We are starting to see signs of spring around the farm but, frankly, it has been slow going! A few weeks ago, we had perfect weather for about a week. It was warm and sunny and got me all excited for the growing season. Unfortunately, that perfectly delightful weather was promptly followed by subfreezing temperatures. I was very, very thankful that I had brought in branches from the tulip magnolia because the blooms met an untimely death with the cold, as did my star magnolia buds, which is a big disappointment because a highlight of spring is the week or so that my bathroom windows are all in bloom and it feels like I’m showering in a fairytale.
The forsythia that I planted two years ago has grown, even though I accidentally left it to be ravaged by vines. I clipped some and brought them into the house as well. What a bright and cherry arrangement to have during the rainy and dreary days that inevitably arrive during spring. Forsythia doesn’t really add much to the landscape during 11 months of the year, but I find the month that they bloom is well worth finding a spot for them in your landscape.
Last year, we planted about 75 hellebores that I was very worried about since their arrival was delayed, and we ended up planting them in a heatwave. They limped along all summer, looking very much like they were perhaps a lost cause. However, this spring almost every single one has produced the most gorgeous flowers on tall stems. I just love all of their jewel tones and look forward to watching them grow each season. Hellebores are such a delight because they provide flowers at a time when very little else is blooming and are seriously tough plants!
Besides seeding flowers for the garden, I’ve also direct seeded my sugar snap peas, lettuces, radishes and cabbage. During the freezing temperatures I did need to protect the lettuces with cloches and am happy to report that they seem to have survived. The radishes, even though they are cold hardy, were not so lucky except for one or two exceptionally tough ones. The peas are all popping up and didn’t mind the frigid temps at all. The rhubarb is coming along beautifully!
Our autumnalis cherry trees are all starting to bloom and the clear, bright pink blooms are such a sight for sore eyes. Sadly, I can’t ever seem to get a really good picture of them in their glory. Perhaps when they are bigger, or I become a better photographer!
The chickens have all started laying again which means we are overflowing with eggs again. I recently bought this book to help me use them all up! As the seasons change, I also find that I’m ready to move on from the heavier meals of winter. I get frustrated that I want to cook and eat all the spring things but they are not yet ready in the garden. Instead, I move to lighter things such as my favorite soup where at least I’m able to use chives from the garden. It’s perfect with a muffin and my favorite sage and blackberry preserves.
Rosie and I still enjoy our daily walks in the woodland even though we now have to start being very diligent about ticks. In the orchard, the bulbs I planted last year have started to pop up and the crabapples are turning green.
Last, but not least, we’ve also lightened up a few things in the house. The first of daffodils have just bloomed and were brought inside before the heavy rains of last night got to them. I’ve also put out my cabbage ware that seems just right for the spring.