There are lots of things happening around the garden these days. First of all, the butterflies, bees, and birds are flitting and flying about, and I couldn't be happier. The migrating birds that frequent our yard and feeders this time of year are amazing...purple finches, rose breasted grosbeaks, goldfinches, and eastern phoebes always capture our attention, and combined with the regular birds in our yard, chickadees, red breasted nuthatches, white breasted nuthatches, cardinals, blue jays, chipping sparrows, robins, and woodpeckers, we have quite the bird life to watch. The robins are busy building nests, and the eastern phoebe is already sitting on eggs. We are often found standing still in the yard, just watching as they fly around. And the butterflies, I am not sure I remember this many so early in the season before, but we are enjoying them, and Reece has fun trying to catch them. The bees I noticed for the first time on Monday while I was harvesting dandelions to infuse in oil for salves. For every flower I picked, I left two for the bees.
Second, one of three gardens is fenced in, and it looks amazing! One of the things I love most about my relationship with Justin is that he can see my vision, and then create it. I described what I wanted for the fencing, and a few days later he brought it all to fruition. And I love it! Next up, lining all the pathways between the beds with cardboard, and shoveling in layer upon layer of gravel. And while I do that, Justin will be busy fencing in the other two gardens.
Third, the chicken coop renovation is complete, and our new chicks will be moving into their new home soon. We were resourceful with this project, using up pretty much every bit of scrap wood, most of it from old barns, laying around our property. The only things we had to buy were screws and hinges. It still has to be painted to match the original coop, which I will get to once things slow down a little in the garden. There is a wall separating the two spaces at the moment. Our plan is to leave them separate for now, and then in another month or two, open up the space so all 17 hens share the same space. Speaking of the new chicks, they are amazing. Growing fast, changing colour, and keeping us all entertained.
Fourth, I have been planting a little every day. This year, I have really spread out the planting, doing a lot more succession planting then I have done in the past, and also a lot more companion planting. It means I am in the garden every day, planting a few seeds here and a few seeds there, and watching as the seeds planted a few weeks ago begin to sprout from the earth. The only problem I have run into is not paying careful enough attention to my garden notes, and sowing some peas in the same place I sowed them the week before. Oh well, I will thin as they all come up.
Two weeks ago, I spent a day planting berries and asparagus. Four raspberry bushes, three blueberry bushes, one blackberry bush, twenty five strawberry plants, and eighteen asparagus crowns, all went into the ground. It was a long day, but so worth it.
Trellises have gone up, and been stringed for both peas and pole beans, bush beans have gone in the ground, more beets, kale and Swiss chard as well. The first cucumber seeds went in the ground, and some calendula and marigolds where transplanted from the tunnels to the garden. A few sunflowers that were started in the tunnels have been transplanted as well, and some more seeded in the garden. I planted 96 bulbs of garlic in the fall, and all but one is sprouting and reaching for the sky. The soaker hoses have been laid out in the back garden, and this week I will get them laid out in the front garden.
Yesterday, we made our annual trip Richter's Herb Farm to pick up our herbs. We have, for the last few years, made this trip on our anniversary, and this year was no different. We celebrated twenty years of marriage yesterday picking out our herbs, and then enjoying lunch at a little cafe. Back at home, we all spent time in the garden, me planting, Justin working on a gate, and Reece playing, and swinging on the hammock. It might not be the way everyone wants to spend their anniversary, but for us, it was just perfect.
And last, but certainly not least, we had our first official harvest from the garden on Tuesday. I am sure many of you can appreciate how wonderful that first harvest is. It wasn't much, some nettle leaves, and a mixture of baby greens...kale, Swiss chard, spinach, salad mix, and romaine, but goodness it was so good, and paired with some eggs from our hens, it was also the first official meal from the backyard.
This gardening season is off to a great start, and I am so looking forward to watching my garden grow this summer.
How are things around your garden?