A Kansas Country Garden in 2013

I have spent a delightful end-of-the-year afternoon reviewing and reflecting on my 2013 garden. How easily both the highs and lows of a gardening season are forgotten! I am thankful for this little blog which has become a great way to record happenings. Would you like to join me and we look back over a very blessed year? If you would like to see more photos or read additional information, the caption under each photo is a link back the to original post. Here's a toast to gardening! Every year brings surprises and delights!

Crocus are always the first to bloom bringing hope of winter's end.
The crocus were soon covered by a foot of snow!
The daffodil season began in March
Due to a cooler spring, the daffodils had a much longer bloom time.
Spring finally settles in
Nothing says "Kansas" like our glorious sunflowers.
Autumn Joy Sedum is one of my favorite plants. It looks good in all seasons, even winter, but it really shines in the fall.
Brilliant berries on the pyracantha bush help bid a fond farewell to the gardening season. 

Top Ten Recipes of 2013

Here's a look back at some of the recipes featured on my blog in 2013. They have been ranked by the number of views that they had. I loved them all, but readers loved some more than others. (Click on the title or caption for the origional post and recipe.)

#10 Skillet Cookies
My mother made Skillet Cookies and I hadn't had them in years. The secret ingredient is dates. As the name suggests they are not baked, but a syrup is cooked in a skillet and poured over crisp rice cereal.
#9 Prize-Winning Brownies
Moist and delicious, they go together quickly for a tasty snack. This recipe was one used to win purple ribbons at the 4-H Fair. But there is a little more to the story. . . 
Packed full of cheeses and accented with roasted peppers, this recipe works great for a week-night supper or a special breakfast. I often bring it to our monthly card parties.
I made this recipe for the first time this year and it was a definite keeper.  I don't think you can buy this at the grocery store.
#5 Sourdough Rhubarb Coffeecake
Yes, it was a year for sourdough recipes. We have this in the spring during the brief rhubarb harvest.
Most homemade banana bread is good, but sourdough banana bread is superb!
#3 Sourdough Chocolate Zucchini Cake
The chocolate chip topping is better than frosting--a perfect summertime treat!
#2 Vereneke with Ham Gravy
This traditional Low German dish is always on our menu at Christmastime.