Sunday, April 26, 2009


"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. "
~ William Shakespeare

(Mertensia virginica)

Gardener's Note: Sweet blue blooms, suddenly springing in the woodland garden, nodding hello in the breeze will warm your heart ... a wildflower MUST for for Zones 3-6. Plant under deciduous trees (mine under revered Mulberries) where they will receive early season sun. Happy companions are trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, celandine poppies, lady slippers, bloodroot, bleeding heart, etc. Perfect planted with hosta, ferns and other shade loving plants since once dormant, new plants will hide the ripening foliage and fill in the empty spot.

~ Perfect sustaining supper for long day in the garden.

2 well-trimmed pork tenderloins
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
zest of orange
1/2 cup Tamari or low-salt soy sauce
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. Asian sesame oil
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
fresh ground black pepper to taste

  • Combine orange juice, zest, soy, olive oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, thyme and pepper. Pour over tenderloins and marinate for several hours.
  • Remove pork from marinade and grill until thickest portion registers 140-155 degrees (depending on how you enjoy), turning once and basting with marinade (or sear on all sides and roast in hot 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes) . Allow to rest 10 minutes. Slice on the diagonal and serve. (4-6 servings)


12-16 oz. organic baby spring greens (or baby spinach)
1 cup chopped celery
1 diced avocado
1 11 oz. drained can mandarin oranges
4 chopped green onions
1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup oil
2 Tbsp. tarragon vinegar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
dash Tabasco sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Combine oil, tarragon vinegar, dry mustard, Tabasco sauce, sugar, salt & pepper. Blend well and chill.
  • Place greens in chilled salad bowl. Add celery, green onions, parsley, mandarin oranges and avocado. Toss lightly with dressing. Top with toasted almonds. (6 servings)


Gail said...

I love Virginia Bluebells...I did have a few but they were covered by a giant rock when the front path was added! Yours are lovely...and must look beautiful underplanted with the other sweet ephemerals! Gail

beckie said...

Your blue bells are beautiful! I have always loved these woodland flowers and this year my neighbors across the street brought me a box of ones theyw had divided. I planted them under the ornamental plum and so far they are doing well. Good idea about mixing in other plants. Will have to see what I can add.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Ah, Virginia bluebells. SO sweet!!!!

Shady Gardener said...

Happy day! I love the Virginia Bluebells! No Wonder you liked my header photo. :-) You always have such delicious sounding recipes!

Marysol said...

Bluebells are nature's Sunday best, I think. They remind me of the delicate little dresses Mom dressed me in for Sunday school.

Joey, I've been fighting a cold, and your salad, with its mandarin oranges, is sounding particularly good to me right now.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Joey, our blue bells are blooming at the same time. Love the soft, watery blue color.

joey said...

Wish you lived near, Gail, I'd love to share these beauties. The garden exploded over the record-breaking weekend, I'm having a difficult time catching up both inside & out ... bulbs & trillium are bursting everywhere, ferns unfurling, cherry and shadblow in bloom. The garden looks like Heaven :)

Great idea, Beckie ... they should look lovely under the ornamental plum. Do you have something to overplant as the foliage fades? Sounds like a pretty hosta bed to me!

Hi Monica ... hope you didn't wilt over the hot weekend!

Thanks, Shady. I smiled when I saw your lovely header. (The recipes taste good too!)

Do hope you feel better soon, dear Marysol. If I lived near, I'd whisk you over the salad (and some homemade Chicken Soup)!

They're lovely, aren't they Marnie. Did you enjoy the heat wave weekend! Glad the weather is back to normal ... garden life evaporates too fast in the heat. My Yoshino bloomed too fast and now the wind is blowing the blossoms around before I can enjoy them :)