The yard, that is. Almost all the snow has melted (except a few chilly spots) and I've been noticing green things poking their winter-weary heads up above ground. Actually, it looks like they've been doing that for awhile; it's more that they're finally getting up above the layers of mucky, compacted, dead leaves from last year.
I've spotted garlic (ALL of it came up!), peonies, tulips, columbine, wild violets, irises, phlox, rhubarb, and sedum so far. There is more to uncover. I also took a tour around our berry bushes (currant, blueberries, lingonberries, etc). Some of them made it and are starting to bud out. Others haven't started to bud and I'm hoping they'll show some signs of life soon. Still others are quite obviously dead. Bummer. I know of two or three gonners for sure right now. I'm not sure if the cranberries made it, or how long we'll have to wait to know for sure. The strawberries look fine and I'm sure they've started growing somewhere under their protective covering of straw and leaves.
I've been dreaming of the projects for this year for months now. Actually, trying not to dream too much because it would drive me crazy. Having just reached the 60 degree mark this week and a possible 70 tomorrow - all bets are off. I will be outside all day tomorrow and I'm thrilled!
So, here's a beginning list of things I hope to work on this spring & summer:
- build a retaining wall on the south side front lawn. (Dirt has been drooling out under the fence for years and now there are something like two raspberries, a rose, and a tree sapling growing on the sidewalk in the pool of dirt that has collected. This needs to stop.)
- dig up one of the laundry line poles from the north side of the yard and move it to the south side. And then use it. For hanging laundry.
- move our back fence all the way back to the alley as far as it will go and expand the chicken run.
- finish constructing the terrace.
- dig up the boulevard strip in front of our house, build a short raised bed, and plant stuff.
- I have visions of helping a bunch of people on our block also dig up their boulevard grass and plant flowers, etc.
- Plant something in the one garden bed Jeremy is leaving me, after he takes over most of the yard for mushrooms. I think we'll have room for a tomato plant and some lettuce or something.
- I want to plant a cucumber on our south fence so that it grows up the fence and then we have to use little slings to support the growing cucumbers (maybe not necessary if they aren't that heavy.)
- After seeing the pumpkin in this post, I kind of want to grow a giant pumpkin. I'm not sure where to do it though...
- I want to take out the ratty old dogwood in front of the house (it's in bad shape from bad pruning) and put in a fruit tree or two and espalier them. Did I even say that right? I have a lot to learn about this subject.
- and of course keep working 30 hours a week and sewing like a mad-woman to keep up with Farmers Market on Saturdays and various craft fairs and art shows!
We did recently make two decisions that will hopefully make things slightly less crazy. One, we're not going to get new chicks this year. It just seemed like too much work on top of already too much work. And our current girls are laying fine still, so we'll give them another year.
And two, we're not going to go crazy on starting plants from seed in the basement under the grow lights. In fact, we just lent out all those grow lights the other day to another farmer, so we can't change our minds! We're going to try a combo of buying seedlings and direct-seeding in the ground when it gets warm enough. I've heard that this method verses starting indoors weeks in advance doesn't make much of a difference. So we'll test it out!
I'm glad we've finally caught up with the rest of you (who have reportedly been enjoying spring for weeks, if not months!).