Warning! Photo-heavy post!
For the first time in weeks, we had nowhere to be and nothing to do on Sunday! What a pleasure. We expected to spend the day inside because of the rain, and had a leisurely morning. Anna and I finally got around to making hot cross buns this year. They are such a treat, we only make them once or twice and only during the Easter season to keep them special. The yeast is always the high point (until it's time to eat the buns hot out of the oven!)...
Anna actually did most of the work, kneading, forming the buns, and glazing them with sugar when they are just out of the oven...
I did a little mending while Anna was hard at work baking, and then the sun came out. We decided that we would walk around, enjoy the signs of spring, and generally assess what needed to be done around the yard. What a glorious day! Most of the daffodils are in bud, but a few are open. Also blooming is a hyacinth we brought home from Grandpop's 85th birthday celebration last year. We planted it not knowing if it would actually bloom, and it is already starting to spread! The nettles are also coming back to life. In a couple more weeks, we'll be eating nettle soup (yum) and drinking nettle tea (a lot of honey required, but excellent for Michael's allergies).
The assessing turned into doing once we got down to the stream. One of my favorite spring jobs is heaving logs and branches that are littering my woods into the stream when it is running high. This was the only photo Anna took that didn't show me in a completely contorted position chucking wood! Look at all that rushing water.
Back up around the house, we cleared out the butterfly garden, pulled out early tufts of crabgrass, raked and prepped it for planting. We found some active growth on the lower parts of the butterfly bush branches and there were a couple young nettle shoots under one of the butterfly bushes, but they had to go, if only because we have nettle patches all over. Apparently they like poor soil!
Anna and I also worked on the rock walls by the butterfly garden. Some of the crevices are large enough to fill with soil and plant. We tend to go with Mountain Pinks because they remind us of Mom mom's garden, and they fill in and cascade nicely. Other crevices just lead to more rock. In those cases, Anna puts as much soil in as possible, adds a little peat for acidity and transplants mosses. Eventually every crevice will either have plants or moss.
Michael made good use of his time and brought out the Adirondack chairs to overlook the stream. He also planted a new (replacement) cherry tree for Anna. You might recall that the sheep had a field day with our fruit trees two summers ago. I had been pruning them back to see if we could salvage them, and then, to add insult to injury, over the winter some little animal ate all the bark off the bottom of the cherry tree - completely around the trunk! That was my sign to just get a new cherry tree for Anna. She enjoys sitting on the little rock next to the Adirondack chairs, and it is her dream to be able to reach up some day and leisurely pluck cherries as she is enjoying the view of the stream. It's good to have goals!
After writing all of this and seeing the photos, I'm not sure what part of the day was work and not fun!