weekly photo challenge : renewal

Before I get to the photo challenge, I want to mention that the recipe I posted on Monday for My Best Banana Bread had a typo, which has since been corrected. Thanks to my attentive sister-in-law for pointing that out! Good thing one of us is paying attention.

Now on to the challenge: renewal. Nothing says renewal to me like the growth of plants, especially after winter snow. It has snowed here all day and it’s a beautiful winter wonderland. (Trying to make the best of it since there’s nothing that will change it.) I’m already looking forward to spring, and it’s only November. It’s going to be a long winter. Very long. I’ve included a typical winter shot of my side yard to help you understand the importance of spring growth and renewal.

snowy winter yardTulips from the grocery store remind us that spring will arrive.

tulipsThis is an important part of spring renewal – bedding out plants ready to find a home in my big flower pots.

potting plantsOf course I had to include Kush enjoying the great outdoors. Can’t you just feel the warmth in these photos? It provides renewal for the spirit.

Kush with flowers

Kush in the garden

chihuly garden and glass part 2

Earlier I posted on the glass exhibit inside the Chihuly Garden and Glass. Here are my photos of this wonderful garden in the heart of Seattle – during the day and then again at night. This is an incredible place to visit and I can’t wait to go again!

big yellow ball

purple glass

beautiful blue glass

yellow glass on dark grass

who is in my garden?

Good news! Finally the weather is warm enough to get to work in the garden. I should be out there cleaning the beds, washing the deck, rearranging the pots that have been stacked for the winter and planning all that needs to be done. I need to buy plants for my myriad of fabulous flower pots, and of course then they need to do be planted! Now for the bad news – I can’t get excited about it. I don’t have my usual enthusiasm to get out there and dig in the dirt, and I think I’ve figured out why. I don’t want to stress my hands doing this intense physical labor. My hands are recovering from their respective surgeries. I’m doing physio exercises for mobility and strength, my chiropractor is working with me and I’m doing yoga. All of these things are helping my hands to regain their function, but they are not there yet. They need more work and more time. I’m totally optimistic , but it is hard to be patient. Really hard. At this time I want to save my hands for creative endeavors in the house!

I decided to wander around the yard and see what was growing, and was delighted to find these familiar faces. Sculptures are scattered around my garden where they give a reason to smile when you chance upon them.

yard guard

three wooden figures

frog

elephant statue

the tomato

This post is dedicated to one red tomato. This tomato was grown by my son, Brad, who moved away to Victoria and left his tomatoes on the vines. tomatoes are not particularly easy to grow in Calgary, especially if you don’t get them planted as early in the season as possible in a terrific location. These tomato plants did not have these advantages. Brad planted 4 tomato plants, and the total yield for the season was 13 tomatoes. Of the 13 tomatoes, only 1 ripened on the vine. The rest were as green as grass when I picked them. There was a danger that the frost would get them, so I had to do it. Now that the fruit is indoors, the ripening is finally gaining momentum. I photographed the plants in all their glory, after a light frost that destroyed the leaves of the plants, and the tomatoes in the house. Tomorrow I’m going to slice into the beautiful red tomato and see how it tastes. So much anticipation…

beautiful tomatoes on the vine

lighly frosted tomato plants

single red tomato with green siblings

other tomatoes starting to ripen

I debated how to eat this special garden produce and decided a simple preparation would be best. I needed some fresh mozzarella so that I could eat this beautiful tomato and truly enjoy the taste. I sliced it and served it with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. With the addition of a little salt and pepper, it was heavenly. I’m sorry that Brad was unable to share the “fruit” of his labor, but hopefully he will be able to grow a great garden in Victoria next year.

sliced tomato

more sliced tomato

mozarella and tomato

tomato and mozzarella with balsamic and olive oil