Skip to main content


Homemade Pretzels

I haven't made homemade pretzels since we were in Alabama and I had forgotten how easy they are if not a little time consuming. I made these last week for Oscar night. They keep a long time in an airtight container. 1   (.25 ounce) package   active dry yeast 1 tablespoons   brown sugar 1  teaspoons   salt 1 ½   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 3   cups   all-purpose flour 1   cup   bread flour 2   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 2   tablespoons   baking soda 1-2   tablespoons   butter, melted 2   tablespoons  kosher salt Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Place the yeast, brown sugar and salt in the 1.5 cups of warm water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in the flour. Knead for about 7-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let it rise for an hour (I place mine in the oven with the light on). Combine the two cups of warm water with the baking soda in a square shallow pan. After the dough has risen, cut it into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each section into a

The Trees of Spring

Spring really arrived with a bang this past week with the blooming of the ornamental trees. Walking around the garden is like being in a fairy land. The most spectacular is the Yoshino Cherry. This was the first tree I planted in my garden back in 1993. It is a fast-growing tree and gets lovelier with each passing year.

A few years later I added another Yoshino close to it. I'm not sure what I was thinking - maybe I wanted our garden to look like the Washington D.C. Tidal Basin? This tree is somewhat restricted with a sweet gum on one side and a red maple on the other. I sometimes get carried away.

I can't say that I'm a deeply religious person and the only spiritual feelings I do get come from nature. Sitting on the bench under the canopy of this tree is an awesome feeling (only problem is I don't have time to sit on that bench!)

Looking down the street -

This crabapple has never been this beautiful. I don't recall the variety and I believe I bought it at Wal-Mart.

This Weeping Cherry by the patio has never been very dramatic. The blooms are pale pink and not profuse. I've seen other specimens in town where they are not as cramped as mine and that really makes a difference.


  1. How incredibly beautiful! You MUST make time to sit on that bench, if only for a little while. Those wonderful blooms will come and go before you know it. :)

  2. Oh- that is gorgeous! We gardeners need vast spans of space to grow all the trees we want.

    I think you might enjoy Benjamin's post found here:

  3. “Walking around the garden is like being in a fairy land.” Phillip, I just said the same thing about my neighbor’s yard. Your trees are magnificent. You have inspired me to fill the yard with blooming trees. I just hope they grow fast enough for me to have time to enjoy them. Since you don’t have time, maybe I will come sit on your bench next year!

  4. Now THAT'S a cherry tree! 1993, hmmm, fifteen years old, it has a regal presence, demanding love and respect. No pruning, it's is perfect. I agree, you must make time to sit on that bench and savor the petals.
    Frances at Faire Garden

  5. Thanks everybody - I'll try to make time for that bench!

    Barbee, thanks for the link. I will take a look at it.

    Randy and Jamie, trees grow fast here in the South - you'll have plenty of time to enjoy. And you are welcome to come sit on my bench anytime!

  6. Holy crabapple, your trees ARE beautiful! The Yoshinos are stunning and looks better than any I saw in Washington. 2,998 more of those and people will be traveling from around the world to see yours!

  7. Those trees are wonderful. It does look like a fairy land. It is pictures like this that keeps us going in the dead of winter.

    Jan Always Growing

  8. Absolutely beautiful. I'd happily sit under those trees for hours at a time. Aren't your neighbors lucky to enjoy such a view!

  9. I've always thought Yoshino Cherries were the best of the flowering trees. You took some great pictures! Anyone would love to have those trees in their yard.

  10. Awww, they are gorgeous. Stunningly beautiful. It must have been an impressive sight in RL.

  11. Phillip,

    I am imagining myself sitting under the cherry tree, lovely. You have to take the time to enjoy all the hard work you have put into this beautiful garden.

    I think that spring is incredible this year...making up for the horrible one last year? My forsythia looks wonderful.


  12. I can see why you got carried away & planted another Cherry - they're breathtaking! Could your Crab be 'Profusion' or 'Prairiefire'? Whatever, it is outstanding.

  13. Outstanding Spring display, Phillip. Did ya know the cherry tree is originally from Korea, not Japan ? I sell a lot when they're in bloom.

    Sorry to say but I think that Sweet Gum tree's gonna be squeezed out one of these days ( say in the next decade ) by the two cherry trees !

    That does look like a
    Prairiefire crabapple. One way to tell is the trunk which looks like a cherry tree's .

  14. All I can say is wow! If you don't have the time to sit on the bench under that tree, can I?

  15. The spring trees look so beautiful, Phillip! When the petals start to fall you can sit on the bench and let them fall on you like snow or fragrant confetti.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  16. I'm soo jealous! We barely got Hyacinths and Daffodils poking thru the ground. Your trees look wonderful! And yes, sit! For they go soo fast!

  17. Utterly gorgeous. I love Yoshino cherries, and the one I planted a few years ago died. I think probably due to drought. I shall put another one in this fall.

  18. I second what everyone else has said.

  19. WOW! the neighbors must ooh and ahhh...spectacular!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts