Esther the goat who never met a fence that could stop her.
There has been no color here since October. You may know how I love late fall and winter with their tones of gray and brown, but by now I am READY for color! The little scilla at the top of the blog have been out for a few days now. They grow in the grass next to one of the raised beds.
The main area of daffodils is up with a hint of the flowers to come.
The little grape hyacinths, which share a garden with garlic are up.
The chive plants are doing great, and it's a treat to be eating them again.
Last fall, we planted six peony plants in the vegetable garden beds.
This one is called Nancy Nora. (how could I resist?)
We've dug out most of the orange day lilies from the front patio garden. They looked great but after they bloom, there is nothing there but cut down day lilies, so I wanted to diversify that garden a bit and extend the season. Much of my gardening is of the 'rob Peter to pay Paul' type. We took plants from other areas and planted them there - some bearded iris, different color day lilies, aquilegia.
We've started some flower seeds under the lights and will put some of them there in a few weeks; stock, more aquilegia, and lavatera. I may put the parsley and basil seedlings there too.
I don't know if I've mentioned that Tom retires in June, which means more time and less money. So, what better thing to do than to grow more of what we eat. We started many tomato plants: Martha Washington, Matt's Wild Cherry, and Peacevine, and sweet peppers for the first time in ages. The seeds we planted King of the North and Sweet Sunrise are supposed to turn red and orange in my climate, so fingers crossed.
We also have a lot of onion and leek seedlings ready to go out in the garden. They've been sitting on the bench for a few days to harden off.
Lots of lettuce is also ready. My new favorite is a variety called Pirat. I'm not a fan of the newish, sometimes sharp tasting greens. I like big green leafy lettuce, and Pirat suits just fine.
When it warms up we'll plant the Garden Oasis cucumber and Zephyr summer squash. The French Gold pole beans have been such a success, I think we'll always plant them. We missed sweet peas last year, so have packets of April in Paris and Mary Lou Heard. The spinach, Renegade, and peas, Green Arrow will go in now the soil has warmed up. And the corn will be planted at the end of next month. The Sugar Pearl white corn has been delicious and successful for a couple years now. I've got a packet of Rainbow mixture carrots. I love all the new colors. Last year's seeds didn't come up, so I hope these will grow.
With our adding of more vegetables, we must increase our raised beds, so Tom is going to build four more out in the area past the garden. And the other day I looked out and he had piled some rocks in a circle and built a fire pit.
He's already made a fire of last year's cornstalks and hollyhocks. Which brings me to the hollyhock situation. I so loved them last year, but haven't planted any seeds. I think I'll wait a year before planting again. They say that last year's seeds might come up. We'll see.
View from fire pit looking back at the house.
Here is the list of what we started under the lights:
In mid-March, planted in 2 small flats/40 cells per flat:
40 cells Cortland F1 Hybrid onions (High Mowing) and 40 cells Baby Primor Leeks (Renees)
On April 14, planted in 3 medium flats/28 cells per flat:
12 cells King of the North sweet peppers (High Mowing)
7 cells Sweet Sunrise sweet peppers (Johnny's)
5 cells Martha Washington tomatoes (Johnny's)
2 cells Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes (High Mowing)
2 cells Peacevine tomatoes (High Mowing)
8 cells Large Leaf Italian basil (High Mowing)
8 cells Giant Italian parsley (High Mowing)
6 cells Granny's Nightcap aquilegia (Hart - bought at Aubuchons in 2012)
3 cells Beauty of Nice stock (John Scheeper's Kitchen Garden)
3 cells Ruby Regis lavatera (John Scheeper's Kitchen Garden)
4 cells catnip (John Scheeper's Kitchen Garden)
24 cells Pirat lettuce (High Mowing)
We moved the grow lights out of the butt'ry area of the kitchen to the adjoining laundry room. When we plant the lettuce outside, we'll start new seeds under the lights, and keep doing that all summer. I love lettuce, and as you may know, eat it plain like a rabbit.
Soon it will be time to mow. We've got a rider mower that Tom uses and a new, but old-fashioned push mower for the small areas of lawn. One of the summer projects is to restore this sidewalk.
Years ago, we put in small stones for a gravel path, but they were uncomfortable to walk on, weeds and grass grew up, and it ended up looking awful. We have some leftover pavers from the patio, and plan to make a new sidewalk. Eventually the area right outside the kitchen door will become another patio, but that's a project for another time, and just as well says Sadie, since this is one of her favorite napping places.