After a seemingly interminable winter, Spring burst through the door with cheery exuberance, ignoring all customary weather patterns of gradual temperature increases and slapping us with a heat wave – consecutive days in the 90’s in March. Following this, we experienced record breaking pollen counts in early April – swirling clouds of yellow dust from our native Loblolly pines danced around the skies for days, leaving cars, homes, outdoor furniture and anything else exposed with an almost radioactive lime yellow glow. It was gross. Pete and I both are extremely lucky in that we don’t suffer from allergies, thus our biggest nuisance was daily dustings in the rooms of our home in which the windows were necessarily open. No AC plus heat wave plus prolific pollen = a curiously icky week. Here in late April, things appear to be settling into normalcy i.e. occasional cool, rainy days interspersed with sunny in the 70’s. Whatever Spring and Summer may bring, I’m simply overjoyed that winter is gone. I don’t do well with cold weather, and I rather enjoy being outdoors without motion inhibiting layers of clothing.
The early blast of warm weather made for some lovely days in the garden, but also put a damper on certain Spring veggies that thrive in that transition period. Broccoli being one such crop has almost all gone to flower. Funny enough, though, my efforts to plant broccoli this year were thwarted by misplaced starters at Lowe’s and my novice eye not recognizing the difference between them and cabbage. Incidentally, I planted 18 cabbage plants where I had hoped to plant 9 each of broccoli and cabbage. In the moment of realization, which occured at somewhere around plant 15 going in the ground, I was a little peeved. Now knowing that broccoli ain’t happenin’, I feel a little better. On the other hand, the cabbage may soon suffer the same fate in which case, error or not, it’s all a lost cause. Still holding out hope! Also for my snow peas which are doing their duty to climb the fence. Fingers crossed! If the cabbage goes kaput, I’ll deal. If the snow peas don’t make it, I might cry a little. Which isn’t saying much for a hormonally challenged preggo.
Other plants are doing splendidly – my garlic is rockin’, I harvested the first of my spinach a couple days ago, lettuce and chard are up and at em, and onions and leeks are doing fine. On Wednesday I threw some okra seeds in the ground (thanks to buddy King!) and on Thursday Pete planted my purple and boxwood basil. Super psyched about those. In the next couple weeks it’s all about tomatoes and peppers. I even took on a second (smaller) plot at the community garden. It’s all very exciting and fun. Surely when little Norah arrives, I’ll have to take some time away from tending to my tasty veggies, but I won’t be shy about asking for help.
Some berry snappies from earlier this week:
PS I almost forgot! Also new this year in Elderland are two blueberry plants! Just plain tickled.