Friday, April 11, 2014

springing all over the place

I might have gotten a bit carried away taking pictures yesterday afternoon. But it's so nice outside! And things are waking up and getting excited!

The pear starting to unfurl! Looking forward to seeing the actual leaves come forth. (The Ubileen branch is budding along with the others, though it remains slower.)

My phone for some reason thought the grass was the important part of this shot, rather than the plump little cherry leafbuds. Not as smart as you think you are, phone.

Barely visible right in the middle-left of this shot: a lone beet (or chard? probably beet) that has gotten stubborn and decided to come up despite being planted in February. At the top you can see some strawberries. I ran out of energy and enthusiasm for trying to dig up the lawn before I ran out of strawberry plants, so I stuck the last half-dozen in the kitchen bed, where the soil didn't fight me. Of the batch of 25 plants, I think I've lost 4, and considering how badly I handled them before they got in the ground I think that speaks really well for their sturdiness. (These are Albion everbearing from Raintree.)

The cats also got to go outside for supervised backyard adventures while I was mucking around planting things and cooing over them. For a while they were wary about exploring too far from home base.

Raspberry! An impulse buy from home despot, which is doing well anyway because it's a raspberry and they're tough little bastards. About half those leaves have happened since it got in the ground, and if you look closely you can see it's put up the start of a second cane in the dirt there.

Grape leaves beginning to unfurl! Grapes have such pretty foliage. Can't wait for these guys to be big enough to really show off.

Those oats I mentioned -- I really should have sowed them in the fall and just let them overwinter, but that would have taken time-travel, so. This year I'll give that a shot once the summer comes to an end. Probably going to plant at least part of the garden in leaf and root crops, though, since the rabe and the chard left there by previous occupants have been so good to me in the spring.

Ren gets more adventurous! He crosses the wide expanse of lawn to investigate the raised beds.

Garnet is still not so sure. Green stuff? Going back inside? It is a tough call.

Shout out to this rhododendron, who is phenomenally hardworking and has been feeding the local bees for the last month. And still putting out new buds! Bless you for not being a slacker like your friends, rhody.

According to the label, this is a red gooseberry! It was nestled close to the back fence already when I got here. Its blossoms are tiny but an exciting sign; from what I've read so far it seems they're self-fertile, so I have hopes of discovering what a gooseberry tastes like this year.

The maple is the biggest tree in my back yard and went from tiny red buds to doing this almost overnight. It's really pretty but it also takes up a lot of real estate and doesn't do much, so... we'll see how its future looks.

I'm pretty sure I stepped on this asparagus crown right after I put it in, fighting with a rented rototiller (not doing that again). And yet there are two little woogy spears, investigating life above ground. These also I didn't handle as well as I'd have liked but I'm still getting about an 80% survival rate (and maybe the last ones are just slow?). Since this is their first year, None of the spears get cut; instead they just grow out to full size and work on extending their root systems.

Garnet finally braves the grass!!

Ferocious little jungle pear.

Ren is ready to take on the neighborhood, or so he believes. (No, Ren, you're really not. There are cars and big dogs and nobody feeds you. Let's go inside.)

SPRING. I planted some basil seeds yesterday, now that it's warmer, and also some green beans. I'll be planting more of those in a few weeks to stagger my harvest, and a different variety for dry shelling as well. What a beautiful time of year.

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