Sunday, February 22, 2009

Winter into Spring

It's been a long cold winter here:

... but it's finally coming to an end. For the first time in years, we had snow that was almost worth speaking of, and it got cold enough for the canals to freeze over. Not so much that you could walk on them, although I saw someone try, but a solid covering of ice, sometimes for more than one or two days.

Now that's all gone, outside temperature are rising, and it's time to get out there and plant things. My first plantings will be in March, and I have these goods to work from:

You can see a wide enough selection of seeds there, and my two current best textbooks - Joy Larkcom's Grow Your Own Vegetables, and a book by a chap called Sutton, published in 1892, and titled The Culture of Vegetables and Flowers. There's also this year's Thompson & Morgan catalogue.

The seeds I planted last autumn have not been a success - mostly through my own fault in not providing netting for them. In my defence, it never even occurred to me that young lettuce, pea plants, or onions might be tempting to birds and beasts. This spring's plantings, though, will be getting more than adequate cover with wire netting, and I have other nets for the soft fruit bushes, assuming they've survived the winter intact. I think they have, although with the canes, it's impossible to tell, and some of the bushes are nearly as inscrutable.

I still need to get potatoes, leeks, onions, pumpkins and squash - and I'll probably add whatever else takes my fancy when I'm in front of a rack of seeds.

We planted some daffodils earlier in the year, and have found that there are more on the property, rising in odd places here and there. I've never been all that interested in flowers, but we may install a rockery to replace the front lawn, and the flowers for that will be interesting.

And speaking of lawns, the back one will soon need mowing again. It's far too muddy out there to consider it today, but as soon as there's a conjunction of dry ground and time, it'll need to be done.

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