How about this weather, eh?
I spent all of Monday getting the garden in order. Or, I should say, beginning to get the garden in order. Digging, cleaning, ripping out dead annuals, sowing seeds… my arms, shoulders, neck, legs, knees, everything are creaky, stiff, and sore. I did not stretch before I started. To be honest, I never stretch before I start, probably because I always fail to remember that gardening is hard work.
[Aside: Some of the pain was caused by lifting heavy luggage on and off of the train 4 times on Sunday. I brought home two cases of Ball quilted canning jars from a trip over the border. When is Berardin going to start offering the nicer designs here in Canada? Am I right, my fellow canning Canadians? Enough with the ugly crest and fruit designs! I am tired of stuffing my luggage full of glass whenever I travel to the US.]
I left home very early on Friday morning to catch a train to Rochester, NY where I was speaking at the Rochester Flower Show. Tee shirt weather persisted through the weekend and I was pleased when I stepped outside on Monday morning and found that the garden had exploded into life over three days of temperatures around or above 60F.
The Iris reticulata (above) were only just showing their leaves above the soil line at this time last year. Back then they were grown indoors in a pot — the fact that they are in full bloom outside is a testament to how far ahead of schedule we are this year.
Last year at this time I did not have a garden. All I had was a smattering of pots, and a lumpy bowling alley of scrubby grass, dotted with pervasive weeds that had been grandfathered in. It’s so nice to have workable soil in the early part of the season again. I typically begin to direct sow outdoors around this time of year, but with this weather I could have started much sooner. I have never felt so behind so early! So far I have direct sowed lettuces, arugula, mustard greens, spinach, mache, and cress into the raised beds and big pots. Pea seeds are soaking to be planted next, and I still have a few more spots that can take salad greens. And with the weather so ahead I am also experimenting with plants that are not typically started so early. More on that to come.
I’m achy and stiff, but it feels so good to be out in the garden again for another year. Winter is behind us. It’s all sunshine and roses from here until November.