Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Dutch Comfort(s)


Dutch comfort, in English, traditionally meant “at least things aren’t worse”. There are certainly worse futures than the one where thrift, tidiness, and proper attention let us grow more food with fewer resources…

Here north of Boston, our first clump of daffodils, next to the south-facing heat-leaking front basement window, blossomed just in time to get buried under 18 inches of fresh snow last Tuesday. But much of that latest snow has since melted — and the daffodils remain defiant, though slightly battered.

What’s going on in your garden / planning, this week?

113 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    That is a great article in the Nat Geo (2? 3? months ago) Almost enough to give one hope for the human race, if not for America.

  2. 2
    raven says:

    Lots of stuff already bloomed here with he very warm weather three or so weeks ago. We’re hoping that the cold snap will delay the azaleas until the Masters but who knows. Between games yesterday evening I walked the pups down the our eatery and I ran into a couple who moved away from here 15 years ago. He’s a film editor and she works for the Nature Conservancy. When we first bought the house they shot a couple hour long video with my bride in her garden. They were making a film about beauty and she a perfect subject with her love of flowers. I have often thought about the couple and wondered what they did with the footage. It turns out they have been living here for the past year and will be here through July. They said they’d be glad to give us the footage so we’re going to get together soon. I remember the day they did it because they wandered all over the yard and ended up snockered, hugging and crying! I wasn’t really involved but I’m really interested to see a record of what the place looked like those many years ago.

  3. 3
    HeleninEire says:

    It’s snowing again. Hard. Was supposed to do Dublin Castle and The Brazen Head with my niece. Hope we’re not stuck in the house all day.

  4. 4
    Aleta says:

    Very cold, the wind came up last night. Some glare ice. But spring light. And because of the piles of snow, the light seems doubled because it bounces back up. So from indoors looking out, it looks like spring but with snow. Outside walking is harsh though. Got some good asparagus at the store.

  5. 5
    Aleta says:

    @raven: That’s so cool, to have film of the place when you first lived there, before planting things that changed the shape.

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven:That’ll be fun and maybe a little strange too. Memories get twisted, conflated, and more than a little foggy.

    Plenty of rain here of late with temps hovering around the 50 degree mark for highs and flirting with freezing every night. The weatherman says a chance of snow (flurries) on Tuesday. Scraping the bottom of the firewood pile and scrounging in the woods as I try to keep the Mediterranean wife warm till spring really gets here. The chickens have rebounded from their winter doldrums and we are now getting 6 or 7 eggs a day again.

    The daffodils are up but still too timid to bloom. Same for a # of other things but only the crocuses are brave enough to sprinkle a little color about the homestead.

  7. 7
    raven says:

    @Aleta: Yea, they sat on steps where the new addition is. If we had planted the pines they were on abut two feet tall and they are probably 35-40 feet now. Of course I’m hoping little Raven in in there too!

  8. 8
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ve actually found 8 guys that were in my Battery in Korea and we have a private Facebook page. It’s really interesting to go over events and look at pictures from 50 years ago.

  9. 9
    cosima says:

    Snowing again here. Go away snow! Last fall I planted heaps of glorious bulbs and did all sorts of things in my garden that were supposed to bear fruit (literally & figuratively) beginning in the spring. So, my bulbs have done their jobs, peeked through, and been snowed on & rained on & sleeted on, over & over. On a gardening scale (1 being awful, 10 being OzarkHillbilly), I’m about a 3, so this was going to be a chance for me to figure out what would grow in our garden w/the combination of my paltry skills and some balancing of the soil through adding compost & sand where needed… No idea what it will be like, but I had high hopes, currently being dashed by the new snow.

    We have a neighbour that is Dutch. The most untidy person in the neighbourhood by far (Little C feeds their cat when they are away), and spends money like a drunken sailor. Could be that they are secretly millionaires, though, and the fancy cars & enormous pizza oven in the back garden, etc etc are petty cash for them. I had no idea that that little country was branching out from flowers to become a leader in food exports — amazing that they can find the space. Presumably they have flat (or perhaps negative?) population growth to do so.

  10. 10
    satby says:

    @raven: that’s great! It will be amazing to see what’s changed in all that time. And it would be nice to see Raven again too.

