Sunday, February 27, 2011


Today we cut down part of our neighbor's tree.  Our neighbor has a Magnolia tree on the side of their house.  I have nothing against Magnolia trees, in bloom they are gorgeous!  However this magnolia tree was planted in a 6 foot space, literally 1-2 feet from the property line and 3-4 feet from the side of our neighbors house.  So naturally it had no place to grow but over our yard. 

The tree is beautiful for about a week after which it drops its thousands of petals all over my freshly tilled garden.  All Summer long it shades my garden every afternoon and in the Fall drops all of it's thick waxy leaves onto our property.  Needless to say this Magnolia is not my favorite.  Andy and I have gone back and forth between whether or not to cut down the largest branch which hangs directly over the compost pile and possible spot for the bees.  We know that according to the city any part of the plant that falls on our property we are allowed to trim, prune or cut.  But we cut the branch at the base of the tree on the neighbor's property because it would look best this way.  Hopefully they don't get mad, but a renter lives there so we don't think they will care.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Over the long weekend on our day off my friends Michelle and Karl came over to help me assemble the frames for the beehive.  We had to add wire for extra support and then the wax foundation.  Between the three of us we completed the job in about 2.5 hours.  I was excited to get it done and really appreciated their help and expertise!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Most of you know that I am the cook in the house but Andy is the chocolatier of the house.  He quite often makes chocolate strawberries for us, family or friends.  Knowing his propensity for creating these treats his sister asked him to make 160 for her wedding that was this past Saturday.  She was having a champagne brunch reception and wanted to have them plated with her cupcakes in lieu of a cake.   I was a bit worried that the project was more than we could chew but it ended up being relatively painless and took us a couple of hours.  Here is how we spent our Friday evening:

This is what about 200+ strawberries look like, we wanted to make sure we had enough for mistakes, extras and the few duds we would find.

A few of the final product, we ended up with 184 chocolate covered strawberries!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Look at what showed up on our doorstep earlier this week. I was like a child at Christmas!

Isn't it pretty!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring Weather in February

Last week was the biggest cold snap of the year, dipping down to single digits.  Naturally the following week would be 60 degrees, what else would you expect in the middle of February?  Crazy Ohio weather.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Phase 1

This weekend we had unseasonably warm weather and took advantage of it by beginning the first phase of our garden expansion.  Andy cut down and took out the root balls of all three trees.  We did a really poor job of removing leaves from the back this past Fall and our neighbor blew all their leaves under the fence into our yard so we have had plenty of leaves. We piled the leaves over the area where the garden will be in hopes that it will block the sun and kill the grass.  Hopefully this will ease the job of removing sod in the Spring.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Big Order

We finally made a decision and pulled the trigger.  I ordered our bee hive this weekend, so it's official we are going ahead with the bees.  It's exciting and a bit nerve wracking at times, but we are anxiously anticipating the arrival of the hive and the new adventure.  Above is the hive we bought along with a few other pieces of equipment.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2011 Garden Expansion

You are looking at the space in our back yard slated for our garden expansion.  We have decided to take out the three evergreens.  They are just sort of plopped in the middle of the fence line and with only three they don't create a privacy screen.  The space there against the fence has no function and is just there. 

We have decided it will be a great area for a long raised bed.  This is the only spot in our teeny back yard that gets complete all day sun uninterrupted by any shade.  Our current garden depending on the time of day is shaded.  In the morning the half against the house is shaded and in the afternoon the side closest to the back fence is shaded by the house in the back.  Most plants get about 8 hours of sun in that garden.  We have been successful but I believe that some plants will be more successful in the newer garden.

The exact size and number of beds is yet to be determined.  Originally we decided against making this area veggie beds for resale purposes.  But really who knows when that will or won't happen and until then I want to maximize our growing potential.  I am looking forward to the extra vegetable real estate!  Below you can see where the space is in relation to our current garden against the white fence and the house.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Back in January I posted how the cilantro was doing well and actually flourishing.  I also said I was hoping to have guacamole made with garden fresh cilantro for the Super Bowl.  Well I never made the guacamole because we went to a party that didn't need us to bring food.  However despite being buried under inches and inches of snow for a long time the cilantro is still doing well.  I am completely surprised to have cilantro in the garden, it was done completely by accident but it's a pleasant surprise.  This week we will be enjoying our winter cilantro!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More Ice

Last night the rain and freezing continued.  With the outdoor lights it was actually quite beautiful as long as you didn't need to go anywhere.