Garden at Dusk & garden recipes


The late afternoon hours were always the pups playtime. Even in Dante’s grey muzzled years, after the full warmth of the day had past and the air began to soften, Dante and Sierra would become puppies again. Playing tug-o-war. Chasing each other around with the randomness only the youth possess.

If you dared to step on the central lawn you were fair game for playtime. 100lbs of wheaten red muscle would come bounding up, simultaneously followed and circled by a white wiggling scamper.

During the hours surrounding the departing sun, as photographers we tend to wax poetic over the quality of the light, but in the garden it seems to go beyond that. The scents are a little sweeter. The air soft. Birds flit about more as they gather their evening’s meal. There isn’t a time in the day we crave to be in the garden more than at those setting hours.

For the longest time it wasn’t an option. We only saw the garden on our one day off, except for the morning glimpse and the nighttime strolls. But now we’ve been able to change our schedules. To get out of retail driven business.  And now we finally get to soak in the last rays of day and the opening embrace of night. Quality of life.

When friends come over, this is the time we try to set up the gathering. It isn’t always easy, especially for those driving down from LA, but it is worth it. It is as if every drop of sweat, bruise, and scrape that has gone into the garden has transformed exponentially into something more beautiful. From a many legged fuzzy worm-like caterpillar to a floating butterfly.

It isn’t just the pre-dusk hours which give a special tingle, but also the hour or so after. That is when the dinner conversations sink into your soul. Night’s blanket begins to wrap you up. The moment of a deep breath slowly released.

This is our garden in its magical hours.

– Todd 

Some previous Spring garden recipes you might enjoy: 

Kumquat Marmalade Recipe 

Orange & Fennel Salad with toasted Fennel Vinaigrette 

Margarita with Bitters 

Grilled Artichoke Stems w/ Tarragon Garlic Butter 


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Roberta

    Thank you for this beautiful post, lovely images and words.
    Nature’s hidden treasures are a blessing for ous souls!

  2. Birgit

    Congratulations that you finally get to spend more time in your wonderful garden – I’m jealous!
    And on a side note:
    He was called Claude Debussy, not DeBussy…. 😉

    Happy summer!

  3. Urban Wife

    Lovely! I felt as if I was right there, experiencing the magic of the garden.

  4. Steve-Anna

    I feel so blessed to have experienced the magic of your garden at Easter time, including the wiggling pups, at dusk.

    The experience of being wrapped in a cozy blanket comes not only from the night, but from the warmth and generosity the two of you bestow on every guest. Sending lots of love, xoxox

  5. Kiran @

    Love your garden, the photos and you both — so loving and inspiring. xoxo

  6. Susan in the Boonies

    Nice!!! Thanks for sharing the sweetness of your garden, and of your life.


  7. Deanna

    Has your rhubarb matured enough to make rhubarb bitters yet? I almost bought some rhubarb at the store just to make it, but then I realized I didn’t have a recipe yet. I suppose the logical thing would be to go buy the book, but on a college student budget, a book on bitters seems a bit extravagant.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      It is not yet. Getting close… I did find another rhubarb bitters recipe on this garden forum that looks pretty tempting. It has easier to source ingredients, but I may try both and see which I like better. Now you had me thinking about it and I might have to go out and buy some rhubarb to start the bitters now. 😉

  8. Grishma @ZaikaZabardast

    Sooo love it! Do you guys also grow artichoke?? I have seen your garden video and totally enjoyed it. Diane you are such a darling. So bubbly and enthusiastic all the time.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      We are growing artichokes. Only three plants so it won’t exactly be a huge harvest, but the first one is almost ready to cut.

  9. Angie @ Big Bear's Wife

    Just beautiful. I almost felt like I was walking with you as you talked about the pups and gardens. Your Margarita looks wonderful!

  10. Katie {Epicurean Mom}

    Love the dusk hours. Beautiful post and recipes. I absolutely adore the artichoke and tarragon butter! I could solely live off artichokes. Can’t wait to give it a try 🙂


  11. Nancy@acommunaltable

    Late afternoon/dusk is also my favorite time of day – the world seems to slow just a bit, giving us a chance to reflect on the day and contemplate tomorrow. Now that the weather is warming up, looking forward to spending more of those hours outside… preferably with a lovely cocktail!!!

    Your garden is truly magical!!!

  12. Richard

    Can I come and live at your house?

  13. sarah @ two tarts


  14. Kate {Something Fabulous}

    Yum, all beautiful photos and delicious recipes!

    Kate {Something Fabulous}

  15. Kalyn

    Beautiful photos of your garden!

  16. Allie

    I LOVE this post!!!! The garden was one of the main reasons I started reading this blog, and it continues to amaze me. Thanks for this post, it makes me dream of a day when I will have my own.

  17. michelle

    Such a sweet time. I equally love and adore the wee hours of the morning.

  18. Kathleen @ksugarandspice

    Beautiful post. Filled my heart.

  19. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Yum on all those recipes. The Kumquat Marmalade Recipe is intriguing because in one of my very first CSA boxes I got tons of kumquats and tried to make jam with it…fail. I am still bitter about that, 7 years later. Lol

    Thanks for these great images!

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