Garden Report: March 17

Nobody will be pinching the garden today. It's all green and happy right now. This is the one time of the year when we have just the right combination of water and sunlight, so everybody is soaking it up.

Here's yet another mystery anemone I apparently planted last fall. This spring has been like a preview of what senility will be like: "What the heck is that? Did I plant that?"

Anemone under the apples

Actually, when I saw it I remembered planting something there. I should look in my notes and see what it really is.

The other fun surprise is the grape hyacinths I hid all over the place. These I remembered, but they've been coming up at different rates, so finding one is always a little surprise.

Grape hyacinths coming up

I love how weird they look before they fluff out. Like little purple worms sticking out of the grass.

Grape hyacinth wand

Yesterday the Lady Jane tulips started opening. Always an awesome sight, and now I have them in a long line through the orchard, so they will be even more spectacular.

Lady Jane tulips

The big show right now is the nectarines (and to a lesser extent the peaches). They're covered in blossoms, and the bees are loving it. As are all kinds of little birds that eat pollinating insects.

I love the fact that the two big trees don't look the same. So we have blooms on this nectarine that are darker and smaller:

One nectarine

And then this one which is more classically pink and much larger:

The other nectarine

This year I swear I will be more proactive about thinning those trees. Really.

Speaking of thinning, I finally went out and cut down the fava bean plants, or most of them. I left several for fava beans for cooking and for fava beans for doing more green mulching like this next winter. I am not a big seed saver in the veggie garden (I like my named varieties too much), but this is definitely a place where the effort is not too great.

Trimmed fava beans

And just about the time when I was starting to worry that I'd totally killed my potatoes, the leafy branches have started emerging.

Potatoes emerging

Those are "All Blue," but all the varieties have some shoots coming up. We're months away from a potential potato crop, so no impromptu St. Patrick's Day feast for us today. Of course, one of the defining moments of Irish history was the famine, which was characterized by not eating potatoes, so perhaps we're doing our part to celebrate after all.

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posted by ayse on 03/17/09


I just found your site a couple of days ago and have been slowly working through the archive (when I really should be working). I really like your writing style and the adventures in enclosing the chickens. Anyway a while back there was a discussion in the comments about Drills and you mentioned that you didn't want to pay extra for magnetic screw bits cause you go through them so quickly. My tiny kit from Ryobi came with what they call a bit extender, that is magnetic, you plug any metal screw bit into it and it become magnetic. So you can use the cheaper bits but still get the magnetic bonus. Anyway great site!

Interesting, Joe. I'll take a look the next time we're at the hardware store and see whether we can find something like that. (Though right now our drill itself needs some repair to its switch after being thoroughly abused drilling holes in concrete last summer.)

I have serious garden envy. It's still below freezing at night here, so although I have my veggies and annuals started in trays on the windowsills, it'll be another month or two before we get any serious garden activity here.

Nadja, just think of how I have to spend all winter weeding, and it will feel better.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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