Saturday Meanderings

With quite the rain, thunder and lightning storms this week (hail in some areas), March is definitely in like a lion. We need and love the rain and I can hear all my plants making gulping noises as they absorb nature’s shower. Happy Saturday and weekend, my friends! It’s a chilly morning here at Bella Terra, but enjoying the quiet with a nice cup of coffee. Let’s get started and check out all the good things that happened this week.

Sunset between Storms at a friend’s home

Early Signs of Spring

Isn’t it interesting that year after year, the seasons come and go, whether we are ready or not? Even though several of our trees are still in winter mode and bare, there are many plants that shout that Spring is on its way.

Still in winter mode

So sad that we lost our apple tree to the extreme heat last summer as I already miss it’s pretty pink blooms.

Last year’s apple tree

The peach and apricot trees are blooming, and our newly planted Santa Rosa plum tree is filled with flowers.

Santa Rosa plum blossoms

Lady Banks roses run the entire width of the front of the property along the street. These dense climbing vines provide privacy and reduce the traffic noise. But this time of year the long and tall hedge fills with delicate pale yellow roses.

Though the sweet yellow roses only last a few weeks, and watching them come to life is a reminder of Spring’s beauty. Poppies and hollyhocks are growing but not blooming yet, but there are signs of new life everywhere.

Garden Update

Finally, this weekend, I am planning to work on the vegetable garden. This week I picked all the tomatoes on my winter crop. What I noticed is that the tomato plants from last fall, look healthy and are actually producing flowers.

My winter tomato crop

Typically, I pull the old plants and put in new ones. But after doing a bit of research, apparently some tomatoes are annuals and others perennials. They are called determinant (annuals) and indeterminant (perennials) plants. Since many of my plants are heirloom varieties, it appears they are indeterminant and continue to produce fruit until the plant is killed by frost.

New tomato flowers

Does anyone grow tomatoes that you would consider perennial? I did trim the plants back to newer growth areas and will fertilize this weekend. Hoping for an abundant healthy crop from them.

My 5 Days in Florida

Last weekend I was in Celebration, Florida at my dear friend, Chloe’s home (Celebrate and Decorate). What an absolute treat to be in her lovely home with 5 other blogging friends. We try and meet twice a year because we enjoy each other’s company and learn so much from each other.

Chloe’s Spring front door

Chloe arranges for a lovely boat ride around Winter Park and Lake Osceola, with a delicious lunch following.

Winter Park Boat Tour

In addition to exploring, we work collectively on blogging issues. It is fun to take photographs of Chloe’s Easter decor and tablescape. To see more about this seasonal table for two, click here.

Chloe’s Easter table for 2

Another photo opportunity is Chloe’s large chocolate Easter bunny in this basket of hydrangeas.

Easter Basket

Check out these cute bunnies on pedestals on Chloe’s living room mantel? They are $5.98 each and you can find them here.

Leaping bunnies from Walmart

Of course, darling Lily spent the entire time with the girls. I swear she is a person reincarnated…maybe even a princess in a previous life.

Andrea from Design Morsels, Kim-Shiplap and Shells, and Lily

Bread Making Week

I am in the bread making mood this week and finished 3 loaves. This is my second attempt at a Honey Lavender sourdough bread, a recipe adapted from @barefoot.mimosas. Surprisingly, this bread is delicious. Sometimes rose or lavender can be a bit too perfume-y or soapy, but the subtle herbal flavor is just fantastic. It is especially tasty out of the toaster with honey butter.

Honey Lavender Bread

Another favorite is my cheese, garlic and rosemary sourdough bread which I mix up after dinner, let it rise overnight and bake the following day. So simple and easy, but delicious especially when experimenting with cheeses from gruyerè to cheddar.

Cheese, garlic and rosemary bread

I am also thinking about having a Bread class here at Bella Terra~a general one about sourdough, yeast and quick breads. What do you think?

From the Internet:

Lemons, Lemons, and More Lemons

As you know, I recently hosted the All Things Lemon class (see that post here). Also in this post are some kitchen tools I recommend for working with lemons.

My sweet friend, Wendy from WM Design House has a marvelous post on several way to use lemons from making a household cleaner to creating a lemon scrub.

WM House Designs

Now is the time to take advantage of the lemon season, before the prices go up over the summer.

Spring Cleaning

Each Spring, my mother would open up all the windows in our Connecticut home and start her spring cleaning. Often times she would change out the linens, replace the rugs and lighten the winter look to the new season.

Design Morsels

There is no easier way to refresh your house for the Spring with a good deep cleaning. If you change out your rugs for lighter weights and colors, then you need to read my friend, Andrea’s post on Rug Buying Guide: An Essential Part of Decor.

Not sure of what size rug to use? Andrea has all the answers in her post. There are so many attractive, affordable rugs on the market and this is another simple way to update your home for spring and summer.

Bulb Gardening

My bulb garden 2020

Here in Phoenix, now is the time to garden for Spring. Each year I look forward to my bulb garden, however, this year it is underwhelming. I am learning that bulbs last for only a few years here and need re-planting.

Shiplap and Shells

Kim from Shiplap and Shells has a very informative post on Growing Tulips from Bulbs: Tulip Care and Maintenance 101. So if you are interested in planting bulbs in the fall and enjoying their beauty next year, check out her post here.

Wishing you a terrific weekend! We have a friend’s birthday event tonight and hope to get the garden cleaned up and planted.