Saturday, March 15, 2014

Rainy Days in Spring

I have a theory: Gardeners NEED rainy spring days. 

I know we need them to water our plants, lift the water table and keep things lush and green... but in the earliest days of spring (and yes, it really is only the 15th of March here, so not actually officially spring) I think the rainy days are meant to actually help the gardeners themselves.

This weekend is a perfect example.  Had I had sunshine (or even, lets face it, just overcast but no rain) all weekend long, I would accomplish nothing in the house.  No laundry, no cleaning, no income tax preparation, no paperwork... nothing except making my kitchen floor dirtier.

So I am trying to be grateful for today's rain because it means I can get some other things done this weekend. Rain today means laundry is in the washer, that I will deal with some paperwork (when I stop procrastinating) and that I will clean inside the house - maybe I will even wash the kitchen floor instead of just tracking more mud all over it!

With love across the waters...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Defiant Acts

"Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do.  Plus you get strawberries:" ~ Ron Finley

I love the feel behind this statement - well, both of these statements, really... Though I won't necessarily get strawberries (I don't plan to plant any, but just because it isn't part of the plan today doesn't mean I won't find somewhere to put some eventually..) I am, though, most defiantly acting in favour of spring!

To go back a few months, my yard had a hard winter - loads of deep and long lasting heavy snow, along with a February snow accumulation that meant that even as late as the beginning of this week there was snow in my back yard (though today all gone) and there is still a little in the front yard...

Taken about 4 weeks ago...
Last weekend I spent some of my Sunday on poo patrol as the snow was melting, I also pruned my apple, pear and plum trees...  There's a small pile of branches I need to dispose of, but nothing really huge to worry about there.  The trees were still lying fallow last weekend, but today when i was out I noticed that the plum tree is budding out all over - so last weekend was the absolute last minute I would have been able to do the pruning safely.

Today's project work was the back yard.  I made a trip to Art Knapp and then over to Slegg Lumber before heading home... While at Art Knapp, I picked up six raspberry plants, two blueberry bushes, a bag of peat moss and a bag of container potting soil.  At Slegg Lumber I picked up two cedar trellises and four . ten-foot long 1" x 2"s.

So here's this weekend's outdoors project list:

  • move the upper long bed box to a new location along the side fence
  • build a pea trellis using the old green lattice screen that was acting as a barrier to hide the old oil tank (thus the 1" x 2"s) and make a new bed to plant the pea trellis in
  • ready the garden beds for planting
  • plant peas, spinach, raspberries and blueberries
  • tidy up the garden shed
  • rake up the back yard (basically make it pretty) and make another poo-clearing pass over everything.
Once back from the shopping excursion, I realized there is more I will need, so I'll be out again tomorrow morning to collect the missing bits, but today I was able to accomplish a fair amount.

First item on the list had to be poo patrol. That done, I opened up the shed and pulled out my bistro set and got the concrete patio spring-friendly.  

By the end of the daylight hours today I had moved the long bed, dug out and readied the other beds, planted the raspberry and blueberry plants, and set up the trellises for their jobs... Tomorrow (after the Slegg Lumber run) I will set up one final small raised bed, build and install the pea trellis, plant the peas and spinach seeds and tidy the garden shed a little. If I have enough time, I'll also rake up the back yard & get the lawn ready for spring and over-seed with grass seed where there has been winter damages.

Once I finish off all of tomorrow's bits, I'll snap some pictures and show you where I am at this point in readiness for sunshine and warmth...

Next weekend I'm going to be putting out my drip lines and then I'll see about getting in there to tackle the front yard projects...

With love across the waters...