Dear Sunday Letter friends,
This is a real picture of our front porch.
Hahaha, not really, but seriously with all the rain we’ve been having, our world is flourishing into a jungle. Nature could easily swallow everything. And HUMID! Oh my goodness, this morning’s air is wrapped in a damp flannel blanket. The sort you get at an army surplus store.
But with only nine days until summer, I’m trying to appreciate every drop of rain. When the clouds dry up and the temperatures soar (which is already happening), I’ll be praying for a rainy day. Probably by Wednesday, if I’m being honest.
(P.S. the overgrown porch picture was taken by Theo Bickel on Unsplash.)
I planted three Allium giganteum bulbs last winter. Only one came up this spring. I have no idea why all three didn’t bloom, but it’s just as well. I’m not sure I could handle so much beauty in one spot.
Anyway, for the past thirty days, I’ve been waiting for this Allium to bloom, taking pictures every day, and meticulously documenting its growth. Allium giganteum is the tallest of the ornamental onions (it’s not edible), and personally, I think it’s one of the coolest flowers ever, like something from the world of Dr. Seuss. A giant flower popsicle that supports a world of life.
Finally, it is in full bloom.
What a stunner!
The photos in this collage were taken from May 7 – June 7.
Look at the tiny bee in my video below, so happily drunk with pollen. Lucky little bee.
Remember when Horton heard a Who? If I was a Who, I would live on this Allium. Wouldn’t you?
Mark your calendar and be sure to plant an allium giganteum bulb (or three) this winter.
Marinated Red Onions
My friend, Jill, turned me on to THIS marinated red onion recipe by No Crumbs Left, and I gotta say, it’s my favorite new dish to have on hand at all times.
Really, onions prepared this way can very well be life-changing. A spoonful will make most anything tastier—a salad, a bowl of plain white rice, roasted veggies, smoked chicken, etc.
I added some to the hummus appetizer I took to the master gardener picnic, and the whole thing was scooped up in no time. Of course, all the potluck food was scooped up in no time. (#hungrygardeners)
Trust me. This marinated red onion recipe will become a mainstay in your life. Also, if you aren’t already acquainted with Teri Turner of No Crumbs Left, start following her. We are already best friends even though she doesn’t know me from Adam.
Happy Garden Discovery!
At first glance, this nibbled on leaf might not make you dance a little happy jig.
At first glance, you might think this shrub has been attacked by some type of pest.
This particular folded-over leaf is a great thing and something I hope to see all spring and summer. On a spicebush plant (which this is), the tip of a folded-over leaf is the sure sign of a spicebush swallowtail caterpillar. My favorite!
See him hiding there? At this instar stage, spicebush swallowtail caterpillars look like tiny bird droppings—a brilliant defense mechanism. They spin silk to fold the leaf over, creating a safe place to hide.
Later, they grow to look like cute Pixar creatures. Remember the one that over-wintered on our back porch?
And still later, they become this.
So yes, please, feast on my spicebush plants little caterpillars. I planted them especially for you.
Bernice Runs Away
If you subscribe to my occasional newsletter (and opened it when it hit your email), you’ve already seen the cover for my next book. If not, please let me introduce you to Bernice Runs Away. She’s coming to you in October, 2022, and I think she looks comfortably at home with Gracie Lee and Gene.
I started writing this new book in 2020, a few weeks after Covid shut down everything. Although there is still work to do, it sure feels good to have the finish line in sight.
Things Momma Says:
When you cook for one person, you don’t cook.
Once again, thanks for being here and for reading today’s Sunday Letter. Do something that makes you happy today.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Barbara Tate says
The Spicebush Caterpillar is so cute, and the butterfly is beautiful. I love the Allium; it is gorgeous. I am really looking forward to meeting Bernice and hearing of her adventures. Love the cover. Going to be a hot one today. 😄
Talya Tate Boerner says
Yes, it is already horrible outside. A good day to stay inside and read.
Pretty much everything that Barbara said. I went out to water some zinnia seedlings and just as I got all set up with the hose it started to sprinkle. It’s super humid here too and looks like we will be in the 90’s the rest of the week. Ugh!
Talya Tate Boerner says
Summer is sure coming on fast! Stay cool.
Sure look forward to Sundays with you! I’ve looked all over for a spicebush and/or sassafras to host one of those cuties! I’m in East Texas and can find them no where. Any ideas?
Talya Tate Boerner says
Thanks so much! You should probably look for a nursery that specializes in native plants. And see if there is a botanical garden plant sale near your area.
I can’t wait to meet Bernicwe⁄