Monday, May 03, 2010

Fresh from the Garden

The weekend was muggy and warm with showers, grey skies, big clouds and sunshine. Spring usually comes gradually, but with the beautiful weather we had in April, it is progressing rapidly. I was shocked to see my lilacs in bloom yesterday morning. The flowers were just starting to develop last week. Lilacs are an end of May flower and here they are, fragrancing the yard on the third of May.

I was waiting to pick fiddleheads from the ostrich ferns in the back corner of the garden. Last week there were none, but today, most of the ferns were six inches high, far too advanced to pick and eat. But there were a few fern heads in the shade of the fence, just enough for a serving or two.

I usually buy fiddleheads at the grocery store once a year and an exorbitant price of $5 a pound. This year I was a gatherer of the tender green shoots. While I was in the garden, I picked my first bouquet of the year. Forget-me-nots provide a ground cover in the flower beds right now and come up every year even when I pull them all out later in the month. One of my elderly patients calls them "Forgotten-not" in the English translation from her native language. I like that.

My "Forgotten-nots", Pulmonaria, Violets, and big yellow blooms with no name (the roots given to me by another patient) make another free gift from the garden.

I ate my plate of fiddleheads (and the violet) outdoors on the deck. The Becka enjoyed them too and they were much tastier and tender than the ones we buy at the store. With the warm weather in the forecast, they will be the only ones we eat from the garden this year. There is early lettuce and chives plus lots of rhubarb for dessert, but we are far from self sufficient. My husband is bringing home his limit of Lake Trout from Manitoulin Island tomorrow so hunters and gatherers we are for a day or two.


  1. We're a little behind you up this way, but not very far. The lilacs are starting to bloom.

  2. We learned years ago from our parishioners from New Brunswick how to find and fix fiddle heads - yum - yum.
    There was an abundance of them in the Pembroke, Ontario where we lived at the time.turnfi

  3. OK, so I had to Google fiddleheads as I'd never heard of them, let alone the
    eating of them! What do they taste like Ruth? The site I found gave lots of suggestions on cooking them, and they sounded yummy!

  4. They are comparable but milder tasting than asparagus, which is also a fern.

  5. Beautiful pictures of spring. I love fiddleheads - we eat them when we visit Nova Scotia.

  6. My lilacs started blooming last week. That's a gorgeous shot of your lilac.

    I didn't know ferns were edible---never heard of eating them before.

    Your bouquet from the garden is gorgeous

  7. Hi Ruth,

    I'm writing an article for my school paper on fiddleheads. Would I be able to use your photography for the article? I would greatly appreciate that... Just let me know who I should credit the photos to.

    Aletheia :)


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