  11. 11
    cosima says:

    @raven: Update us! That sounds amazing. I get weepy watching old video of my girls. Everything so beautiful, transient & fragile — what an amazing thing to have that encapsulated.

  12. 12
    satby says:

    @cosima: don’t worry too much about spring flowering bulbs, they can take snow and frost even when blooming. A hard freeze would kill the flowers, but next year they’d be back.

    Nothing is blooming here. It’s stayed consistently cold enough with hard freeze nights that even the early daffodils are only a couple inches high. The weather is supposed to stay about the same for the next week or so, no spring blooms for me for a while 😦

  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @cosima: Just for the record, I consider myself to be at best a 5. I’m still learning every day. For a 10 look to Raven’s Bride. She knows how to blend color and foliage and make it all look so natural.

    The article says the Dutch are doing it with green houses, recycled water, and some cutting edge techniques that I only vaguely recall. Really cool stuff. It gave me ideas and I have that mag in the “Do not throw away” pile.

  14. 14
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    I found that Rimmer recipe for gnocchi and mushrooms you wanted. I put it in the original thread and also in the recipe thread last night.

  15. 15
    satby says:

    I am plotting out my garden for this year though. I ordered two roses to replace two that died. I saw an article about growing squash vertically, so I’m trying that in one raised bed. And depending on the size of the apple and crabapple trees I bought, I may keep them in pots for the first year of two. Ultimately they are going in where a plum tree has mostly died, the one the woodpecker made a nest in. I haven’t seen the woodpecker, but I won’t cut the tree down until I’m positive no birds are nesting in it. And the late spring means I still have time to start seeds today.

  16. 16
    cosima says:

    @satby: I planted a bunch of ranunculus, snake’s head & allium bulbs of various sizes — all my favourites. I noticed that while we had a few warm days some started coming through, then were left in standing water after a big snow/sleet bender we had (the kids were off school for several days, and there was too much snow for Little C to do the school ski trip, as too unsafe). So, my sub-par gardening skills have meant that I’ve not levelled that area properly, and I can only hope they will survive. When it warms a bit I will add more soil, compost & sand to build the area up. Then try cautious optimism.

  17. 17
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: thanks for the suggestions on my wiring issue yesterday.

    And, everyone who suggested candles? What a “duh” moment that was, because it never occurred to me, and I certainly have enough candles.

  18. 18
    cosima says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): Oooh! Thanks — you’ve saved me buying the cookbook (or pestering my friend for a copy of the recipe). It was really lovely, and I do think that after all of my heart tests are done, meds sorted, etc., that red meat will be a distant memory for me (I don’t eat much, as Little C doesn’t like it, but I also don’t currently shun it). I’ll be cooking a lot more mushrooms, for myself, hoping that someday Little C will like them (Mr C being a lost cause).

  19. 19
    satby says:

    @cosima: hope they come through ok, standing water leading to rot is probably the only thing that kills bulbs. Where I live ranunculous corms have to be lifted and stored over winter, though I don’t think it gets that cold where you are. I planted a bunch and the planters are on my shed, so we’ll See if that was protection enough.

  20. 20
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Saw this yesterday too late to share but it’s good for Sunday garden thread and sure to make one smile:

    A parcel sent to a couple in New Zealand addressed only with “a farm, situated up a long driveway with cows, opposite a pub or thereabouts” has reached its rightful owners. The letter was initially received by a service centre in the rural village of Cust in the South Island of New Zealand, located between Oxford and Rangiora. The centre has a post centre attached to it that services Cust’s 450 residents.

    Manager of the Cust service centre, Tammie McGrath, said it was custom to return mail that was not properly addressed to the sender. But she decided to attempt to find the cow-owning recipients of the parcel, posting an image of the package to Facebook. The only other clue on the parcel was that it was for ‘Kay and Philip’.

    “I could tell it had been written by an older person and I just thought, well, I’ll hang onto it for a couple of days before I send it back and see if I can find who it belongs to,” McGrath told Guardian Australia. “A couple of hours after I posted it on Facebook, a man came in and said, ‘I think we own this parcel’. He gave me his details and said his name was Philip, and that while he didn’t live across from a pub, he lived down the road from one. He also showed me a card with a picture of his property on it, which showed a field with cows on it. He isn’t actually on Facebook, but people who know him who are on Facebook showed the post to him.”

