Sunday, May 27, 2012

Three Great Things

This is one of my favorite times in the garden in spring.  My major planting is done (I use a square foot method that means I will keep adding rotational planting all year long). My garden is full of perennial color, and has moved from my early tulips, elephant ear and grape hyacinths to later tulips, daffodils, flox and narcissus, so I have watched the first color transition. Finally, I am eating what I am growing.

Early eating in my yard is mostly chives and asparagus. Yesterday I had enough of my own garden produce to make a salad with three types of greens, and a basil and chive flatbread for supper. Today I'll use up a bunch or rhubarb and eat some asparagus (which is actual awesome raw out of the garden). This early munching starts a full season of eating as much as I can from what I grow.

Wanting to eat as much as I can of what I grow is actually why I stagger my planting the way I do. Next week I will plant more peas, beans and greens.  Because of the types I use and the staggered planting, I will be eating beans from June to September, but I won't freeze very much.  I was raised in a more traditional planting pattern where the goal was eating and bulk preserving, but this is less work and more flavor. I still freeze a lot of my fruit crops (no way to stagger plantings) and preserve crops that have too long a season for me to grow multiple plantings, but I love the squarefoot planting where I can do it.

The waves of color are my favorite part, and I am out in my yard as much as I can be. It was mostly rainy last week, which is not a bad thing to help seeds germinate, and it also prolonged some of early tulips, which are starting to drop their petals now. I have a wide variety of types of tulips (check out the types online), but only a few of each, as I am too cheap to buy lots and wait for them to reproduce. I love my new ones with feathered edges. 

My back yard pallet is mostly purples, pinks and whites - see the full pictures in the album. In the spring, it is made up of bulbs, snowcrop, flox and other early ground covers.  I pick matching annuals for my boxes and some pansies, inpatients and snapdragons to round out the color.  As the year progresses, my iris bloom, and then my lilies and late bulbs (like gladiolas).

This last tulip (Mike's current fav - he calls it the fire tulip) is from my front yard, where the pallets are warm colors like reds, yellow and oranges. Tulips, daffodils, poppies, crocus and narcissus are my early color.  You can see from last week's pictures that it starts mostly with red and yellow, then this week moves more towards yellow with some orange.

I go out each day and see what is new and what is starting to fade. Later in the season I start grazing on the fruits and vegetables as I wander. This week, as soon as it stops raining, I will go out an pick a new bouquet, some rhubarb and some more asparagus. There is nothing like a hobby that keeps changing while you are gone. There is always something to see or do. The highlight of this week was vase with fern and lily-of-the-valley, which Leo called "the best ever."

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