Posts tagged: spring

Happy Easter!

By , March 31, 2013

Happy Easter to you today! It’s a quiet, sunny Sunday morning here in Colorado, and this morning it really seems like spring has come. The lawns are getting green, the finches and robins are chirping, the daffodils and grape hyacinth are blooming, and the trees and bushes — though still bare silhouettes — are coming to life again.

May you have a wonderful Easter, however you choose to celebrate the re-awakening of nature in this most welcome and hopeful season!

*****

Make an Easter Egg Tree

By , March 25, 2013

What a dear holiday Easter is. I love the sweet, cheerful decorations, the colors of early spring, the smell of hyacinth.

Back in late January, I had clipped some aspen branches and brought them into the house. They’ve been such a nice touch of nature to have around, carrying on with their life cycle of blooming and leafing out, content in just a vase of water.

So naturally, our indoor aspen tree needed some Easter eggs. I do have some blown-out-and-dyed eggs from several years ago, and this year I blew out some brown eggs, which are beautiful just as they are.

***

To make your egg tree:

Clip a few branches and place them in a vase of water or sand.

Blow out some eggs by piercing both ends with a sharp implement like nail scissors or a needle or an old-fashioned ice pick; blow the innards into a bowl.

A nice way to hang each egg is to get a length of thin branch and cut it into short bits, 1/2″ or 1″ (2cm) long (or use part of a match stick or toothpick). The branch I used was from an elm tree.

Cut about 12″ (30cm) of thread, and tie a double knot on the branch bit. The knot doesn’t have to be completely centered on the branch. It helps to start a knot with the thread, and then slip the branch piece into it.

Slip your branch bit all the way into the top hole of the egg.

Hang it like this. Tie off the thread about 3″ (7cm) above the egg.

Then decorate your little egg tree! Don’t worry, your cat will help you.

*****

Starting Up the Garden!

By , March 23, 2013

It’s time! Time to crank it all into action, which is what I’ve been busy with all this past week. Actually the garden this year is happening on a delayed schedule since it’s been cold and wet here, but it did all finally begin last weekend with my dad and me taking our sorta-yearly ritual trip out to the landscape place to get a pickup-load of compost. Then digging up the wintering garlic, turning the soil, making sure all displaced worms were lovingly tucked back under, spreading and digging in the compost, spreading and digging in the fertilizer, re-planting the garlic, and finally planting the seeds for spring crops.

What a lot of work. I think gardener-folk are the only ones who know how much work it truly is! But it’s good work, and at the close of the day you feel satisfied because of all you’ve done out there, and because the garden looks tended, and because your body is that good kind of tired where you know you’ll collapse into bed and wake up the next morning in the exact same position.

And so begins a new gardening season, with a fresh, new, carefully considered garden plan full of dreams and anticipation and delusion…if we’re going to be calling it what it is…that It’ll be better this year! Which is why this year’s plan includes bell peppers and melons despite poor performances and outright failures in the past, punctuated by one successful year each — just enough of a dangling carrot, you can imagine, to tempt any stubborn gardener into disregarding logic and experience and plopping those fat little seedlings into the soil yet again because This will be the year.

Starting tomato and pepper seeds on their heat mat:

The garden, “before”:

The bedsheets… as soon as we dumped the compost on the garden, we had a couple days of very high winds, creating a mini dustbowl. So yes, the bedsheets.

Baby tomatoes:

The garden plan, and planting:

Laying out the garlic:

A beautiful sunrise:

Complete!

Good thing we got the walls-o-water set up just in time for them to freeze solid:

***

I hope you’ve all had a good week.

I’m curious — what has the early Spring weather been like in your area so far?

*****

Retreat

By , March 15, 2013

Last weekend I had a wonderful retreat.

My folks were headed to the mountains for the weekend and my kitty and I went along with them. I didn’t realize how much I needed that dose of nature. My heart has been heavy lately with worry and too much of the ‘big stuff’ on my mind, and getting out of my usual daily pattern and having a fun little vacation really lifted me up. We all had a wonderful time!!

Kiss the kitteh!

These icicles were bent. Weird!

One day it snowed. It’s a shame I was too lazy to go outside and get a proper picture of this enchanted forest at dawn in the snowfall. Instead I took the photo through the window screen. Ug. Next time!

***

What have you all been up to lately??

*****

Garden planning, more snow, and a catnip party

By , March 5, 2013

As I opened the bedroom curtains yesterday morning I was greeted by a peaceful gray day and gently falling snowflakes! I always get excited when I see snow. I made tea and turned on some soft harp music, which goes very well with snowfall.

