Saturday, March 22, 2008

Clouds are lifting! (In more ways than one) - Growing Challenge

Well, to say it's been stressful around here this past month doesn't even come close to telling it like it is. But things are looking up.

The winter seems to have finally decided to "take a hike" - at least for a little while! We found our first snow crocus blooms today, and it was a real boost to our mood. The yard is a mess from not cleaning things up properly last year, but I think we're all on board with getting it cleaned up as soon as possible and then keeping it in better shape this year.

I opened the doors today to let in the warm, fresh spring air - and cleaned up my funny little balcony off the living room. It's the weirdest thing, I've rarely seen anything like it - it's only four feet wide but over 20 feet long, and hangs out over the garage on the level below. We really didn't know what to do with it the first year we were here. But the second year, it occurred to me that it would make a lovely "Hanging Garden" of sorts, so I tricked it out with a bunch of my potted plants that like to spend the summer outside anyway. Then I bought a small table and a cheap umbrella. Then I noticed that there was an outdoor outlet on one side. And that our wireless reached out there, too....Viola! My own Internet Cafe! And so it has been every year since.

It's still way too early for my potted menagerie to go out on the balcony, but it sure was nice to sit out there today and enjoy the sunshine. But then I noticed that the "view" wasn't all it could be - the driveway and flower beds below were filled with winter's trash - leaves and twigs, mostly, that had blown in over the fall and been covered by snow most of the last three months. So I got off my duff and got a fair bit of that cleaned up, and the rest is scheduled for tomorrow.

Then I toddled off to the side yard and had a go at the cloche. I pulled out all the dead onion leaves - the Evergreen White Bunching onions were still going strong, even after spending the entire winter uncovered and un-cared for. I'm going to pull them out tomorrow and plant them temporarily in a couple of buckets until I can get the garden tilled, and then they will go in their own little corner out there somewhere to live long and prosper. I love this variety, because they don't bulb - they just keep dividing at the base like humongous chives.

Speaking of chives, we noticed today that mine are peeking up through the mats of mulch in the herb garden, so I need to go clear that area out, too. I promised my very good friend Atomic Wombat some starts this year if she wanted them, so I'll probably go ahead and pull a few nice clumps out and pot them to give to her later this week. Goodness knows I have plenty. My chive bed, which started as maybe a dozen or less quarter size plugs and a few seedlings four years ago is now about four feet by six feet long. Chives are something that apparently do really, really well here. Maybe it's all the potatoes. *snicker*

So, slowly but surely I'm clearing away last fall's mess and waking up the garden to this year's spring. And I'm finding that as I do so, the clouds are fading away and the sun is shining more brightly. The weather isn't looking too bad, either. ;-)


Pale Ophelia Floats said...

The potatoes comment actually made me giggle out loud. I would love to come out and start a chive hive of my own. I think it'll be fun - at least until it gets to monster size. We'll do a plant exchange next weekend.

You know... we'll meet at a remote location, I'll flash my lights and send the pouch over. You'll flash your lights and send the chives over. That way each hostage is under control at all times.

Sorry been watching too many bad mafia movies.

And I'll check on those raspberry starts at work.

Pale Ophelia Floats said...

oh do you want some cilantro seedlings? Looks like I'll have plenty.