a patch of blue

March 23, 2017

Spring is beautiful with it's bright blue above and bright green below, but I can't help but think it's a good thing it comes only once a year. We've been hard at work in the garden and I've got some achy muscles! The first spring clean-up and planting is always a lot of work, but soon that will slow down to summer maintenance, which is another kind of work altogether. The veggie garden is a work in progress and still a bit of a mess, but all the beds have been worked over with compost and sown with the seeds that don't mind cold soil: Purple Sun Carrots, leeks, dill, and spring onions.  The green beans will go in later as they like it to be a bit warmer. We've weeded most of the rose beds and paths and made each one a water well, and with over 50 roses it's quite a job. The brick paths that are not in full sun are covered with moss, and it's my job every year to get on my hands and knees and scrape each one clean.  I know there are chemical sprays that can do this sort of job, but we are chemical free, so it's doing it the hard way around here or not at all.  I'm not even half done, but I try to work about 5-10 feet a day. Our Valencia juice orange tree is the most prolific it's ever been.  My husband picks a basketful a few times a week then I juice them and put the excess in the freezer. This Juiceman is by far the best electric juicer on the market. I love candied citrus peel and made some yesterday following this recipe exactly.  It will stay in the refrigerator for months if we don't eat it sooner. I didn't plant all that much in the greenhouse this year. My husband wanted to purchase tomato plants since our nursery center carries all the heirlooms we love.  That just left me with planting the summer squashes and cucumbers. They will be up in no time and I'll be transplanting them around Easter.  I'm super excited about my Zinnia Queen Lime Red Heart seeds that I found at the Seed Bank last month.  They are sprouting and I'll be setting those out much later because they too like the warmer weather.  The peonies and wisteria are budding beautifully and should make a good Easter show.  The pear tree has blossomed and the apple doesn't look too far behind.  My herbs look fantastic and we've been having herb salads using half spring mint leaves and half spring lettuce leaves, similar to a Vietnamese style salad.  When the dill and basil appears, I'll be adding them to our herb salads. My favorite spring lunch is a baked potato covered with a mass of chopped, mixed, spring herbs, salt, and pepper. Before long, the warm weather will make the herbs too strong for this, so it's a short seasonal treat. Try it! On the knitting front, I've started Puntilla by Joji Locatelli using some very lovely Sincere Sheep 100% Cormo Wool fingering yarn I found at Stitches West.  The yarn has a lovely minimally-processed, lanoliny feel and is so very soft.  It's swoonworthy and one of those "special treat" yarns I give myself occasionally!

PS:  I know many of you are still buried under snow, but hang in there!

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  1. Your photos are lovely. What a promise Spring is!

  2. Every year I am amazed by your spring post. I think to myself, why do I live in MN exactly??? I saw your FB post about podcasts yesterday and I wanted to tell you about the one I listen to- Woolful. If you haven't tried it I think you would like it very much. I have become such a fan I've gone back and listened to all the old episodes. Happy moss scraping!


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