    More than 2,300 people shared the post. It turned out the lady who sent the parcel was a woman in her seventies, Irene Meekings, who had visited Kay and Philip’s home a couple of times with her daughter-in-law for dinner. Though almost blind, Meekings likes to sew, and the package contained thank-you gifts of a handmade tea-towel and apron.

    “This little old lady went to all the trouble to send this package, and I am glad we were able to help her to get it to the right place,” McGrath said.

  21. 21
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Hope it helps.

  22. 22
    satby says:

    I have to restart this Kindle, we’re having serious disagreement about word choice and spelling. (Yes, I know I can turn autocorrect off, but it normally saves me more than it embarrasses me.)

  23. 23
    WereBear says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It sure made me smile :)

  24. 24
    cosima says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: We don’t have space for a proper greenhouse in our back garden, unfortunately. I do look at all of the garden posts for inspiration — Raven’s wife is indeed a master. Aspirational gardening — I’m doing gardening in baby-steps (lots of misses, a few hits).

    @satby: It will break my heart if they die. Yes, Scotland can be damp, but the rain/snow/sleet/etc has been unrelenting now for ages. It’s been a really crap winter. That followed a fairly crap summer & fall… But I am still happy to be here! We live in a new-build house, and we are the only family brave (bold?) enough to plant out front in this neighbourhood, trying to give a bit of colour & character. There are probably others on the street who could do it better, but they haven’t bothered. Perhaps if my flowers survive they will inspire some. There’s not much that dies off completely here (the grass is always green, the leaves on my clematis are still green, though it’s not doing anything right now, of course), and very low temps are fairly rare. I think the lowest we’ve had this winter is about -10 C, which really isn’t that cold.

  25. 25
    Aleta says:

    This is from 2008 Tomato Magazine. Describing the basics of the tomato growing glasshouse operation that started in Maine that year. It’s been run and managed by Dutchmen iirc (who came from the glasshouses area in Holland). About 5 years ago they got completely wiped out by whitefly and had to start it all over.

    It was owned by a Boston investment co. until last spring. It sold to a big Canadian co. that already owns a lot of them in part of Ontario. I think there’s another operation in Arizona.

    I had one of their tomatoes for the first time yesterday. I’m too suspicious of corporations (“did they inject it with sugar water?”) but it did have that real flavor. Not genetically modified they say. The type of tomatoes they are growing is no longer disclosed to the public.

    eta (These facts may be all wrong ….)

  26. 26
    cosima says:

    Speaking of gardening (somewhat), apparently it is the anniversary of the sentencing of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, which is a fascinating bit of history. Less than 100 years ago, sentenced to penal servitude in Australia for forming a union to protest low wages paid to farm workers in Dorset. I may have to visit this festival someday (Dorset not exactly on our doorstep, but Little C sometimes races in England):

  27. 27
    satby says:

    @cosima: then assuming they survived that standing water, they should be fine. Before you add more soil and stuff, lift them so you can replant them, bulbs can get fussy about being too deep. If they all come through it sounds like it will look beautiful. And take a look at daffodils, they’re almost indestructible, nothing eats them, and the most novice of gardeners look good with a bed of mixed daffs blooming. And most of them spread, so it looks very lush in only a couple of years.

  28. 28
    satby says:

    @Aleta: a number of organic farmers here have hydroponic greenhouses.

  29. 29
    Aleta says:

    Two stories about the year round tomato operation in Maine. Before and after its sale.

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    The British were still shipping convicts to Australia after WWI? Wow. I did not know that.

  31. 31
    cosima says:

    @satby: Will do. Perhaps they will bloom & grow, and I will send in some photos for a gardening post this year. I somehow ended up with 5+ foot sunflowers that were glorious in my back planter (it is raised and mostly herbs) — I did not plant them, the seeds must have been from a wildflower mix? or perhaps Little C’s birdfeeders scattered around? Unfortunately the sunflowers crowded out my bergamot, which are beautiful plants — I’ve planted more of them. And some honesty plants because the seed pods are so beautiful when dry/spent.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    cosima says:

    @Amir Khalid: No! I typed that wrong! 200 years — 1834 (which still seems too recent, tail end of the clearances, etc.)! I obviously don’t know my British history very well (only well enough to pass the test required for residency, then forget a lot of that), so am still learning a lot about various dark deeds & eras. One of the reasons that I chose not to watch ‘The Darkest Hour’ (or whatever that movie with Gary Oldman was called) was that I’d been reading much about all of the really horrible things that Churchill did at other points in history, and really could not stomach watching something that glorified him.

