Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Welcome to the Garden

Spring is in full swing here in the Pacific Northwest. My neighbor's huge daffodil beds are already past their prime and yesterday I noticed my lily bulbs are starting to pop out of the ground. Today the sun is shining, the temperature is nearing 70 degrees and I can hear lawn mowers purring in the distance. It is insanely early for this type of weather. The practical side of me worries about a hot and dry summer but I can't help but love the early sunshine.

The flower beds are full of early spring bulbs: daffodils, primroses, tulips, hyacinths, and bluebells. The fruit trees have buds swelling and the lilacs are seconds away from exploding into flower. There are flowers everywhere! I've been buzzed by huge bumblebees (I think there may be a nest somewhere nearby, there have been so many!), the honeybees and wasps are fighting over the dandelions in the yards, and everywhere a filmy green is covering bare branches.

The greenhouse is full of seedlings, with more flats just waiting for seed. Every time I step inside I have to take several long breathes and really get the scent of warm, damp earth and growing things deep in my lungs. If there is a smell that signals spring that would be it.

The sugar and snap peas are doing extremely well.

Out in the garden...well, that's another story. For the past 6 years I've hauled in compost and manure trying to turn the native clay into a rich oasis. Last year I was lazy and didn't get any outside additions. I cleaned my compost heap down to the ground and spread it everywhere (resulting in a bazillion volunteer tomatoes and pumpkins-obviously I didn't get the heap hot enough). While we had an great growing season the garden didn't do nearly as well as it should have. This year I've put off getting anything, just to see what the ground would do.

Its basically cement.

While the flower beds have weeds coming up anywhere there's an open space the only thing growing in the garden are a few leftover onions, quite a bit of purple dead nettle (an edible weed) and a bit of grass. Its pretty sad. I'm tired of fighting a losing battle so this year we are going to put in raised beds. I'm rather excited at the idea and already have plans for hoop cloches and other season extenders. With the summer looking to be long and hot I'm betting I get an epic tomato harvest.
My entire spring crop. At least its an edible weed.

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