Earth Laughs in Flowers

“Earth laughs in flowers.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

We worked on the flower beds a few days ago, but it’s been a busy week and I had a bad case of writer’s block. Without further delay, here’s what we did with the flower beds this year…

We kept the white rocks from last spring, but chose some different plants.

For our green plant, we chose the corkscrew rush. This plant does well in heat and sun, except in extreme conditions and is a semi-evergreen. Corkscrew rushes do best when they have lots of water, though, so we will have to make sure to water it everyday.

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For color, we planted Dianthus, basically a smaller carnation. We wanted something that would last at least until winter. This plant is pretty versatile and easy to maintain and multiplies easily.

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For a separate planter I have on the porch, we bought some Magellan Zinnia. Like our other choices, these should last until winter and won’t take much care. I love the color variety. These may be my new favorite.

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Since we didn’t have to completely start from scratch this year, the flower beds cost us half of what they did last year. It was about the same amount of labor, though. A lot of leaves from the pecan tree had accumulated in the flower beds over the winter, so we had to clear those out. It was tedious work picking the leaves out the rocks.

There were also a lot of weeds growing up through the rocks which had to be pulled. I picked weeds a few days before we started our project and new weeds popped up just a few days later.

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Something I’ve learned over the past year is that it takes work and time to maintain a yard. This year, we’re going to try to do a little every few days so the yard isn’t such a chore. What we have now is pretty basic, but eventually I hope our yard looks something like what you see in Better Homes and Gardens.

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Springing Into Action

We planted a few flower pots today to pre-game for the flower beds this weekend.

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We’re going to keep the same layout as last spring, but try some different plants. (To see our work from last year, view Flower Bed Makeover.) More pictures to come!

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A Few New Recipes

I have been trying a few new recipes lately and I want to share them with you.

First, I made blackened chicken with an avocado cream sauce. The great thing about this recipe is that the cream sauce is made with non-fat Greek yogurt, so it’s healthy! I did add some chili powder to the seasoning I used on the chicken. Very tasty and very easy to throw together.

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Next, I made rosemary garlic butter steaks. Simple, but take a little longer to perfect. Some of the seasoning fell off the steaks will cooking, so I will have to work on that next time.

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I also made some tasty fried chicken. The first time I made this a few weeks ago, I did fry the chicken in the oven as instructed. This time, though, we were crunched for time (The Walking Dead was about to start), so I fried the chicken in a skillet. Jesse loved it. The buttermilk is great for keeping the chicken tender. I may play around with the seasoning next time to get it a little spicier.

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My favorite new recipe was chicken breasts in a lemon cream sauce. I love pasta and lemons so this was right up my alley. I served my chicken and sauce over thin spaghetti noodles. I wish I could have gotten the sauce a little thicker, but the flavor was great.

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All four of these new recipes are very simple and full of flavor and I will certainly be making them again.

My list of recipes to try seems to be ever-growing, including hundreds on my Yum! Pinterest board. Over the next few weeks, my goal is to try some homemade Asian dishes, like this honey sesame baked chicken. I’ll be sure to share that will y’all also.

Until then, happy spring!

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