Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Spring is in the air!

Some trees and shrubs are already producing their spring growth.
Spring is beginning to show itself with new growth on some of the plants and the extreme busyness of the little birds. It's too early to plant the tender crops because we are still likely to experience more frosty weather, but the rest of our native landscape will be fine with our hot spells in the middle of winter.

People who try to push the envelope on tropical plants in northern Florida make a lot of extra work for themselves. And many of them cover their tender plants and then leave them covered right through hot spells. It's likely that the plants that are being protected from the frost will die from the heat under their protective tarps and blankets. It's been in the 80s here for several days in a row.

If people would plant more natives in their landscapes, they wouldn't have this problem.

Our red maples are in full bloom already, which is why people need to pay attention to provenance. Our Florida maple trees would not do well in Canada and the Canadian stock would do poorly here even though red maples are native in both regions.

The pre-Super Bowl snacks with homemade pesto dip and home-grown carrots.

Super Bowl

Our hope for the Super Bowl was for a good game. I used both orange and turquoise dishes to show our impartiality. We did not get our wish, but we did enjoy the commercials and the pre-game snacks.

Here is the recipe for the pesto dip. Mix together 1/4 cup of pesto*, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup plain non-fat yogurt, 1 tbs of horse radish, 1/4 cup of equal parts of finely chopped fresh dill, parsley, and meadow garlic, with freshly ground pepper. Yummy.

*I still had some frozen pesto, so it was time to use it. Here's a link to my pesto recipe.

That's me with the braids camping on an island in Long Lake in the Adirondacks.

The making of an advocate

Over the past few weeks I scanned the old family slides into digital files and was struck by how hard my parents worked to get us out into nature. We camped every year, took car trips and we were encouraged to play outside. I wrote about how much their efforts have influenced my life and now I have the time to be a real advocate FOR Mother Nature. See my post A look back to find lessons for the future over on the Beautiful Native Plants blog.

The never ending camping chores in the old days. I don't remember the name of the other family, so if you recognize yourself, let me know! I'm looking at the view with my brother at the Skyline Drive. Wow, look at those old cars, but they were newish then!
On the left, the camping chores were endless.  We'd pack a humongous amount of stuff including a huge canvas tent into a flat-backed canoe on Long Lake in the Adirondacks and camp out on an island with another family. On the right a photo from a trip from Connecticut to New Orleans via Lake Worth FL to visit my grandparents, we stopped to admire the view on the Skyline Drive in Virginia. There were no big highways then, so we traveled through every small town.

I hope you had great outdoor experiences as a kid and if not, it's never too late to get started!

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt


  1. I had not thought of it, but my parents were the same way! My brother and I turned out to be the most nature loving. I'm sure it was due to their influence!!! Neat photos, Ginny!!!

    1. I know what you mean Julie. I had not really thought about it either, but the exercise of scanning all of the slides within a few weeks really helped me focus on those adventures.