Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Signs of spring

It's not really worth doing Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day today, but I figured I'd go ahead and post a couple of shots. Hellebore and daffodil closeups:

For the record, the first daffodils here bloomed March 9. I've also got crocuses (the snowdrops appear to be done), and I did see a miniature iris the other day but it wasn't around this morning. Magnolias are in bud, forsythia is forsything, but in general spring is sidling into view rather than dramatically bursting on the scene and announcing itself. Which is fine - we may get a frost and snow flurries this weekend, in time for the official start of the season.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Spring tasks

Haven't posted here in ages! Well, it has been winter - a rather strange one, with Christmas at nearly 70 degrees F. and then a blizzard in January (29 inches of snow in 1.5 days). Overall it's been a bit warmer than average (whatever that means anymore) and spring is raring to go. (At the moment there is an inch of new snow on the ground, but it won't last more than a day or so.)

I will have flowers for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day this month! In fact, there are snowdrops (which have been going all winter, even under the snow), crocuses and hellebores blooming right now, and daffodils will likely appear before the 15th.

My big task for the spring is to get going on this Food Forest Thing (FFT) which won't be strictly a food forest, since it will include plenty of native (and non-native) non-food-producing plants, but whatever it is it'll involve some planning and lots of land-clearing and planting. I should probably have a Five-Year Plan or something, but I get overwhelmed if I see things in too-large chunks of Help and Bother, so more likely I'll be dealing with it one little piece at a time. But here's the big picture, for once:

This is the view looking down on the Way Back (before it snowed, obviously). The fence posts (coming out slowly but surely, and perhaps faster now that we have a proper post jack) are the borders of the former vegetable garden. The gate frames are staying in, because they are cool and my athletic cat likes to climb them. Taking this, I am standing at the back of the parking area, next to the shed. We are going to build a retaining wall just in front of me. The mess of green fencing to the left is protecting some current (not currant - those are to the right) plantings, including a young fig tree which will become the focus of Guild #1 (or whatever I end up calling it). (Assuming it survived the winter.) There are also some raspberries that need to be moved, and some blueberries that will end up in the front side yard replacing the privet hedge if we manage to rip it out. Plus various herbs and little bush cherries.

I have re-formed the black raspberry parallel rows into a cross-shaped formation, which will be easier to access if I get behind on pruning.

I'll try to post here with updates. FFT Go!