Posted by: mew | October 21, 2009

purple pansies, a good story, and warm banana bread

Three beautiful things today:

  1. Planting purple pansies with velvety black “faces” in some of the now-empty spaces in my garden, the fall winds bringing down a swirl of crispy leaves all around me.
  2. Baking banana walnut bread from scratch and eating the first slice of it warm from the oven with a cold glass of milk …
  3. … while cracking open my brand new copy of An Echo in the Bone, Diana Gabaldon’s new novel, so excited my fingers tingled as I turned to the prologue and read:

“The body is amazingly plastic.  The spirit, even more so.”


(Photo of truly free-range eggs is mine.  Eggs also mine — well, technically, F. paid for these at the Clemson Farmer’s Market.  He was glad he did when he saw me getting ready to bake.  He said, “It’s so homey in here, with the stuff [eggs, butter, sugar, flour, bananas, vanilla] on the counter and the garden out the window.”  Do you see the pale greenish ones and the pale bluish one?  Those are from Araucana hens, which I would love to raise one day.  Especially because the Araucana roosters are absolutely gorgeous.  Tried to photograph one for y’all the last time we were at the farm, but he ran away through tall, wet grass as soon as he got a hint of my intentions.)



  1. I read your articles regularly and have a ? for u.
    What pansies are good in Wilmington NC this x of yr.

    • Well, I looked it up, and it looks like Wilmington is in USDA Hardiness Zone 8a, which means you have even more mild winter temps than where I’m at in Zone 7b. Based on that, I’d say you could plant anything in the pansy or viola family and have it do just fine. They should bloom beautifully all winter — expect some slow or dormant-seeming patches if you get snow or ice, where there’s hardly any flowers for a bit — but if so they ought to recover just in time to put on a lovely show for early spring.

      Some gardeners plant bulbs at the same time as pansies, say tulips or hyacinths or daffodils, so they’ll come up between the pansies in the spring. Very pretty. Violas with grape hyacinths are a gorgeous combo. (I didn’t because bulbs are a longer-term investment, and I don’t expect to be in this place longer than next spring, maybe summer.)

      You’ll want to pull them up in May, probably just around the time you’re setting out any summer annuals, petunias, coleus, and the like.

      Hope this helps 😉

  2. wow. those eggs are beautiful!! and OMG…banana nut bread sounds so good right now. 🙂

    • The banana nut bread is gone now … we’ve moved on to Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and today I’ve planned a green tomato/apple pie. Don’t know what it is about this weather that turns me into a baking fiend. Somehow I want the oven to be piping out those warm, comforting smells, filling the house with harvest-time fragrance. 🙂

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