Planting Season

dames rocket pathMy plants have strong opinions about the unusual spring weather we’ve had. The crabapple trees were giddy in their delight; the lilacs are in such a sulk, most of them have refused to come out. Dame’s rocket is thriving; garlic mustard is in retreat – happy, that. The asparagus was very late. The Jacob’s Ladder is flowering on every rung, and the ferns in the backyard are, well, full of themselves.

jacob's ladderA gardener, like plants, accommodates to the weather. Weeding for instance: pull when wet, hoe when dry. That’s what they say, and mostly I follow that advice. Between hoeing weather and pulling weather I cleared a lot of space. The relevant advice for that is, cover bare ground or the weeds will do it for you. I was able to get all my seedling tomatoes in the ground and sowed several varieties of zinnia and cosmos, on a late afternoon when rain was predicted for the next morning. Seedlings and seeds are happiest if you can set them out in such a situation. I felt somewhere between blessed and smug.

mulch pileI also put in a bit more lamium, a favorite groundcover, but there was more ground to cover. The situation called for mulch. I called my dirt supplier, and the cedar mulch arrived soon after. Mulch is lighter than dirt, so we’re handling it ourselves without the Rent-a-Rowers. Which means Doug carts it and I spread it – brawn and brains, he says.

chairs in the woodsFor a break we sat in our little wooded spot, enjoying the mulch job from last year, listening to the territorial arguments of the cardinals and storm warnings of the jays, basking in the success of the tomato house… and contemplating what to do about the compost bin.

crooked compost 2


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