In the face of all the grey clouds clustering overhead, and all the predicted (and welcome!) rain a-coming, I felt the need to put something a little sunshine-ier in the header. Never mind that it now clashes with everything else. I’ll change it up when something else comes into bloom in the yard.
Bloom, you ask? Why yes! Despite my photographic laziness, there has actually been quite a lot going on in the garden of late, not the least of which is a raccoon mama choosing to bless our shed (and specifically one of our tents) with a nest of her young. See?
(Photo taken by Dan, who, despite the fact that the defensive (and possibly rabid) mama raccoon was hissing at him, still risked having his head mauled to get close and snap the shot.)
Back on the plant side of things, there’s been equally exciting developments, almost all of which carry less risk of bites and dangerous diseases! To start with, remember how I was worried earlier about the fate of my pear tree? Well, it turns out that the little tree (which has grown measurably) is doing just fine:
The sight of these little tendrils unfurling fills The Boy with glee; he is hoping for a bumper crop of the same crispy pears that we enjoyed (briefly) last fall when we planted the tree. I think we should give him a name (the tree, not The Boy). Edgar, maybe? I’ll think on it.
Anyhow, despite the gorgeous weather all week, I can’t yet plant my veggies. We’re still before the predicted last frost dates, and uh, I haven’t bought my truckload of dirt yet, although I’m definitely good to go on the compost and manure front. Go me!
So while we’re waiting for a couple more days of sunshine (really! just six more days till The Almanac says I can plant!), I’ll update you all on the rest of my garden.
Now, the hosta is a favourite among gardeners. (Some gardeners get downright fetishistic about it.) It’s a forgiving plant, it grows anywhere (and grows like a weed while it’s at it), spawns quickly (thus making it easy to divide and share with friends), and has pretty foliage.
I am not a fan of the mighty hosta. Quite frankly, it takes more than a little variegation to impress me with foliage (plants with less than 3 colours need not apply… unless they’re clary sage). Further to that, hosta are not really known for their flowers. They do flower (timid little purple things) but it’s nothing to write home about. No, no; the hosta’s great beauty is in their mighty regenerative prowess, and their wide, lush leaves that seem to unfold straight out of the ground.
I, however, am a shallow creature. I am swayed by colour, and delicate blossom shape, and good-smelling plants. I feel bad, really, that I have so little appreciation for the hosta. Still, we have some, they don’t look bad, and in fact, in their current semi-unfurled state, they actually look quite cheery. (Does this mean I am slowly warming to them? Don’t count on it.)
Next up, violets:
This is one of the few plants left to us by the previous owners of the house for which I am very thankful. If they hadn’t already been there, I would have planted them. I would not, however, have scattered them joyously through the back lawn as they appear here, which means I would never have learned of The Boy’s appreciation for “non-weed nice flowers”.
I had planned, on seeing these little purple gems come into flower, on transplanting some of the bigger clumps to the section of the back yard under the trees in an attempt to contain them. (The rest I guess we’d just keep mowing over.) When I mentioned this to The Boy during a weekend over-seeding session, he asked why I’d bother; he liked them.
It’s reassuring to know that The Boy doesn’t have ambitions of The Perfect Velvet Lawn. Merely one free of thistles and dandelions. I can accept that.
On the veggie front, I have declared our guest room officially The Nursery. (Heh. You should have seen The Boy’s face before he realized I was talking about a plant nursery.) As such, it is officially a cat-free zone.
Free of the terrors of our two resident furballs, my former seedlings (transplanted into their own pots for a few weeks now) have thrived and reached for the stars. I have two very healthy-looking wax beans, three okay-looking green beans, and one sad-looking cucumber. (I had more cucumber potentials, but most of them died of dehydration when we headed out for New Brunswick.)
In addition to these homegrowns, I also got caught up in veggie madness while shopping with The Boy’s parents on the weekend, and bought myself one green pepper, red pepper, hot pepper, and Roma tomato plant.
I have also, because hope springs eternal, started a second egg-carton tray of seedlings.
In columns, there are cucumbers, cilantro (or coriander depending on what you’re used to; that whole naming convention threw me into quite a state of confusion at the grocery store once) and cherry tomatoes. Note how my tomato seedlings here are not viciously snipped off below the leaves. There is something to be said for the occasional cat-free haven.
And… that’s about it thus far. I predict more giddy excitement and desperate woes as the season progresses and the stakes get a little higher. I’m also starting to worry about what The Boy and I (by which I mean I) will do for the two weeks in August when we’re in Sweden. I’m expecting that to be a good producing time for most of the veggies, and although I’ll be sad to miss some of the harvest, I’m more worried about the not-picking, and having the plant just quit for the season.
Hmm. Things to think about. Hope you all are thinking happy springtime thoughts, and are surrounded by little explosions of colour. (If you’re not, wait a couple weeks. And buy a seed catalogue.)