April 4, 2008

Spring, a little bit at a time

It was warm enough to commence digging yesterday--for the shallow-rooted things in the sunny raised beds, at least. The shady beds are still under mounds of snow. It's always a mystery to see what wintered well, what did not, and what became the winter's taste treat for the rodentiae. Dianthus seemed to be the preferred winter bedding, piles of it were harvested for mousey nests.
Lavatera thuringiaca looks like winter was just a brief nap for it, and the darling drumstick primroses, P. denticulata, are showing their flower buds as they come out of the soil. The teeniest of my prims, P. frondosa, are starting to flower at the towering height of 1/2 inch. The farina that protects them from dessication may also protect them from cold--they and the auricula and denticulata are generously dusted with waxy farina.

The Capron strawberries have been dug, and there weren't as many as when recorded in last autumn's inventory, requiring a cutoff in orders. I hate to disappoint customers, but that's part of farming, dealing with the whims of nature, and I won't send plants that don't look like they will thrive.

Last night it was warm enough to work in the yard, very nice to listen to spring birds in the twilight, the ducks and geese and snipe are busy now.

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