viernes, 22 de febrero de 2013

Spring is coming!

Even though it is still a month away, the garden is showing definite signs that spring is just around the corner.

Here in La Mancha, these are the first little wildflowers to spring up.  Yes, the locals call them weeds, but I think they're sweet.

Next up are the almond trees.  Our little tree is three years old and still hasn't given us any almonds yet, but this year I'm hopeful.  It smells wonderful!  In other parts of the country, the almond blossoms are pinker, but here they are usually whiter. 

Another native plant that provides late winter color is Viburnum tinus, also known in Spanish as durillo, or "tough little one".  Right now, it's full of tiny raspberry-colored buds that later open up to miniscule white flowers.  This toughie is also extremely drought resistant.
Viburnum tinus, surrounded by vinca.


While taking these photos, I was accompanied by this pretty butterfly/moth...

... and my partner in crime (when she sees me digging holes, she starts digging, too!).



jueves, 14 de febrero de 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day at our house means onion soup for the Man of the House and a heart-shaped chocolate cake for our two little men.  Believe it or not, my youngest son does not care for frosting (who ever heard of such a thing?! I guess I didn't eat enough frosting while pregnant...) but that's fine by his older brother, who gets double servings.


I also whipped up some cookies out of some dough I had frozen at Christmas, and lots of these went to my friend V, who is a young widow with a 9-year-old son.   

And, let's not forget the My Funny Valentine sweater I knitted for my little niece.  I call it "funny", because this is one of my make-it-up-as-I-go-along specialties.  It's a mix of 2 patterns (for gauge and sizing), a heart graph that I copied and tweaked, as well as a completely made-up neckline and edging.  I just hope it fits!
As you can see, I prefer making things myself on Valentine's Day.  This is probably because they don't sell heart-shaped boxes of chocolates in Spain.  Actually, they don't sell any chocolates in Spain.  Russell Stover could make millions here!