Friday, October 06, 2017

2016, May 14 - Sophia’s Garden Day

2016, May 14 - Sophia’s Garden Day was written by Annie in Austin/Diva Glinda for the Divas of the Dirt Blog

With the ground softened by rain a few days earlier, six Divas of the Dirt met at Sophia’s house, hoping to get some weeding, clipping and planting done for our friend. Sugar and Mattie were both out of town with family.

Assorted health issues meant our group was kind of wobbly (Buffy was using a cane after leg surgery) but we’d do our best.

Sophia’s table was festive but not fussy… ready for a wonderful meal. Since this was Sophia – even breakfast had an appetizer. Apple strudel appeared while she worked on the main breakfast recipe.

The recipe was “Nonna’s Eggs”, a special dish that had been handed down from Sophia’s grandmother. Eggs were separated and the egg whites beaten into peaks. The whites were piled onto toast arranged on a baking sheet, then a little hollow was made in the center so a yolk could be slipped in. After a sprinkle of salt and pepper, they were baked in the oven.

Simple ingredients somehow combined into unexpected textures with great flavor.

Strawberries, blueberries, grapes and bananas made a delicious salad.

Here is the fruit salad, fried potatoes and Nonna’s Eggs – oops – didn’t get a photo of the chicken breakfast sausage.

 Out in the front garden we noticed the native Inland Sea Oats were doing extremely well. Sophia’s Shell Ginger/Alpinia zerumbet 'Variegata' looked bouncy, too. Obviously she had remembered to bring it into shelter last winter.

Eight months previously the Divas had helped Sophia and Roger with a sod-laying project. The replaced lawn looks as if it has settled in well.

Under the large Cedar Elms the Cast Iron Plant reigns. In some years it needs a lot of snipping by Divas, but it looked pretty good today.

The parkway did need Diva help – it was full of grassy weeds and cedar elm seedlings, and some plants had bailed from too much rain.

We Divas of the Dirt like to share so Annie brought Salvia ‘Black & Blue’, Obedient plant/ Physostegia virgiania and some fall aster AKA Symphyotrichum oblongifolium. I brought the yellow-flowering Salvia madrensis. Karla decided that we could use more of that useful fall aster and zipped over to her house to dig more. 

Things moved along pretty well – that’s fall aster wrapped in newspaper, ready to plant. We got everything going pretty well.

The bed along the driveway need some weeding too –but who even sees weeds when a beautiful small native tree like Golden Leadball Tree is in bloom? ( Call it Leucaena retusa if you want to be precise.) 

Drizzle started up and we ignored it at first, but a crack of thunder with lightning sent us inside for a while.

Not long after we went back out there was a surprise. As if hosting a garden day was not exciting enough,  that afternoon was also New Pre-Owned Car day for Roger & Sophia –  this gleaming auto arrived like a kiss of sunshine. Wow! It was gorgeous.

The rain held off long enough for us to weed and clip the front groundcovers area but we didn’t get to finish the job. Heavy rain drove us back into the house in mid-afternoon. (Total rain for this weekend “event” was about 4 inches.)

Before quitting, Mindy insisted on making sure the parkway and front edge of the main yard got mulched.

Sophia served a feast for our late lunch: Salad of mini kale, spinach and chard with Feta cheese, grape tomatoes and artichoke hearts, Greek olives and ginger dressing.

Sophia let Costco make the Chicken Alfredo  -  I don’t want to sound like an ad, but it was really good! 

The dessert was also a Costco treat – have you ever seen such an enormous Cherry Pie?

We hadn’t really done enough garden work to deserve those lovely meals, but that is the chance we take in Central Texas. Unpredictable weather is always lurking, ready to sneak in and spoil the most well-made plans.

2016, May 14 - Sophia’s Garden Day was written by Annie in Austin/Diva Glinda for the Divas of the Dirt Blog

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