  34. 34
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @WereBear: I’m a little daft. Does that count?

  35. 35

    Mr DAW won 20 stems of very tightly closed daffodils playing bridge yesterday. They’re in water and starting to open.

  36. 36
    WereBear says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sure. Not like you are a blooming idiot… which is a totally different category :)

  37. 37
  38. 38
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: we all adore you. And Baud.

  39. 39
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @WereBear: My wife might disagree.

  40. 40
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Awwww shucks…..

    ETA and that’s Baud!

  41. 41
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😄😄😄

  42. 42
    satby says:

    @WereBear: @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): I had 20 different varieties of daffodils planted at my house in Chicago, and was working on a similar number of varieties at the late lamented Michigan house. Blog beloved commenter Watergirl sent me my favorite pink daffodils as a housewarming gift when I moved here, and I think I have about five versions of daffs now. I’ve shared this site before, it has the best quality bulbs at the best prices as well as about the widest selection. And they ship all over the world from the Netherlands.

  43. 43
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    via Jessica Valenti who said, “This girl’s sign is making my month, not just week.”

    “Girls Clothing In School Is More Regulated Than Guns”

  44. 44
    Immanentize says:

    Hello all. Robot update —
    We are currently in Scranton at the FTC Super Regionals! My son’s team (Brainstormers) is doing well — currently 2d in our division. If they keep this up, it will be on to the World Championship in —
    Detroit. Go ‘Stormers!

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

    @HeleninEire: Glad to hear from you. I was concerned you would have been arrested.

  46. 46
    cosima says:

    @Raven: I was too late to correct my typo -200 years (see my exchange w/Amir). The timing is shocking (to me, anyway), as it’s at the very end of the Industrial Revolution and Highland Clearances, so Britain making big gains in the one area (industry), and tapering off from their egregious behaviour in Scotland, but still transporting to Australia. A bit of a dichotomy, but then I suppose they decided it was worth it to send a message out to prospective union organisers. And here we are, 200 years later, and in the US unions still (again?) demonised & being dismantled through government actions. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  47. 47
    Steeplejack says:


    Good morning!

  48. 48
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: yay! Go Brainstormers and Immp!

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    I’m going to Pittsburgh in May to help w/my daughter and son-in laws community garden. It’s been up and running for about 5 years and it needs some tidying- rebuild the raised beds and re-cut the paths. Their community gardeners are younger people and they all seem to spend a lot of time at work and it needs 4 or so days of focused rebuilding rather than 20 minutes here and there. I will enjoy doing it and I get to see them at the same time.

    Because I’m going there I started more vegetables than I usually do – I’ll take some starts with me. They like marigolds so I also have about a flat of those.

    I tried this “winter sowing” method I saw in a comment on Balloon Juice for violas and pansies and sweet peas this year. Also shasta daisies for a particular bed that needs a big white flower. They’re not up yet so I don’t know if it worked. Sweet peas and pansies are tricky here because if we have a short spring it gets too hot for them too fast- we’ll see if winter sowing in milk jugs works better than direct seeding. Shasta daisies are easy so they should work with just about any method.

  50. 50
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: What do you mean “if”?

  51. 51
    cosima says:

    @Immanentize: Good luck! Love to see kids excited about engineering/robotics/etc. Little C has just got her Raspberry Pi sorted to use with the robotic arm that she built with Mr C. It’s really pretty amazing how many interesting ways schools find to engage children in STEM subjects — none of that existed when I was young, I had to meander my way to engineering completely under my own steam (particularly as it was not a thing for girls back then).

  52. 52
    Jeffro says:

    Morning, everyone! It is looking pretty nice out and the weather says temps will be rising rapidly – might be a good day to bust out the ol’ bike and go for a ride with mini-me.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    Okay. For a moment there I thought my understanding of history was seriously out of whack. My country has of course its own unhappy history with British imperalism, although I tend to think we weren’t treated quite as harshly as India was.

