After a very long wait, Spring is finally here
About two weeks before the official beginning of summer, it finally warmed up, the rain took a break, and Spring began. The wet cold made it seem that winter would never end – I was still wearing many layers well into May. Most of my neighbours in this little hamlet are avid gardeners and we were all outside as soon as there was a day without rain! We don’t see each other often in the wintertime unless we have dogs to walk, so garden talk is when we catch up.
My first project for Spring 2017 was laying this small garden path so I could have access to everything. I still need to add a few stepping stones going up the hill to the street.
I understand that it’s very strange for Nuthatches to use nesting boxes, but I have a pair who decided to use the box previously renovated by a red squirrel. I guess they liked the enlarged entrance.
This is the south side of the house and I heard them pecking away at it from inside. (My house really needs scraping and re-finishing.) I still don’t know what they did, but it sounded as though they were making a hole through to my keeping room! As of today there’s one baby hatched and it flew the coop today, June 13. It sat on top of the gate post (sorry about the poor quality picture) for some time before it finally joined its parents in the enormous Black Walnut tree above.
The oregano in the herb garden closest to the house erupted very quickly with a bit of Spring warmth. Lots of Borage is up, and lots of seeds are planted. I’m one of those people who check for germination at least twice a day and this morning I saw teeny-tiny carrot beginnings. This is particularly exciting for me as I’ve never had luck with carrots. Two years ago I left one plant to over-winter and last year I harvested the seeds. They’re viable!
I dug up a small clump of Pasture Roses years ago from the side of the road and planted them at the top of my garden right by the curb. They’re now going right across the whole garden and moving down the hill toward the house. Yesterday in the sunshine I kept going out to have another sniff – their scent is glorious!
At the corner by the stone steps leading down to the house, the Canada Anemones are also thriving although before the roses the anemones went across the front of the north part of the garden. But if the anemones continue going down beside the steps, I’m happy. I love them, too.
Close to the first back herb garden is a raised bed (made from a ‘found’ kitchen cupboard turned on its back) with dill seeds in the back part. I saved those seeds from last year, too, and they’re viable! I haven’t decided what to put in the front section yet. In front of that bed is a pot of sprouted basil and on the tray, the tomatoes that haven’t yet found homes. My property is surrounded by Black Walnut trees that put out juglone from their leaves and their roots. Juglone is poison to many plants, including tomatoes, so it’s difficult finding spots for them.
There are a lot of Gooseberries already formed. It will be a while before they ripen. I’m looking forward to picking them while trying not to stab myself too many times with the numerous thorns. They came from a small plant that a neighbour gifted to me and they’re spreading.
Moving down the hill, I have Comfrey beside each of the three wee cherry trees that are taking forever to grow. It’s the type of Comfrey that isn’t invasive, but adds nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil. I’ve read that it’s very helpful to fruit trees.
Nearing the back of the yard are lots of ferns. I like this spot particularly.
Close by and nearer the pond, are lots of shrubs including Highbush Cranberry, Red Osier Dogwood, and one very tall Pagoda Dogwood. I love the blossoms! Back in 1999 I planted a lot of different trees: Oaks, American Elms and one Butternut, an endangered species. All are doing well including the volunteer Maples, I’m happy to say.
It’s now mid-June, almost the end of Spring and beginning of Summer. The water is retreating in the flooded areas and the flora and fauna all seem to be off to a good start. It’s raining today, but that’s okay. A little rain every few days is just what we all need.
I can’t end this post without a comment about Mr. Jiggs, of course. The latest is that his rear dew claws had to be removed as they were causing a lot of problems. Here he is giving them some air!