Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Squall and Rushing Away Unfavorable Weather

We headed into the garden for some spring cleanup and very early planting this past weekend. I haven't hauled out the good camera yet...but here are some snapshots of events.

We cleaned up the twigs and branches from the ice storm back in the early winter. Some of the larger branches remain under the snow. We began clearing straw from the gardens. In the first picture you can see the tender bulbs poking through. Some of the bulbs were coming up white, choked from sunlight and chlorophyll production by the ground covering. Chomping at the bit in the 50 degree weather, I ran to the local garden center and purchased some very early to plant seeds. the packages say they can be put in as soon as the ground could be worked. Swiss chard, forget-me-nots, Bachelor Buttons, and sweet pea went into the ground as the weather turned. Wind howled and an unexpected snow squall scared us back into the house. Oh well, I know spring weather is really just around the corner now.

My seeds from Territorial came in the mail today. It's still another couple of months before I can get those in the ground, but I'm prepared.

I'm also eager to write about gardening again. This summer, I will be teaching a class on photographing and writing about nature at the Peabody Mill Environmental Center in Amherst, NH.

Today I'm back indoors with temps hovering around 30 degrees fahrenheit. This is a good day for prepping photos to hang at Uncanoonuc Mt. Perennials. Every year I am lucky enough to get space in the garden centers cabin to hang my work. I'm raring to get into their display gardens again for more camera work.

Every year around this time, my daughter and I chant "Melt Snow Melt!" Won't you please join us? It is very cathartic.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I hit the garden today...just a little spring cleanup. The snow has melted from the majority of my beds. I don't think I've ever been out this early in the season before. But I've got big plans this year. My decade of gardening, interviews with fellow gardeners and last fall's publication of my book have inspired me. I feel like I have hit a pinnacle as a gardener. I'm ready to really trust my instincts and to run with my ideas.

I've got two pathways that need a lot of work and this is where I'll start. I've mustered the courage to try the mint in these areas, despite their invasive tendencies. I want pathways that my daughter will smell when she walks on them. I want the scents to trigger her memory all her life. Whenever she smells mint, she will think of gardening with mom.

We returned the fairy objects to the fairy garden today. My daughter has big plans for this garden. Mainly, she plans for the fairies to return. Last year they brought her a shiny pink marble that resembles a star sapphire. They also brought a necklace of tiny sea green glass. She wants the fairies to come back early this year. She worked hard for two hours laying out marble pathways to the two fairy houses that remained standing despite the ravages of winter snows and wind. I'm sure those fairies will return.

And this year, last year's vegetable garden will become a pumpkin patch. This is my third year vegetable gardening. The vegetables will return to the bed they originally occupied two years ago and will also be spread among perennial plantings. A gardener friend of mine lets her vegetables run wild -- tomatoes especially spread to unlikely wildflower beds and beyond. I like the idea of walking among the flowers and finding a surprise edible along the way. We'll see how well planning out "random" vegetable plantings goes.

Growing season spreads before me with grand opportunities. I hope that the snow melts faster!