  54. 54
    Ryan says:

    Did you all decide to cancel your push to RSS? You’re no longer showing up in my feed, I thought an unexpectedly pleasant weekend sidelined all of the front pagers.

  55. 55
    cosima says:

    @satby: I order my plants from this site:

    One thing that I like about that site is their inspiration section, where they have plants in combinations. I used to get very moony about the dramatic planting in Sunset, but in Alaska they were all way out of reach. For the most part, these combinations at the crocus site are all ones that I could do if I can get my soil right, and the shade v sun placing correct. You’ll not be able to get them to ship to the US, but you may find some new combinations that are interesting &/or inspiring, with the specific plant names provided. I’ll look there for daff options. These ones are going in my shopping basket today!–deflexa/classid.2000020275/

  56. 56
  57. 57
    Schlemazel says:

    Years ago we lived in the city of St. Louis Park, MN. We got a Christmas card from our friends in Flint, MI that had our name and street address on it but only “St. Louis” no Park, no State, no Zip. It had gone to MO first but somehow they divined the correct place. They take a lot of grief but USPS does some amazing things

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: Thanx, I had missed that technique. I’ll have to give it a shot next year.

  59. 59
    HeleninEire says:

    @Baud: We did a pub crawl yesterday while watching Ireland beat England for the Grand slam. We then finished it off with dinner and a bottle of wine. My niece can’t get off the couch. Lightweight.

  60. 60
    cosima says:

    @Amir Khalid: No – it was my rubbish typing. Blame it on my pounding headache. Safe to say that nearly every continent/country has had its brush with the bane of British Imperialism, including Britain, the transported farm workers being just a drop in the bucket. We often drive by Culloden &/or through Glen Coe, two of the most dramatic sites representative of that.

  61. 61
    Kay says:


    I worked for a postmaster who was good at it. Ruth. You would hand her the mystery “piece” (what they call a letter in the PO) and she would start thinking- “Mary Brieninger was a Rupp before she was a Breininger and her father died recently- put in in her box”.

  62. 62
    Kay says:


    Well, wait for the results of this experiment. Nothing is up yet :)

    I think they should probably be up. Not clear what’s going on out there.

  63. 63
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Immanentize: If/when you go to Detroit, be sure to go to the Heidelberg Project before its creator, Tyree Guyton, finishes dismantling it.

    Congrats to Son Immp for making it to Scranton’

  64. 64
    satby says:

    @cosima: very cool!

    @Kay: I missed that too, and now I’m eyeing the water jugs I was going to recycle. I normally cut the bottoms off in fall and use them as mini-greenhouses on my tender new plants over winter.

  65. 65
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: When I was young I worked in the freight forwarding business for a couple years. I had extensive experience with the USPS and found that they were far more reliable than any of the other overnight delivery services and 9 times out of 10 for less money. I have seen nothing to dissuade me from that opinion since. That’s why Republicans want so much to destroy it.

  66. 66
    satby says:

    @Kay: lots of seeds don’t germinate below a consistent 60-70° soil temp. That’s why indoor seed starters often use heating pads under the trays.

  67. 67
    Baud says:

    @HeleninEire: The young people today are weak and fragile.

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: Live and learn, if at first you don’t succeed and all that.

  69. 69
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I ship all over, and USPS hands down. Occasionally there are delays mostly due to weather (and this year flooding), but they’re reliable and it’s easy to track.
    The Republicans also want to destroy the USPS because it is a pretty diversified workforce, so racism too.

  70. 70
    debbie says:

    the daffodils remain defiant

    Why I love flowers so.

  71. 71
    debbie says:


    Careful what you hope for. Azalea buds are delicate things.

  72. 72
    satby says:

    @Schlemazel: former friends told the story of how they got mail delivered correctly when it was only addressed to his and her first name and town only. And it wasn’t that small a town.

  73. 73
    bemused says:

    The Netherlands video is amazing and exciting. I’d like to see more US farmers go for these methods but there are issues with how our farming industry system is run plus now GOP tax cuts and trump mucking with tariffs creating more uncertainty. That’s big AG but I wonder if smaller operations producing fresh produce would help vitalize rural/small town areas of the country. I would love to get veggies in supermarkets grown close to home vs the shipped in tasteless stuff. Netherlands probably invested in their food operations which not likely in US, not as long as Republicans are in power.

