For us, it was a long winter. We had several cold fronts come through, and it never really eased up until late February, into March. The azaleas were two weeks late in blooming. My tulips didn't start popping up until a week or so ago. Pollen counts are just starting to get obnoxious. For a city unused to an extra season (generally, it's summer or not-summer), it took a bit of getting used to.
But four weeks ago, we were able to pull out most of the dead stuff from the yard, right before the last major cold front of the year came through. Three weeks ago, we were able to go to the garden center and find the annuals and vegetables and other assorted items we'd need for the garden: herbs, dianthus, begonias, gladiolus bulbs, eggplant, jalapenos, tomatoes, watermelon and seedums. And we replaced the hammock! We took a bit of a break to show Fusilli in the middle of the month, but last weekend, I supplemented the items in the back yard with even more plants: ranunculus, calla lillies, more basil, an olive tree and a cardoon. This weekend, Graham added the finishing touches, resetting the brick edging around the yard.
It's beautiful here now. All of the flowers are in bloom, here and in the country. I drove to San Antonio earlier in the month, and the bluebonnets were just coming up. When I went to the ranch on Friday, though, they were everywhere, and some were growing not more than a quarter mile from the ranch. Olivia and I took the pooches to the patch for a photo shoot.
Our motivation, and it's sort of a chicken-egg thing on what drove what, is that we want to throw another dinner party in the back yard. Three years ago, we had the timpano party in the back yard and it was a smashing success. The next year we were doing wedding and kitchen renovations. And the year after that, we had a lot of that heavel going on. Since we're likely renovating the back of the house in the next six months, this is probably the best time to do it if we're going to make this happen anytime in the next few years.
We're pretty certain that this time around we're going to do an Argentinian style asado, based off of the book The Seven Fires. This is the basic description of the meal from the book and here is another one from a magazine, though I suspect we'll mess around with it a bit. As much as Graham would love to build a massive fire pit in the back yard, I suspect we'll more likely use the grill and the oven for most of the cooking, though we do have a small fire pit we can use for some things. I'm itching to try my hand at some Argentinian empanadas, and I made some excellent maduros a few nights ago for practice. We'll get copious amounts of Brazilian cheese bread. And we'll make tons of salads. We'll have enough chimicurri sauce to drizzle over a small rhinoceros. And needless to say, we'll be practically overflowing with grilled meats.
Our hope is to do this sometime this April, while the yard is nice and before it gets too hot. We're having the windows in the house replaced, though, at some point in the next two weeks, so the timing will depend on how well that goes.
It's going to be tons of fun, though.