Winter loosens its grip

The last snow finally disappeared from the northern-most part of our yard about three weeks ago. Little bursts of color from the crocuses emerged from the thawing ground (only to be mown down by the too numerous rabbits eager for some fresh greens). Daffodils shot up rapidly, trying to make up for the slow start to spring, and the forsythia branches look more yellow each day, although no blossoms yet (I am never sure if the branches actually do turn from brown to yellow, or if my imagination plays a trick).


Weather is always changeable this time of year—cold weather, and snow, can still make an appearance (and did this week). However, more than any year in recent memory, this one has been crazy. We’ve had extreme cold and mountains of snow which lingered too long. An occasional warm day was often followed by bitter temperatures (just two weeks ago Rebecca was still lying under the wood stove for warmth). Experts say this unpredictable weather is the “new normal.”

Rebecca staying warm

Indoors, we’ve been preparing for the summer garden. Celeriac, parsley, kohlrabi, pac choy, cabbage, and greens have been growing for several weeks under lights and on heat mats. Tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings are popping up. Soon I will start more herbs indoors, as well as cosmos, zinnias and marigolds which go around the vegetable beds to add color and attract bees.

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This weekend we will sow peas directly in the beds. Cherisse has been reinforcing the frames, which after many years have begun to come apart, and fortifying the soil with compost, some horse and cow manure from our neighbors, and organic fertilizers. We may also plant some greens (especially the colder-loving spinach), and possibly carrots and parsnips.

We can see the red nubs of rhubarb emerging, and asparagus will hopefully follow in a couple of weeks. So despite the long winter, it was not, after all, endless.

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