Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Back to Spring

We arrived back home from Colorado last weekend after midnight. So I had to wait until the next morning to visit my garden. The changes were dramatic, at least to me, since I usually go out into the backyard every morning to take a look at things. In a week, the blood-red Galactic lettuces had grown fluffy and full, big enough to begin harvesting.
The Swiss chard really took off, too. The sugar snap peas have definitively decided to live, even if they don't look exactly hardy yet. The radishes and carrots are doing their work underground, so no real big changes there. I love how the radishes are pushing themselves up out of the ground.
There's a single sweet pea flower, and several nasturtium seeds sprouted.
All the sunflowers sprouted, too. I'm taking a less hovering, more laissez-faire approach to my sunflowers this year. Last year I got a little too intense, hovering anxiously around them, putting upside down berry baskets over them, and rescuing and transplanting the runts. It was exhausting, although I loved the results. This year I'm watering them, but no more coddling.
Birdwise, there are a few starlings around trying to eat the last of the ivy berries, but mostly they are scared off by the mockingbird couple. I believe the mockingbirds have a nest in the ivy but they are canny, never perch together, and enter the ivy in a different place each time. The hummingbirds have gone, but there are a lot of purple finches in our eucalyptus in the mornings, and a scrub jay couple visits our yard, too.
This week in the New York Times there was an article about people with second homes who try to have gardens even though they can only garden on the weekends. When I first tried gardening I thought I could do that, but I've concluded it's not possible. At least, not when you are trying to grow vegetables, or lots of plants in pots, or start things from seeds. But the story I liked was the person who was so eager to see the state of her garden after being away for a week that she got her partner to shine the headlights of the car into the garden (it was dark when they arrived) so she could check on her babies.

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