    Dreaming about gardening but we still have at least a foot or more of snow on the ground.

  74. 74
    debbie says:


    Thank you for a reminder that people can in fact be good.

  75. 75
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: I remember one winter when Memphis got slammed by a snowstorm. Fed-Ex delivered nothing for like 3 days and spent a week after that trying to catch up. All the stuff we sent Airport to Airport via USPS got were it was going when it was supposed to get there. Except for Memphis of course.

  76. 76
    debbie says:


    Congratulations, Immp!

  77. 77
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: Over the years I have found that, given a chance, most people are good. A fact that often gets lost in the cacophony of “news”.

  78. 78
    Schlemazel says:

    Not surprisingly, I take a bit darker view of humanity. I do believe most people are good until they prove otherwise but I do keep an eye on them

  79. 79
    No Drought No More says:

    I’m waiting on this morning’s first light to see if the north bay is in for more rain today. Last year’s deluge was biblical here in northern California, and although we’ve lagged behind our seasonal average this year, we’ve enjoyed a weeks worth of beautiful showers with more predicted.

    I haven’t begrudged a single raindrop since the California drought of the late 1970’s and early ’80’s. It broke with a vengeance the winter the Niners won their first Super Bowl. But the last drought was more severe. So to sit in a warm house this winter and watch showers fall off and on all day is, something more than a great blessing, in that it somehow feels more like more of a blessing, too. That’s probably explained by the fact a drought put people’s nerves on edge (also: “you don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it”).

    Most of my trees have already budded. My redbud, dogwood, maples, apples, cherries, peach, lemon, and plum tree have all popped, some overnight just this week. I’ll see if my pear trees and wisteria have joined the party later today, and they might have. Baseball is back on TV, and Donald Trump is headed for a fall. Is this great country, or what?

  80. 80
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: Well, the stupid is always just around the corner and the venal are never far away but I have seen even the lowest of thieves display moments of kindness and love to children.

  81. 81
    Schlemazel says:

    “Now, it is true what they say about Boss Grissom, he was a terrorist and a fiend. On the other hand, he had a lovely singing voice” – The Joker

    I don’t think anyone is all good or all bad all the time. There is good and bad in everyone.

  82. 82
    Sab says:

    If Ohio Mom is lurking, I finally saw your Thursday night comment for me about my grand-daughter. Very helpful. Thank you.

  83. 83
    No Drought No More says:

    @Schlemazel: “Their mother must be so proud”. One terrorist to another regarding the Boston Marathon bombers.

  84. 84
    Schlemazel says:

    the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

    — F. Scott Fitzgerald

    As an example of this “truth,” he cites the ability to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.

  85. 85

    @OzarkHillbilly: @OzarkHillbilly: @OzarkHillbilly: @OzarkHillbilly: Indeed, That’s a fair plot summation of the 1930’s German film M, starring Peter Lorre. Which is a film, or so I’ve heard, that was banned by the Nazi party for obvious reasons, i.e., they had no problem with murdering children, or anyone else.

  86. 86
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    There is good and bad in everyone.


  87. 87
    Elizabelle says:

    Good morning, jackals.

    Happy last official weekend of winter. Spring hits midweek. Might get a snow shower, too.

  88. 88
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    oldgold says:

    This winter a man stole a bag of daffodil bulbs. Thinking they were onions he ate them. Later he was arrested and placed in jail.

    He should be out sometime in the spring.

  90. 90
    Kay says:


    Right, but my theory is for cool-weather flowers in their native lands – oh, it’s complicated- it’s made-up :)

    I put a ridiculous amount of thought into sweet pea cultivation. I like the colors of cool weather flowers but I don’t live in Seattle.

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    chris says:


    Spring hits midweek.

    Tuesday. And the next nor’easter starts that night. Blargh.

    On the bright side, the chickadees have started their mating calls and the fox kits are out. Winter may end yet.

  93. 93
    satby says:

    Going to do corned beef in my Instant Pot today. I have carrots and potatoes, but probably will skip the cabbage wedges because I have chopped kale and cabbage to make colcannon with instead. Num!

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    Tata says:

    Snow storms recently damaged trees all over the place, so there are branches down on every street. It suddenly dawned on me that hugelkultur could solve my too-low raised bed problem and other people’s broken branch problems. So today, I’m going to be That Lady in my town, driving around and asking, “Are you done with those sticks?”

