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February & March, In Retrospect

Most years, March is the busiest month of the year in the garden for me.  It’s the perfect time for planting out perennials and shrubs and a wide variety are readily available.  Mail order nurseries ship hardy plants to my zone in March or April, and the nurseries are well stocked.  There’s enough warm sunny weather that it’s nice to get outside, and there’s plenty of cleanup work to do after fall and winter.

Due to a broken ankle, my gardening time has been drastically curtailed this year.  Working around that has involved identifying tasks that can be done on crutches or sitting on a scooter, badgering the Chief of Implementation and our offspring and a LOT of letting go of things that aren’t getting done this year.  We’ve postponed starting a couple of beehives until next spring; much of the vegetable garden will be planted late if at all; and I have no plans for new flower beds this year despite having a big lot with lots of blank space.

In spite of that, we’ve gotten a good bit done in the yard and planted a lot of new plants and replacements.  Most of my mail order plants are in the ground, largely thanks to my daughter and her significant other. We even did a little direct seeding of hardy annuals in the Front Island Bed last week.  Winter sown seedlings are doing fairly well, although I planted a fair number of slow germination seeds this year that aren’t up yet.  I do have one Meconopsis cambrica (Welsh Poppy) seedling so far.  Supposedly, this is the easiest kind to grow, and reliably perennial.  I’m growing double orange and double yellow ones.

It’s also been a lovely spring, though earlier than usual.  Thankfully we’ve had enough cool weather that flowers have lasted pretty well.  Here’s a quick glance at what’s bloomed so far.

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Photo credits go to my daughter who posts her art at http://cricketwerks.tumblr.com/

Here’s to a lovely growing season for everyone!

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Busy Planting!

Well, it’s been just over a month since my last post.  Despite my hope for weekly blogging, I’ve succumbed to the temptation of digging instead of writing about digging.  The Garden in the Woods is new enough to me that there’s a wealth of blank space to fill.  I’ve made a lot of progress planting all my new babies, and look forward to future years full of blooms and fruit.

This is what the west end of the house looked like just after an early April road trip to buy plants.

Before (4/15/2011)

This is how it looked just three weeks later.

After (5/8/2011)

Most of the new plants are in the ground.  This also shows how much greenery filled in during those three weeks.

The biggest job was building 14 raised beds and filling them with compost and soil. Achy, Breaky Fruit & Rotten Stuff included pictures of the fruit tree beds; here’s a picture of the berry beds so far.  (There are two more to install:  wineberries & lowbush blueberries.)

Berry Beds

Of course it’s SPRING and there are beautiful flowers.   Here are a few!

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