Tuesday, April 14, 2015

GBBD in April


           It's mid-April, Garden Blog Bloom Day, how quickly time runs! In winter I was waiting for spring to be warm and to appear first flowers. And that time is now. I confess that when I was going to my garden I was not even hoping to see spring flowers, because night temperature sometimes drops to +1C (30F).
What a pleasure a vernal garden! Crocuses blue, white, yellow. They make their way through the old autumn dead leaves, they are not afraid of the cold and rain.



Crocus open their buds only when the sun shines, and if the clouds cover the sun at once crocuses close their buds. But I think we can forgive their whim - they're first spring flowers.





















White hyacinths have appeared too they are not yet opened. Soon the scent of flowering hyacinths will fill the garden.
I went around the house and on the east side I've seen nice Leucojum vernum (snowflakes) and the emerging shoots of tulips. Last year, snowflakes grew right out of the snow, now the snow has very early melted and snowflake bells are everywhere among dead leaves.
 




Near the fence black currant bushes grow. I was surprised to see big buds on their branches. At once I have thought that after a week I have to spray all the bushes from pests. 
Last autumn I cut rose stems and now I see they wintered well: the first sprouts have appeared.


My list to do is: to spray black currant and rose bushes, to rake and clean, picking up old leaves into compost. On the windowsills my flower and vegetable seedlings are growing. I have a lot to do.


What is your list to do, readers?









Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter holidays


         

       Happy Easter, readers!

This year Christian Easter is April 5, Orthodox church celebrates Easter according to the Orthodox calendar, and it occurs in April 12. 
Like many Christian countries Russians celebrate Easter with decorated eggs and special foods and customs. The egg tradition dates back to per-Christian times when people saw eggs as a remedy of protection. When Orthodoxy was adopted, eggs took on Christian symbolism. 

 Easter eggs by  Peter Carl Fabergé

The traditional Easter breakfast includes kulich (Easter bread), paska (a dish made from cottage cheese, fruit, sugar, butter and usually formed into the shape of a pyramid), decorated eggs. Sometimes the food is blessed by the church before being eaten. Other tradition is one egg may be cut into pieces - one piece for each family member at the Easter table.I'm not a religious person but love to decorate eggs and do this every year.

 Easter kulich


cottage cheese paska



Here Easter service is held Saturday evening and may be attended even by those families that do not regularly attend church. Midnight is the high point of the service, when bells are rung and the priest says, "Christ is risen!" and in reply, "He is truly risen!" Traditionally, after these words people have kissed on the cheek three times.
Since childhood I remember as we, kids were waiting for the Easter morning to taste a piece of kulich and to spread a paska layer on it. After Easter breakfast we rolled eggs and tried to knock down another egg. 

19th century postcards

Do you celebrate Easter or other spring holiday? Do you have any Easter/spring traditions?