Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's that time again!

Yes, I really feel it is OK to declare that it is gardening season again, even though we actually had a very light sprinkling of... *ahem* snow the other day.

Though I'd been out looking around cursorily in the past few weeks, today was the first day that I did any serious looking, and taking photos. I have exciting garden news to share!

First of all, our winter sowing has been productive. Both the flowers I tried (Foxglove and Lupine) have produced multiple seedlings... but that's kind of old news, actually. The tomatoes that we'd just about given up on (well, C. wrote them off, but I didn't) are showing results, finally! Three out of six of the varieties we sowed have pushed up seedlings: Black Cherry and Sugar Lump (both cherries), plus Bonny Best.

Second, the asparagus has arrived! If you recall, I planted four crowns in a new plot last year and all four grew up successfully into those cute ferny-like plants. This year, right now, the first guy has shown himself, same one who appeared first last year as well. And it looks like a real asparagus!


Next, I have a bit of a mystery on my hands. See, last year at the end of the season, I decided to plant some seeds to see what would happen. Except now? Um, I... forget what I planted. I am pretty certain it was onions. I think it looks like onions, anyway. See what you think.

I know, it is ridiculous that I forgot what I planted. I guess I was so certain that I could never forget, that I just let it out of brain all together. Stuff like that seems to happen a lot with me, hence it being a great idea to blog everything I do in the garden, and otherwise. ;) I think I still have the seed packet somewhere, and that would answer my question. No, I do not have an organized system for storing my seeds. I'm working on it.

I am also excited to see that I have some peony shoots in the front garden! See?

These are special because they came from my dad's place in New Hampshire. I was a little sad last year when I transplanted them—it was in the early summer and I think the optimum time to do that is in the fall, and they didn't seem to fare well at all once in our soil. But! They're back and it looks like it reproduced like crazy. You can't really tell from the photo, but there are quite a number of these shoots in that area. I am so happy about this—peonies have been some of my favorite flowers since my early childhood when I'd see huge clumps of them at my grandparents' house. These particular plants have double sentimental value to me for that reason—they're the first I am growing myself, from my dad's garden, with the memory of my maternal grandparents.

Gardens are pretty nifty in that way.

Speaking of my dad, I'm also seeing those adorable fern shoots coming up. I just love those, and they came right from the woods on dad's property. Ugh, not the best photo here; I had a hard time getting a good angle and being able to steady my hands. But I wanted to document it anyway.

Finally... I am hoping that someone can offer some advice here. Some of my violets are blooming already! These, I think, came from my mom's sister, my Aunt Dorothy. I also have some others that came with the house, though I did move them to their current location nearby. What I need to know is, what on earth is already nibbling at the leaves??? Last year the slugs didn't start in on the hostas until late summer, so I don't think it's them... but who knows. Anyone hazard a guess?

I also spotted recognizable leaves from columbine, four o'clock (I think), astilbe, and delphinium, among many other things. Sedum is coming up like crazy, as is hens and chicks, and the hostas are starting to sprout. I didn't get any work done today (including planting the new astilbe, but I think they are OK), but I sure am getting excited to dig in once and for all. My next big project is going to be starting another veggie plot in the center of the back yard. I just got this cool book called One Magic Square by Lolo Houbein that I'm going to use as a guide and inspiration, and I should probably get started on that really soon—at least digging it out.

Finally, I'll leave you with a lovely photo of my mom's front yard. Last weekend, C. and I helped her do spring clean up—what a test of our (lack of) fitness! Those huge, ancient willow trees really shed a lot in winter. It was fun and satisfying work, though, and certainly an impetus to get into better shape so we can do all sorts of fun things this summer and beyond.

So many things to look forward to!

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