Wednesday, April 7
Yard Report - buds, buds and more buds!
The yard seems to be exploding into spring this past week. The snowdrops have faded away already along with the crocus, but now we have a variety of others popping up. Daffodils are in full bloom with tulips not far behind. The bulbs that survived the winters nibbling by chipmunks and squirrels should show their colors next week.
All sorts of others are appearing - hyacinth, violets, little blue flowers that I don't know the name of.... The yard has color again. Even the grass is greening up and it finally feels like spring. It is windy with a warning of rain today but it is still 72 degrees so I will take it and say it is spring.
The big players are in the game too - the forsythia bush is brilliant yellow in the side yard and the lilac bush is getting its light green leaves. My personal favorite, the magnolia tree, is going to burst open in a few days. This was one of the reasons we bought this house. There is an ancient magnolia tree in the front yard - huge in its wide spreading branches, so heavy when it blooms that the branches dust the ground. It does not last long but while it is blooming, I am out enjoying it as much as possible. Standing near the while birch clump provides such a nice color contrast and when that tree blooms, I get the full onset of spring fever.
My trumpet vine is still clinging to the barn for all it is worth - digging its way under the wood. I love the way it looks when it is green and full of long orange humming bird-attracting flowers, but I do have to admit that it is doing a number on my barn. And as much as I really do not want to admit it, I think it is going to have to go through a drastic thinning this year. I can leave one nice section, reaching up to the barn roof, but I think the rest must go. It is damaging the barn and it will make Roy very happy to be able to rip part of it down. He absolutely hates that vine. He has since we moved it and i wouldn't let him take it down. Every time he goes into the barn and has to fight with the huge sliding door that is very near the vine, he vows to get out the hedge trimmers. But I always talk him out of it because it is so pretty. This year however, I think he will get his wish. Maybe I will call it an early birthday present.
I have drastically reduced the size of my shade garden in that the small fence that came with the house that i built it around has all but disintegrated into the ground and was beyond repair. In taking it out I decided to reduce the shade garden to 1/3 its size. I have n ever had much luck with that one. The chipmunks eat roots of certain plants, I have "snow on the mountain" taking over everything else, and I really wanted to open up the yard. That garden/fence kind of divided the side yard from the main yard and I want things to flow more evenly. It already looks and feels better and the transplants that lived through chipmunk winter feeding are sending shoots through the dirt, proving that I did not kill them from early transplanting.
Rounding off garden and yard updates, we are adding a 20 x 18 foot vegetable garden in addition to our 38x28 foot one. I want more space for tomatoes and we are trying corn again this year.
This time of year is both wonderful and horrible for me. I love it because winter is finally over (I hate winter) and it is nice out and I can open the windows and air out all of winters stale air. Things are green and growing and everything smells wonderful. However, it can be, according to Jenna Woginrich of Cold Antler Farm, "A fickle bitch." A few nice days to get your hopes up and then the cold snaps back in to wreck everything. So unfair and maddening.