It’s Spring-a-ling, time to wake up to things. Afraid we didn’t turn that corner, instead we we took a step back into our corners of the world, and that's where we stayed. We are so grateful for our green spaces here in our rural setting. I think often of the kids who can't stretch their legs like our kids can, when they go running across the hills or for a walk on the rail trails.
It’s comforting to know now that the days will get warmer, and they’ll also get longer as we wistfully fantasise about going places, but maybe we’ll take the time to appreciate where we are for a moment longer too.
The garden has never looked more beautiful to me, as extra attention has been spent lately on looks as well as its usefulness as an edible oasis. Tomatoes were sown in the windowsill in mid July, never so early! The same can be said of the zucchini and basil, which are thriving in the humid wet greenhouse.
In our cold temperate climate we often experience rain, then heat, the sun and the clouds seem to take turns. We've experienced the warmth of a 24 degree (celsius) day, followed by a week of rain, getting cold down to 13 degrees during the day and then back up to 24-27 now we are past the Spring Equinox. So we power wash the decks one hot afternoon, only to sit on it and stare at the rain for days. The tomatoes are staying in the window sill, the temperatures fluctuate too much this time of year, we can even still get a frost!
It's the time of year when inspiration arrives. New ideas are scrawled across the gardening book each morning when the coffee is flowing. Winds are back to blow things over. The front garden, which is full of cottage and edible flowers has given us so much delight that we are planning our dahlias, wallflowers, marigolds and salvias and wondering when there'll be time to mulch!
This year we have young chickens to play with. To our son's delight, they lay teeny tiny eggs. We make our own fun up here, so we had a chicken egg laying comp, to see who would guess the day they start laying, winner get's the first egg! We might be weirdo's!
The extra birdies beds are going to become quite useful as we concentrate on staples like potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini’s, corn, bean, peas and cucumber. Although, I am growing the fancy luffa plant, see one experiment always gets through! The goal is to able to preserve as much as we can this year and hoping for a bumper crop, much like my 2016 triumph! Gee, that was a good year for tomatoes!
While the kitchen window full of tomatoes, I am ambitiously starting the zucchini and basil earlier than usual. Something has nibbled on them in the greenhouse, but hoping moving them around will fix it. Crunching snails in the driveway. Might have to go out at night and observe the horror.
Being at home provided the opportunity to observe. We want to enjoy our spaces more, and we definitely needed more places to sit, enjoy, hang around and relax. So it was a much needed new garden bench, hammocks (plural), and 2-piece cafe diner set that was purchased, with slowness in mind. The pantry needs to be prepared for summer, because while there's no holidays for awhile, we are sure there will be preserving days.
Our first YouTube video:
There’s a third of our garden which is yet to be designed. Right outside our back door is a blank canvas. My ideas include a back verandah embellished with ferns (Diarmuid Gavin's verandah is providing much inspiration), 2 stone fruit and a cutting garden. But we also want a relaxing space to overlook the tiered garden. It will be enclosed by existing hedges to a degree, which will make it beautiful and private. Out comes the white sheet of paper at breakfast one morning, where my best work happens, trying to decide on shape, and layout, using a 2B pencil stolen from the remote schooled kid sitting next to me. We'll see what happens!
We are beginning to return to school and are allowed out around town and country again lately, which is just as well as I'm longing to see garden friends and have a cuppa, share seeds, recipes and laughs. Virtual cuppa's have been wonderful, but nothing replaces the real thing. Like Jane Edmandson said on this weeks "Gardening Australia", physically sharing ideas and items from the garden promotes and maintains the real lived connections to each other.
Let’s ease into summer as we awaken to spring and the world awakens to this "new normal". With hope that this time next year might be easier on us all..