The Annual Unfurling

SeedlingsAfter what seemed like a particularly long dismal rainy winter that turned into a cold spring (we got our biggest snow on the first day of Spring just as we were installing the bees), the fine weather has arrived, and we are all rejoicing! Bob spends the days on the tractor tilling up the fields and vegetable gardens getting them ready for seeds and the baby plants that have been benefiting from the sun porch: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach. We’ll be eating wild asparagus soon, and I can’t wait for my first farm fresh salad. We’ve had vegies and fruit from the freezer all winter long but there’s nothing like that first bowl of lightly steamed broccoli or fresh salad mix.

My big spring job is getting my roadside flower garden going again. Lots of weeding but what a pleasure to pull up a handful of duck weed to find gladiolas or hostas just poking above the soil. A few hollyhocks have overwintered and the irises have buds up. Last night, we sat on the front porch and discovered that the Solomon’s Seal has come up under the spirea. I LOVE this time of year! Well, except for the fact that I always overdo it the first few days and end up with an aching back. But it is worth it!

There are packets of seeds on the kitchen table with more arriving soon. I bought a pile of packets of cosmos, purple coneflower, daisies, black eyed susans and more at a discount store so I treated myself to some more expensive seeds from the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Monticello. I’m going to till up my last year’s attempt at a wildflower garden and fill in with annual and perennial seeds in a slightly more orderly fashion. But, before I get in with the tiller, I need to rescue some more campion and sweet william. I like to wait to plant my seeds until the evening lows are above 50 degrees. We’re right there with a few 48s in the mix so I have another week or so to wait. It’s hard to patient this time of year but it means better germination.

And, I put up a second hummingbird feeder today. When I walked up on the porch, a hummer came in right behind me and sat down for a long drink. I better mix more food!

In celebration of Spring, here’s Jeremy Irons reading Wordsworth’s “Daffodils.” I visited Dove Cottage when I was in England. It was a cold and dreary October in the Lake District, and it helps to understand the joy of this poem. I felt the same way when we saw our first daffodils this year.

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