Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I love Spring for it’s renewal. Everything begins again and I find it the most hopeful season. ANYTHING seems possible! Out here, it begins with the pond. First the ducks come, usually a few mallards, then the wood ducks arrive. Greg and I saw the female try out the wood duck box! So hopefully we’ll have baby ducks on the pond again this year. Then we begin to hear the frogs calling…spring peepers, wood frogs, leopard frogs as well as the trill of the American toad. We haven’t heard the call of the green frog, which sounds like the twang of a banjo string, or the bullfrogs yet, as they are the last to join in the singing. Soon we’ll be able to see the clumps of frog’s eggs and the strings of toad’s eggs. On Sunday, Greg and I were down at the pond and saw a painted turtle and 2 snakes! They looked like black rat snakes…so cool! (from a distance..) We also have a muskrat on the pond, only visible with the binoculars from the house, because he slips under water if we try and get any closer.

The yard too is filled with signs of spring.
There are several robins around, digging
through the newly raked garden beds for
worms, and building yet another nest on
the posts of our porch.
(we’re up to 6 now!) Today, while I was
raking I uncovered a very cold, very
slow-moving salamander.

The early blooming flowers of Hepatica and Lungwort are lovely spots of colour in the otherwise brown gardens. (A walk in the woods will reveal more blossoms of the many wild flowers that will soon be up…that will be another day’s blog)

The tomato and pepper seedlings are still tiny, but coming along. As long as it’s sunny, I am able to put them into the little greenhouse/coldframe, as the temperature in there is always much warmer. Right now we’ve got 9 trays of seedlings, but they are still only in cell paks. Once they are transplanted in to their pots, the trays will only hold about 12 or 15 plants, instead of the 48 plants they hold now. My hope is that by the time the plants need to be transplanted to a pot, the temperature at night in the greenhouse will be steady at about 7 degrees and then we will not have to bring all of those trays in every night and back out every morning…usually we do have to do that for a couple of weeks, but I started the seedlings later this year, so maybe we’ll only have to do it for a few days.
Either way, I do love that little contraption and am thankful that I am able to grow so many plants. The onions, lettuce, greens and chard have been able to stay in the greenhouse overnight for a while now. They are not so tender and aren’t hurt by the cold, but I’m sure a bit more sun would really get them growing too!

Another thing I love about spring is the fact that although it’s too wet to get into my vegetable gardens, I can still work outside on my perennial beds! I have started 2 new ones. One near the compost area ( where the old pile was) and one near the house along the front walk, where we have a few big rocks that needed a garden around them! I built the front garden as a ‘lasagna’ garden. I laid wet sections of newspapers all over the grass where I wanted to garden to be, they covered it with a layer of leaves, then some soil and compost, then hay, then more soil, then more leaves. I then covered it with a black tarp to really get it ‘cooking’. I had to cut a few holes in the tarp, because I actually have a few plants started in that garden…a little bush, and a hosta from zee last year, and I transplanted my hydrangea into that garden too. I hope to let that sit for a few weeks and then start planting more things into it. If I could, I would spend all day outside in my gardens!

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
- Margaret Atwood

1 comment:

Lee said...

WOW KATHEE Thanks for that huge update...so inspiring and I love seeing what you are doing:) The new garden looks great!!! xoxoxo