Phaedra's Adventure

flowerbug

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@flowerbug
For the turnip cake, please see below information. This savory cake is very popular in Dim Sum restaurants / Cantonese teahouses. I used the ingredients that are not too difficult for me to get, but divided them into two groups so you can see how you will like to arrange. I will write the step-by-step tomorrow in another post.

Ingredients
View attachment 64928
(please ignore the veggies, haha)

(A) Must-Have Items
1. Basmati Rice / or Jasmine Rice 300g
2. White Radish minimum 500~600g
3. Water 400~450g
4. Smoked pork belly or Bacon 150~250g
5. White pepper powder 1tsp
6. Salt 2tsp
7. Potato starch 30~40g

thank you! :)
 

Phaedra

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I didn't know why I decided to put two huge composters under the beautiful willow (Salix matsudana) a few years ago. Maybe it's simply because I was yet to realize how to properly set this place.
Anyway, as we emptied the composter and built new compost bay somewhere else, this spot is back with a whole new life.

The old bench from the previous owner - I cleaned and repainted it every April. So far, it works well for us.
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The second bird feeder is also repaired, repainted, and returned to where it was in the past, with a wooden Robin on the top.
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I brought pots and plants from different corners in the garden. Now, no matter I sit in the grey house or here, I can enjoy some lovely view.

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Sitting on the bench - the left side is the grey house and a shady patch. The right side is still 'under construction'.
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Looking out from the grey house
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Training an arrowwood/Korean spice viburnum with stones~
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I do enjoy working in the garden very much and see each corner evolving.
 

Phaedra

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Tulips are ready for their prime time soon!
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One flock has started 'mowing' in the garden - they are happy about free foraging again, and we are happy, too - such a win-win. Another flock has to wait a bit longer, as the almost blind one might never find the way back to the coop, I will make a safe tunnel that will lead them to specific locations in the orchard area.
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Daffodils blooming in different corners
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Mmm, doesn't it look like a sunny-side-up? 🤤
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The harvest from this morning, fresh leafy greens.
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One of the two water features is working again, and the new solar fountain did a very good job! It doesn't need very strong sunlight, wow.
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Phaedra

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This is a very busy week, and I didn't have much time to update.

The front flower bed was removed yesterday morning, because the local authority informed me that there must be a parking space for two cars for the Café (ridiculous, but yes, no choice, even our neighbor agrees that people can park on their front yard).

Well, anyway, what has to be done has to be done. I kept four evergreen plants - Japanese pieris and three Rhododendrons. Among them, the Japanese pieris and one small-flower Rhododendron have unique shapes (because they kind of squeezed in a full shade corners for many, many years) and similar red-color features in early spring. Therefore, I chose them for being the guardian plants at our front door.

Thankfully, I did have spare large pots to accommodate them properly, and they did look much much better than they were in the dark and shady corner.

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The bleeding heart loves its current location - shady, without direct sunlight. I added about 4"compost last autumn, and there are so many flowers this spring. It's pretty impressive for a two-year old plant.
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We are setting two new rose arches with doors as barriers, so our dogs won't run to the streets as there is no fence between our house and the neighbor's. After both are done tomorrow, dogs can stay in the garden as long as them want.

Meanwhile, cleaning the water features, changing a too shallow bird bath into a safe water source for bees, mowing, feeding perennials, building new trellis, transplanting peonies and foxgloves, so many things are going on.
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The tulips are blossoming brightly this year.
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I hope you enjoy your spring like me. :)
 

ducks4you

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There is Such a variety of tulips and daffodils--pretty much a color for everybody. Mine don't look anything like yours.
If you didn't know, there was a time in Holland when tulips were currency.
 

Phaedra

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A pretty small corner like this can make me smile. To be honest, planting tulips in the pots is really a good idea. You can move them wherever you need.
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I also have several beds for cut flowers :)
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Yes, for me, it's kind of self-sufficiency, too.
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A new sitting corner - after a few more weeks, this spot will be 'hidden' among many, many lovely plants.
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This is the hard-work zone for today, I used the grass shear to roughly cut back the long grass, and then let the mower finish the rest. The entire area was completely cleaned now, and I will plant another 2-3 shrubs or small trees here next week.
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Home baking practices
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I love homemade toast with egg salad, the fresh eggs and chives, oh my, soo good.
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flowerbug

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Tulips in small portable containers sounds like a good idea--

not if they get too hot and too dry too fast.


especially in terms of limiting fungal diseases such as tulip fire. A question for you please: did your containers of tulips sit out in the snow and rain all winter?

my experience with TF is that once you have an infected bulb/plant that you will not easily rescue it. i tried with several hundred bulbs and had some small success but never recovered enough or ever could eradicate it.

to improve conditions overall i used more woody mulches with plenty of other fungal spores in it which provided competition and protection from splashing things around when it rained. i was able this way to reduce the problem, but could not eliminate it. i think if you had some good organic compost available to put on top of the wood chips you could probably do better than i did, but i've not been able to do any comparison studies with these methods...
 

Phaedra

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Tulips in small portable containers sounds like a good idea-- especially in terms of limiting fungal diseases such as tulip fire. A question for you please: did your containers of tulips sit out in the snow and rain all winter?

Here are my observations:

Prerequisite -

1. Tulips are not seriously treated as perennials (Darwin tulips might be an exception) here. Their nature is to create more bulblets instead of a large main bulb. I once watched how farmers in Netherlands ensure large bulbs - the flowers were discarded right away, so the bulbs can get all the energy.
2. The containers must have good drainage holes. For example, terracotta pots are not suitable. I use 10L nursery pots mainly.
3. I didn't use new soil for growing tulips - I usually fill those containers with homemade compost. After tulips, the compost will be mixed again with new compost - and then, they accommodate Dahlias.

Pros and Cons of growing tulips in containers

Pros
1. Flexibility - to display, to utilize containers, space, and time - yes, time. You don't need to worry about if the soil is already too hard to work with. In other words, you can still plant them in winter. Besides, we can bring them under some shelters when it rains ruthless during the blooming period.
2. Less Pest Issue - I lost so many bulbs last years to voles, and this issue can be solved with using containers.
3. No competition with weeds
4. Friendly to your back and soil (no-dig)

Cons
1. Extra works - but it would be easier when there is a succession growing plan for utilizing those pots.


My containers sit outdoors after bulbs are buried in late November, so there is no worry that it's too hot or dry for them. We do have wet winter and spring, but with sufficient drainage holes, they will be fine. Same for the ones I plant in the raised beds. When planting them on the ground, waiting until there are several hard frosts will be helpful to prevent tulip fire - low temperatures can kill the fungal spores. I usually request a late delivery (the 2nd half of November) for new bulbs for this reason.
 

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