In the afternoon, the sun was shining while the snow was still falling:

And now’s the time when I haul out the seed box and plan my garden. I always am puzzled about statements referring to gardeners delving into seed catalogs in December or January, itching to get going again. For much of the winter I can hardly think about gardening! I very much enjoy the break that winter provides. I love my garden, and I also love having a break from the work of it. And I absolutely can’t even think about garden planning and seed starting and fertilizer stuff and soil amendments… until I’m fully ready. Through the winter, my heart actually sinks when thinking about these things! Until one day… about this time each year… I think about gardening… and my heart lifts — soars, even.

And then I know that it’s time to begin.

***

My cat Liz loves seeds perhaps as much as I do. When I lay out all the packets for planning purposes, she makes sure she’s there to help. We love to “play seeds” together.

Can you guess what kind of seeds she loves best?

When I left all the seeds out on Sunday night, I had forgotten about the Catnip.

And Liz had been playing seeds in the night — as I quickly realized on Monday morning when I saw the crumpled rug and strewn packets.

The life of the party:

So I guess to plant catnip this year, I’ll just have to rake a plot of dirt and shake out the rug!

*

(If you’re curious about planning a veggie garden, here’s how I do mine each year.)

And your garden… what’s it up to right now?

***

*****

Bits of Spring

By , February 23, 2013

*****

The first glimmers of Spring

By , January 20, 2013

The Christmas decorations have been slowly disappearing back into their boxes, and the birdsong around our place sounds distinctly spring-like. The near-60° weather lures us outside while the sun keeps us warm as we play Scrabble on the porch in shorts, t-shirts, and bare feet. While there’s undoubtedly plenty of cold still ahead, there are certainly whiffs of spring.

On a sunny afternoon just the other day, I clipped some aspen branches for the table and made a few wreaths from virginia creeper vine.

My favorite home decor is that which is taken straight from nature. Simple and classy.

***

Are you feeling spring getting nearer?

*****

In My Garden – Early June

By , June 8, 2012

A new dressing of black gold (compost)

This isn’t what early June normally looks like for us — as I’ve mentioned before, we’re at least 3 weeks ahead with everything this year because of the unusual warmth. I’ve already harvested all our delicious lettuce, and everything is growing beautifully! Well, except for the things that aren’t. We have a population explosion of roly polies this year. I thought slugs were my nemesis — well they’re nothing compared to the destructive capabilities of these flippin’ bugs… and they move a helluva lot faster than a slug ever could. They’re machines. You plant – they destroy. Every year there’s always “a thing” — no matter what. Your tomatoes don’t grow, or the zucchini plants are stunted, or it’s too cold for the peppers, or the spinach isn’t happy. Or whatever. It’s just part of gardening. You expect it, but it’s a surprise each year what the failures will be, but also what the successes will be. Nature is mysterious, and I think she likes to keep folks guessing. Anyway, hopefully this year’s only “thing” will be the roly polies. They have ravaged the zucchini and cucumber seedlings; one day there’s a zucchini sprout, next day there’s a stump. Frustrating!

Zucchini stump

I don’t like buying starts from the nursery because they’re expensive, and don’t usually perform very well, but mostly because they often bring disease into my garden which ticks me off. It’s like kids at a daycare — they’re all sneezing and snotty nosed. So I picked out the least-mildewy of the cucumber starts at the nursery (below) and planted them with fingers crossed that they’ll really take off and flourish!

***

But all that aside, the rest of the garden is doing beautifully!! I love just looking at it and puttering around in it. What joy it brings me!

Broad beans

Peas & garbanzo beans

What’s your garden doing?

*****

Baby Squirrel Pictures!

By , May 30, 2012

Finally, some of the pictures of our neighbor squirrels’ litter of springtime babies! They were so cute. They’re nearly grown now, and very busy of course as all squirrels seem to be.

Apologies in advance for the underwhelming quality of the photos. F’s camera (with that requisite telephoto lens) and I still don’t get along. It thinks I don’t know what I’m doing. And while I won’t dispute that… I say, what kind of camera refuses to take a picture when I press the shutter release. If the light situation is sucky, that’s my business! (And your eyes are fine — it’s the photos that are a bit blurry, maybe because they were all taken through the window screen.)

Anyway — on to the cuteness!

*****

The Herbangardener is powered by WordPress