Wednesday, May 2, 2018

lots of blooms and a little day trip

 How quickly things can change around here! It went from winter-like weather to warm seemingly overnight. Yesterday and today were in the 80's. I actually have the AC on today! As I do every year, I say a little prayer before I turn the AC on for the season, as it's 30 years old. The furnace, too. Looks like it'll be back to normal temps (60's) tomorrow and through next week, but these two days of warm weather really pushed things into bloom. You can almost see the plants grow before your eyes. They truly do change day by day.

I still haven't been to the garden centers to pick out annuals for the porch and patio. So far, I only have a couple of hanging baskets of pansies and violas. I was at a mega store with a garden center the other day and was walking around to see what they had. I was so excited to see flowers again, that I had to stop myself from throwing everything into the cart. I realized I'd better make a plan before I start to buy stuff. What kinds of flowers do I really want, and which pots am I going to put them in? Sun or shade? Colors?

Around my yard, vinca is blooming, lilacs and clematis are budding, lilies are well out of the ground, hostas are unfurling. In my butterfly garden, phlox, black-eyed susan, lamb's ear, and columbine are all making their debut. In the little circular garden in the backyard, more phlox and bleeding heart are coming back.

These cheery daffodils make a late appearance every spring in my butterfly garden; I think because they don't get a lot of sun. A few days ago, they were just green stalks and now ~ beautiful blooms. To me, they are the essence of spring.

Brian had the day off work yesterday. Since we already had the patio set up for the season (hooray!) except for potted plants, we decided to take one of our little day trips. Sure, there's still a lot more work to get the yard and gardens ready for spring, but sometimes you just need to get out of town and relax a bit.

I love the gorgeous planters scattered around the shops in this town. One of the store owners told me that it's the local florist who does these arrangements every year.

We ate some delicious Greek food for lunch...we shared chicken gyros, a Greek salad, Greek potatoes, and fresh pita bread with hummus; went to some of our favorite shops; picked up olive oil, freekah (the new-ish supergrain) and paneer cheese (I'm going to make Palak Paneer) from a middle eastern grocer; and then we went to relax by the lake. I know I've posted photos of this view before, but it's one of my favorites. I like how you can see part of the Chicago skyline, even though it was a hazy day. 

 No trip to Evanston would be complete without us stopping at Secret Treasures, where I found this gorgeous American sweetheart cake plate. 

 Happy May! What's blooming in your part of the world?


  1. You sent the same weather here! :) From one extreme to the other! : ) as to my blooms here I had two daffodils that survived the cold and then melted in the 85 degree heat

  2. I love these posts, as always. I also say a prayer when I turn on the AC for the first time and ours is only 18 years old, so you give me hope. We got that much needed rain last night and everything is blooming today! Hallelujah!!

  3. I love this post! and I love seeing what's blooming in your yard. I have never been to Chicago (except for a layover once at O'Hare), but it's on my bucket list. Your day trip sounds like fun. We need to do something like that, as we've been chained to the backyard while my husband is working on one of his many projects. We had a nice, warm weekend, followed by a few days of rain. So, I expect there will be a lot popping up in the garden later this week.

  4. That cake plate is so pretty!! I love seeing all the plants and think Mom and I will be working on our little planting box soon.

  5. Love the cake plate and I am glad you have some greens and blooms where you live. We are still watching the last of the snowbanks melt away and have yet to see buds on the trees. I think I am a southerner at heart-xo Diana

  6. The cake plate is really pretty. Nice score. I have never been to Evanston now I may have to try that area out. I said a prayer yesterday when I turned on the air with how humid it was. It is over it's life cycle and with all the other money put into the house we are hoping to get another season out of air and furnace.
    Today it is cooler and could open the windows again.

  7. I'm salivating over your Greek lunch. Pansies hold out until it gets hot, then head off the stage until fall. But I too love their perky little faces!

  8. Such a pretty cake plate Melanie, and that lunch sounds amazing!

    (Not sure if you know, but when I click on your url link from the comment you left it takes me to a warning page and says I should not click through. If you’d like me to take a screen shot i will.)

  9. Your day trip sounds wonderful. Enjoy Spring!

  10. I am so happy to see that your cold spell is over . . . you certainly had a long winter. It's so nice to see you out and about and enjoying the flowers and the warmth of the sun. Pretty cake plate, too!
    Have a happy and healthy week, dear friend.
    Connie :)


Thank you for taking the time to leave a kind comment - I read and appreciate each one!