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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Notes From The Country | No. 3

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Living in the countryside means getting to enjoy the changes of seasons up close. Every day in the spring is exhilarating with all the new life emerging. Each day something new is noted. Fits and starts of warm days, of cold days, of rainy days, of overcast days, and of BRILLIANT blue sky days make each new bit of green a cause for celebration. 

C E L E B R A T I O N 

for birds and critters 

Wild dewberry blooms in the country
Wild dewberry vines will provide berries for birds before summer comes. The berries are always small and unappetizing for picking for us, but just right for the birds. An old hollow stump makes a good shelter for country critters. 

C E L E B R A T I O N 

for a much anticipated wildflower 

notes from the country bluebonnet plant
Watching for the first signs of native bluebonnets is an annual spring ritual. Here is the first hint of blue on bluebonnets growing in my little naturalized yard in the country. 

Finding even a few bluebonnets sprouting on your own country property is always a celebration! 

How do you explain the joy of seeing bluebonnets every year? Once you have lived in Texas, watching for and enjoying bluebonnets becomes part of your life. Photos with children and pets in bluebonnets are almost mandatory for families. Reports of the first sightings are broadcast on the local nightly news. Viewers are encouraged to send their photos of bluebonnets to TV stations and newspapers for publication. All along country roads you see cars pulled over and see someone taking photos... any day of the week, not just on the weekend. And sometimes the person taking photos is all alone... 

The rest of us passing by are smiling because we understand. 

C E L E B R A T I O N 

for early spring vegetables 

notes from the country lettuce plants on the deck
Gardening does not require a huge plot. Early spring lettuces planted in boxes on the deck are close for picking for supper salads. By June all the lettuce will be gone and summer vegetables in the large in-ground gardens will begin producing. Until then, eating homegrown lettuce from the back deck is a celebration. 

C E L E B R A T I O N 

for sprouting plants on the deck 

notes from the country vintage bench on the deck
Sprouting hosta plants, new growth on boxwoods, and white blooming impatiens beneath trees with fresh new leaves are examined each day to see how much they have grown overnight. Soon other plants will fill the bench made from a vintage wrought iron bed. 

Old Chicago bricks bought second-hand over 35 years ago elevate deck pots for drainage and serve as risers for potted plants to come on the old bench. 

C E L E B R A T I O N 

for Daylight Saving time and more hours of sunlight each day   

notes from the country sunlight in an open post and beam house
Sunlight fills the house from the breakfast sunspace, the window wall in the living room, and the two stories of French doors topped by a Palladian window in the living room. Open spaces not separated by walls make it easy to see sunlight from every room. 

C E L E B R A T I O N 

for Erlicheer narcissus on the kitchen island  

notes from the country Erlicheer narcissus bouquet
This year's crop of  Erlicheer narcissus was spectacular. Just four stems made a beautiful bouquet and filled the house with their fragrance. Planting more Erlicheer bulbs is on the to-do list for fall. 

Today was one of those fits-and-starts spring days. The low last night was 36° and the high today was in the 40s, but the temperature is warming up again tomorrow... 64° as high on Sunday and 72° on Monday. 

More cause for celebration in the countryside of north Texas. 


Celebrate more Texas spring with