Yes, Virginia. They grow veggies in NH…

The first tender, sweet spinach was ready for harvest today so we enjoyed a delicious salad from the garden for lunch. Grilled Salmon and Spinach Salad. If this meal looks good to you, mister gardener’s recipe follows.

Simple Grilled Salmon and Spinach Salad

Mix together in a small bowl: ½ cup olive oil, 1 lemon, squeezed, ¼ cup white wine vinegar, 2 garlic cloves, pressed, 1 T. honey,1 T. basil, chopped, and 1 T. oregano, salt, pepper.

Place 2 small salmon fillets in a small resealable bag. Add ¼ cup of the dressing/marinade, coating salmon well, then reserve the rest of the dressing. Refrigerate salmon for 15 minutes.

Add clean, washed spinach to 2 plates. Top with grape tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, red onion, and crumbled feta cheese.

Discard marinade from salmon. Grill salmon over medium heat until it flakes easily, 5 to 7 minutes.

Place salmon atop spinach leaves on plates. Drizzle with reserved dressing.

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We were tickled and proud to harvest a few cups of spinach from our tiny garden, greatly reduced in size from our Virginia garden. It was later today that we were somewhat humbled by another garden. Across the street, our neighbor called to mister gardener to climb up to his hillside garden for some red leaf lettuce. Holy Moly!  mister gardener’s jaw dropped when he saw the dozens of healthy lettuce varieties, other veggies galore, including somewhere close to 60 tomato plants, all grown from seed in a friend’s greenhouse. No more bragging about our spinach… but it was delicious!

Red leaf lettuce for dinner tomorrow.

There’s more to say about our extraordinary neighbors. Later…..

How I spent Mother’s Day

On Mother’s Day, it’s lovely that I have the liberty to do anything I please without any guilt or constraints. Household responsibilities are forgotten for a day. Phone calls, cards, gifts from children pour in and it’s fun to just bask in the glory of motherhood.

My first choice of activities was to play in the gardens of this rental house. For half the day, I did what I do best. I weeded, I trimmed, I pruned dead branches, I edged, transplanted and divided and I planted.

For the second half of the day, I spent time improving the bird habitat in the yard. I had seen bluebirds and heard bluebirds for weeks. The 3 bluebird houses that were in this yard were uninhabitable and installed too close together. Squirrels had enlarged the openings in the dilapidated old houses and added more large holes on sides and backs. So for Mother’s Day, Mister gardener bought a pole and new bird box and installed it for me along an old lichen-covered picket fence.

What happened next is surprising. Mister gardener picked up the tools, we headed inside. I proceeded upstairs to clean up after my day in the garden. A quick glance out the upstairs window at the new bird box made me do a double take. Less than 10 minutes had passed since we left the birdhouse and there was an interested male singing loudly. I took a few fuzzy telephoto photos through a window screen.

After seconds had passed, a female and future mother joined her mate to investigate the box inside and out.

She approved and they are actively building a nest today and defending the box against interested sparrows, swallows and other bluebirds. What a lovely gift for Mother’s Day!

Days ago, I added a hummingbird feeder to the garden. Shortly thereafter we saw our first visitor at the feeder, a male ruby-throated hummingbird.

Yesterday, a tiny female arrived at the feeder. I thought it was appropriate that another female bird is joining her mate in this yard on Mother’s Day. I was delighted.

Later that afternoon we ended our Mother’s Day celebration at the home of a daughter and husband who treated us to a spectacular repast under the stars. This was the best Mother’s Day adventure of the day as this daughter is enjoying her first Mother’s Day with their expected little arrival later in the summer. How divine!