. You either laugh or cry. Your choice. I laugh. Well, every once in a while I have a meltdown. But not tonight. We were home. The flowers were glorious. The light was ok - fading fast but ok. And, I had my sweetie next to me and a glass of wine in my hand and I was walking my yard. YEAH!
Out the back door to the hosta garden and the fence garden. The new hellebore is now the size of the old one. The hosta are loving it. One fern survived the nasty honeysuckle. The wild ginger is coming back from last year's drought. The Virginia bluebells are starting to melt away. Such are ephemerals.
Around the corner, TC (Tommy Cat) is watching us from a safe perch behind the rhubarb. Ok, yes, you could wear those for clothes. They're mammoth. And the rhubarb is fabulous. We had rhubarb, goat cheese and shagbark hickory syrup salad over sorrel the other night. Amazing.
Have I ever shown you the compost bin Connie built? He's amazing.
On to the garden. Our first sprout from the 25 asparagus roots Connie just put in. The ten we already have just don't produce enough for us. But, they sure do look wonderful. So do the peas and radishes. Oh, and the strawberries and cruciferous bed. Not sure what made it in there but take a look at the Brussels sprouts from last year that seem to be coming back. We're leaving them just to see what happens...
The golden raspberries along the fence are going nuts. Last year the birds and squirrels beat us to most of them. This year we will be more vigilant! Then it's on to the corner garden. The wisteria. Oh, my. It's stunning.
A look under the crabapple at the hosta and daylilies and it's out the gate to the bed in front of the living room window. Columbine and meadow rue and bleeding hearts and heuchera. The columbine that doesn't quite go was from my old house. Pretty much a volunteer and didn't show up at all last year. I was more than thrilled to see it this year. Then, on along the entrance street. The persimmon tree is LOADED with fruit. We'll have a bumper crop this year. Speaking of a bumper crop, ditto the crab apple. Then, there's the yarrow, Shasta daisies, peonies, lilies, hosta...
On around the corner to the future orchard. Right now it's home to a peach and an apple tree. Their second year. I counted 66 peaches coming on. Yup, you read that right, 66. About four apples. There's a plum, apricot and sour cherry to go in. Next year we'll add two pears, a sweet cherry, another persimmon and another apple.
To the front garden. I still remember people gawking when we moved in and killed half of our front yard. No, more like 2/3rd's. Grass is so bad for the environment. And, flowers are so much prettier. The stellar performers up front right now are the peonies, roses and Siberian iris. Amazing. Around the corner there are iris and pinks. We've also got salvia, bachelor's buttons, daylilies, cranesbill geraniums...
Then, it's on to the herb garden. Pretty much everything you can name. And, a couple dozen pepper plants. Plus blueberries.
We do love our yard. As much as we love cooking. While we wandered the yard I had a meal cooking away in the dutch oven. I'd never cooked with bulgur before. But, we do love lamb. So, I was game. Found a bag of Bob's Red Mill bulgur at the grocery so we were good to go. The recipe actually called for fresh spinach. But, I had a bag of baby spinach, kale and chard. That worked perfectly. We totally loved this dish. I added a splash of siracha, substituted pinto beans for the white beans and left out the paprika since I'm not a fan of that. But otherwise I stayed pretty true to the recipe.
Lamb and Bulgur Stew with Beans
1 lb ground lamb
1 medium onion, diced
2/3 c bulgur
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/3 c water
1 14.5 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
5 oz baby spinach (or mix of baby spinach, kale and chard)
3.5 oz feta cheese
1 T fresh oregano leaves
In a dutch oven, brown and drain the lamb. Add the onion, bulgur and pepper flakes and brown for about five minutes. Add the tomatoes and water. Cover the pan and simmer for about 25 minutes. Add the beans, greens, oregano and about half of the feta cheese. Stir in well until the greens wilt a bit. Serve with the rest of the feta crumbled over the top.
adapted from Martha Stewart Living