Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April Flowers - and Other Growing Stuff

The first half of April was weirdly warm -as high as 90 degrees - and extremely dry, but the past few days have been more normal and the earth has been quenched by April showers. Now spring is bursting out all over. We have begun planting, selectively, until the promised frost-free date of May 15th, anxiously aware that that's when the real craziness will begin.

At our closing last September, the realtor who helped us with the purchase of our farm gave us a gift certificate to Sargents nursery. I used it this week to purchase a magnolia tree like the one I loved so much at our old house. I can't wait to smell those fragrant blossoms.
We got a silver maple seedling at the Arbor Day event and three swamp white oaks at the RNeighbors Think Green conference. Cadence, who is a trained citizen forester, planted them on a windy afternoon, two oaks in the front yard and the other two in the back.
There are two, huge, wonderful old crabapple trees along the east edge of the yard. They have buds just aching to open, as well as a few hanger-on apples from last fall.
Couldn't resist planting a few columbines by the front entrance

and some color by the door. Ever since we moved here I have been dreaming of a carpet of spring wildflowers -especially Virgina bluebells - amid the grove of trees in the back yard. My friend Flo generously offered to let me dig some Virginia Bluebells from her spectacular yard, which we did in the thunder and raindrops just before the hailstorm hit. The next day, Terry and Joyce brought over another favorite -wild ginger - from their yard. My wildflower carpet is underway. Thanks, kind friends.
Our vegetable garden is not much to look at yet. In fact, it is sort of an embarrassment right now. We are experimenting with the "lasagna" method -no till, deep mulch, and so we have grass clippings, leaves, cardboard, horse manure, and shredded corn stover all over the garden. This is the west bed, where we have begun planting onions, many varieties of lettuces and greens, Kennebec and German butterball potatoes, and a few early cabbages.
The onion sets and cabbages are tucked down into the mulch, not even in the soil!


Lucy Corrander said...

Love magnolia.

The little crab-apple looks like a left-over Christmas decoration.

Is your 'Lasagne' method a version of 'Veganic', no-dig gardening?


mo'ikeha said...

Isn't life beautiful...