Finally, it appears that we experienced the last possible frost a few days ago, and it didn’t frost, at least not in our hollow. With the past few warm days and a forecast for many more with intermittent showers, a full on garden event happened in the past couple of days. Grass, Creeping Charlie, and Smartweed pulled from around the edges of the beds and from where it was intermixing with the Comfrey. Soon the Comfrey will get large enough to shade out most of the weeds where it grows, except for the Bermuda grass. Whoever introduced that invasive plant should be exiled to a life of pulling it from garden beds forever. And Creeping Charlie too.
The peppers and tomato starts were planted in a bed yesterday, flower seed sown in areas that can be blocked off from the chickens scratching, and half of the bean bed seeded. The other half will be planted in a couple of weeks so there is a longer season of harvest. Last year, a late summer planting was tried and the bean beetles decimated them in short order before any beans could be harvested. The blueberry bed was weeded, the old, dead, canes on the raspberries and blackberries pruned off.
And for our daily pleasure, my favorite breakfast spot, the back deck was set up with new blooms and the umbrella. It is now warm enough most mornings to enjoy my coffee and some spindle spinning time in the early sun, and with the umbrella up, dinner on the deck. I will definitely keep an eye on the underside of the deck for a returning wasp/hornet nest. We don’t want a repeat of last summer when both of us were stung multiple times for pulling a chair out to sit and eat dinner there.
The flowers in the pots and in the near gardens will attract the hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies to the back to enjoy while sitting out there. The intermittent rains expected over the next few days will help the seed germinate and the plant starts settle in.
After dinner last night, pumpkins, squash, and cucumber seeds were started in plantable pots to give them a head start. They will move in and out with the tomatillos until they are ready to put in the ground in a few weeks.
The line trimmer still needs to be worked on so edging around the fence of the gardens can be done. And the north side of the house needs attention. After years of growing Nandina in Virginia Beach and later here, all but one of them seemed to have taken a death blow this winter. It doesn’t help that the chickens prefer that area to dust bathe and have exposed shallow roots. New soil is going to have to be applied, new foundation shrubs planted, and some sort of barrier to prevent the hens from scratching there. The front porch needs a scrubbing and hosing off and soon the house plants moved out for a summer vacation there.
The little Wren in the front hanging pot is sitting 5 eggs. She is very skittish though and flies off every time the front door is opened. In the past, most of the Wrens that have nested there have been very tolerant of someone sitting on the porch or coming and going out the front. In a couple of weeks there should be babies. The swallow family set up housekeeping in one of the garden nesting boxes and have a babies in there. A peek at them yesterday show they are feathering out and will soon be fledging. The newer bird house at the other end of the garden didn’t attract the bluebirds as I had hoped and it sits empty this spring.
Spring is a favorite time. The emergence of leaves, new blooms, temperatures mild enough to enjoy working outdoors and for daily walks for our health and fitness. Too soon it will get too warm to want to be out except in early morning or at dust and the weeds will win the garden war for a while. Hopefully, before then, there will be peas and beans to enjoy, peppers and tomatoes to harvest and can, and the line trimmer functioning so the paths in the garden can be kept under control.