spring

By North Carolina standards, it’s been a long cold winter, but I think Spring might finally be here. The first hints of it (a month later than usual) were the daffodils, in full bloom by March 10:

mid-March daffs

mid-March daffs

Since then, everything has started to green up. First leaf buds are on the trees now; redbud is in flower, and we have dogwood blossom, flowering quince. The grass is looking lush. It will never look better: give it a couple of weeks and all the invasives will have taken over.

The seedlings (follow them on Instagram!), all hatched and nurtured in my basement potting “shed”, are ready for the most part: three different kinds of tomato, basil, mustard, nasturtium, scarlet sage and ordinary sage, tomatillos, frying peppers and Thai peppers, wonderberries, wild strawberries, calendula, blanket flowers…. The peppers seem way too small as yet, and the wild strawberries are still tiny, but the tomatoes, nasturtium,  calendula and blanket flowers want out there. I’ve started to give some plants away to friends. Wrenching moment, but I know I have too many of some things, not enough garden bed for everything. (Where the hell am I going to put the wonderberries??!)

Because there have been a few developments in the last week or two. The forest garden is turning into a forest fruit garden! I bought some blueberry bushes and raspberry canes a week ago and got around to planting them over this past weekend. Here’s a view of the garden showing most of the beds. All those tall greens that look like grass are actually wild onions!

the state of the beds, early April 2014

the state of the beds, early April 2014

From front to back, you can see garlic, rows of perennial onions (going strong from the Turkeysong gift!) and on the other side of the cement blocks arugula/rocket hanging on in there by sheer force of will (I thought they were done weeks ago). In the next bed, small blueberry plants are on the left; catmint, peppermint and rhubarb on the right. Behind them, sticking up all green are the raspberry canes, and to their right strawberries (planted last November). Then at the back, in the hugelbeet, the two slightly more mature blueberry bushes I bought at Wholefoods. There is a new bed in preparation for tomatoes and basil, and an extension (also in preparation) to the bee garden flower bed for the tomatillos. Peppers are going to go where the rocket is now, and to the left of the garlic and onions is quite a large space which I think I’ll use for three sisters planting.

But where will I put the wonderberries? In the forest? I walked the trail yesterday (Sunday), hoping to spot morels. No luck. But on the trail itself were these wildflowers:

sweet wildflowers on the trail

sweet wildflowers on the trail

ID pending… Suggestions are starting to come in, but I think I’ve nailed the ID (as of 2:30 PM Tuesday April 8): Claytonia Virginica, Eastern Spring Beauty. I’m going for this rather than Claytonia Caroliniana (despite where I found them) because the latter have much more marked pink stripes on their petals, and are often pinker. I love the fact that another name for these is Fairy Spud!

And here to finish is a shot I took of one of the creeks towards the end of February, when I thought winter might have been ending. Any other year and I’d have been (nearly) right.

beautiful creek!

beautiful creek!

 

 

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