While our winter has not really been all that winterish, I’m excited to know that we are rapidly approaching the average date for the last frost. The periods of rain, followed by sunshine, has been inspiring, enticing me out-of-doors, calling me to dig into the earth, to plant, to grow.
We installed our 12X15 foot raised bed garden late last summer and then experimented with a few plants over the winter (how awesome to be able to grow a winter garden!). The lettuce we planted didn’t fare too well. The weather stayed to warm and they bolted pretty quickly. Something ate the spinach. We had two tomato plants that were going strong, until the first hard freeze. Our feeble attempts (the husband actually built a frame to create a little green house for them) to cover the plants didn’t help very much. One of the plants succumbed. The second was actually so big that, while the outer plant died, the inner plant stayed warm and survived. We’ve harvest a few tomatoes from it so far. There were quite a number of new flowers from a warm spell, but I think the last dip in the thermometer may have done them in. Time will tell.
I visited a favorite local nursery and purchased asparagus roots and blackberry plants. Those are in the ground. I also picked up some more lettuce, but have not planted them yet; they are enjoying life in the sunlight of our spare room. However, I am harvesting tender leaves from the plants as they grow.
The herbs I planted (lavender, rosemary, sage and curry) last summer are doing well. I’ll add some others (basil, dill, chives, oregano, parsley and cilantro) over the next couple of weeks. Some from seed; others from transplants. I have several varieties of mint, but those will stay in pots, since I really don’t want them taking over the herb garden.
I’ve also decided to turn an old sandbox/converted to firepit (previous owners) into a butterfly garden. It is taking some work, since I had to remove the pebbles used for the firepit (they have nicely dressed up my cactus/rock garden in the front yard) and the grass that has grown so admirably there (why does it not grow so nicely in the yard?). This weekend I hope to stop by a wild flower nursery and pick up some seed. I may also get a bird bath and some feeders for the area. It is still a work in progress.
What a joy to be outside again, digging in the earth, planting, and hopefully growing.