    Who wants to ride shotgun?

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    stinger says:

    @raven: Great story. I hope the footage is everything you could wish for.

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    rikyrah says:

    Go Little Imma 👍👍

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    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @satby: I did that last night for Ms. O and myself. First cooked the corned beef (90 minutes on meat/stew setting), took it out to sit with an aluminum foil cover, and added carrot and potato chunks plus brussels sprouts to the liquid in the pot, pressured for 4 minutes. The veggies came out perfectly – cooked but still toothsome. The corned beef was ok but not great, but it might have been the grocery store quality. Next year I’ll get brisket and corn it myself.

    As for garden, I just worked in a load of goat manure and mushroom compost and our homegrown worm compost into my veggie beds, getting ready for planting in a few weeks. Daffodils survived last fall’s hailstorm and mudslides and should start blooming soon. I look forward to their cheerful blooms.


  98. 98
    satby says:

    @Tata: link’s not working, but good luck!

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    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Immanentize: Yay! Go Stormers indeed! Congrats to Immp and his team.

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    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tata: linky no workee

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    satby says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: yeah, I usually add more spices to the grocery store briskets, especially garlic to balance out the salt from the brine.
    So jealous of your daffodils, and your garden should be fabulous with all that compost! Looking forward to Sunday Garden chat photos!

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    stinger says:

    @Schlemazel: A friend once sent me three birthday cards, and must have gotten distracted while addressing them. One had my full address, one said “stinger surname, street address” (no town or zip), and the third simply had “stinger surname”. She and I live in nearby small towns, different post offices, and yet all three cards arrived on time!

    I love the USPS. Wish Congress would stop requiring this vital public service to be a profit center with reduced hours and staffing, and would instead allow it to expand into voter registration, payday loans, etc.

  103. 103
    Elizabelle says:

    @chris: Were you saying fox kits?

    Love this youtube video from 2014: a mom and fox kits moved under a U Wisconsin building; were protected and thrived there. Like the music to this video. Little Red Fox. These foxes were brilliant enough to choose the School of Human Ecology building.

    And a later video, nonmusical; the kits are teenagers.

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    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @satby: I added garlic too, but the meat was still too salty for my taste. Thankfully the veggies helped balance out the saltiness.

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    Kale, aspabroc, broccoli, arugula, and curly endive up and thriving in my seedflats this sunday am…

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    LaNonna says:

    Taking advantage of a stay in Cape Town to track down and buy protea and pincushion rooted plants. No problem bringing them into Italy, and the climate is really analogous. But I’m sure I’ll have to add sand and compost to our slightly clayey red soil to make them work. Love, love their “flowers from outer space” quality. If I can get them to grow, my friends will be happy to take some too.

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    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    Fixed your link: Hugelkultur.

  108. 108
    chris says:

    @Elizabelle: That’s very cool. I don’t get to see them very often because of Bert but I do hear them at night.
    Porcupettes will be out soon too.

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    satby says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): very cool, thanks Steeplejack!

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    J R in WV says:

    Our daffy-dills are flourishing. Blooms and all, sunny today, though a little cool. Native plants still in their winter coma so far as I can see from the house. Not up to wandering outside quite yet.

    Still recovering from a cold I picked up on the road, sleeping a LOT, not eating much.

    Will submit photo groups to Alain soon, wonderful trip to Baja California, Mexico. Stop over in Los Angeles to rest up from adventure trip in Baja. Amazing place.

    Except for the cold I caught… probably captured it in LA, not Baja.

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    Tata says:

    Thanks for fixing my link, all. I was out, confusing my neighbors. Fortunately, no one called the police on a grandmother picking up sticks.

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    Ken says:

    Here in Montana we are edging into spring. The aconites (wolfsbane/monkshood) are opening and are about a half-inch up and open and close with the sun. Tiny little bulbs from the steppes of Siberia. Always the first thing to bloom in my Missoula garden. Tulips are up about an inch or so and will now zoom on up. The crocus are right behind. The next color I get will be the brilliance of the Forsythia. And I expect the grass will all green up within the week. The apricot got pruned on Saturday and all the tree care is done in the garden for the season. Happy Spring!!

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