I took a chance. Maybe it was Phil? Maybe it's this mild winter? Maybe it's the "early Easter means early Spring" wive's tale? But I got it in my head that spring is coming sooner rather than later and this winter thing is so over. So, I went ahead and started my cabbage seeds extra early this year. Once they germinated, I put them under the grow lights and started a couple flats of kohlrabi. Then some marigolds. And then a few other things. I'm beginning to wonder if I jumped the gun.
Have you started any garden plans or actions?
The time of new beginnings. Little seedlings emerging. Trees blossoming. Red cabbage growing strong, thankfully still untouched by the cabbage worms that have been nibbling on the broccoli. Marigolds and nasturtium planted everywhere. One tiny asparagus. The flower bed bordering the milk house is now devoted to dyeing--marigold, cosmos, jet black hollyhock and Hopi black dye sunflowers. The locust blossoms hang heavy in the trees and the flowers rain down like snow. (More on that come Monday.)
Wishing you a beautiful weekend.
peaches / peas / blueberries / elderberries / mulberries / potatoes / gooseberries / comfrey blossoms / apples
Everything is in the early stages, but has great promise.
My plan for today’s post was to pair a collection of gratuitous spring photos taken at dusk with some wise and touching words from some famously wise and touching person and call it a day. But then I figured I should challenge myself to share my own words, speak from my own heart. All day I wondered just what I should say. I dragged my feet and procrastinated, mulled things over in my head. Granted, I got a lot of other things done to avoid this post. (Let’s just say there is a lot more in the garden now than the above radishes and peas!) I have the utmost respect for people who are so easily open and honest, who have it all figured out, or at least seem to have it all figured out. At times I feel like my blog is very impersonal, just a rundown of details and specifics: Hey, here is my knitting progress and hey, here is a bee in the blueberry blossoms. My life is getting busier and busier and I feel as if I have less and less time to think. And that is not a bad thing. I’ve found that working with my hands and opening my heart to good things, like gratitude and awe, leaves little room for other, negative things in my life. But doubt and worry and guilt and those other niggling little emotions are tricky and can sneak in even the smallest of cracks. That is kind of where I’m at right now: learning I need to stop fighting against these thoughts and emotions and bend just enough to not break. Let them pass over me, then straighten myself up and keep going.
Winter stuck around so long and I’m a bit behind schedule this year. Inside, I’m still nurturing a lot of little green babies. Most are for this summer’s dye adventures, including opal basil, jet black hollyhock and bronze fennel. While some are just for sentimentality and the challenge of saving from seed, like morning glory (seen above) and Rose of Sharon. I’m also attempting to re-grow celery and ginger (seen above) again this year.
Outside not much is going on besides growth coming up of its own accord, just reaching for the sun, excited about the warmth and the new season. The garlic I planted and the parsley I over-wintered are emerging from under their blanket of leaves. The rhubarb bed is changing everyday, growing a bit taller, more colorful. The pot of bunching onions I threw in the barn last fall (and never cleaned out) decided to start growing again.
However, my brother and I planted four elderberry bushes. It’ll take a couple of years before they start producing fruit. (Good things come to those who wait, right?) In the meantime, I can still forage at my Aunt’s house for the flowers–which are a favorite of ours.
Since my Dad died, lot of people have asked if I am still doing the garden, or more specifically, asked if I am still doing the whole garden. Our garden is rather large and probably intimidating to most people. But honestly, I hadn’t really thought about not planting the whole garden. My Dad always did the tilling and he and I tackled the big jobs together, like putting up tomato cages, planting and sowing. But I did most of the weeding and considered myself the “manual labor,” happy to do the grunt work if it meant we could grow some of our own food. He had even said that it was becoming more and more like mygarden. I’m not saying the weeds never got away from me or that I’ve never felt overwhelmed, but I’m curious to see just how much I can handle by myself. And this might be the year to do it. Besides, we already have the seeds and once the soil gets tilled up, we’ll have the space. I won’t go crazy with plants–instead of twenty four red cabbage plants, I’ll probably just get six. And I’m not really doing it alone. My Mom is great help and a lot of friends and family said they’d come over and work in exchange for some bounty. I’ve even been flirting with the idea of a small scaleCSA in the future, just for close family and friends who don’t have the space or time for gardening.
One thing I hope to do differently is companion planting. In past years, the garden layout was done in what you might call chronological order. We started at one end of the garden and planted things as they were ready to plant. This year, I plan to think things through more and put beneficial vegetables, herbs and flowers near each other. And pointers or favorite resources would be greatly appreciated. I borrowed Carrots Love Tomatoes from our local library and found this page and this page helpful.