Flowers really do intoxicate me. ~Vita Sackville-West

Beautiful Bleeding Heart

Beautiful Bleeding Heart

Monday, April 18, 2011

What happens in a week!

I last wrote about all the warm weather we are having. A friend of mine said "April is the cruelest month" and after the last few days, I couldn't agree more! We have a trace of snow and it is not what a gardener wants to see this time of year. The warmer weather we were having did push many of my daffodils and tulips up, many with buds ready to open and others with buds just starting to form. The hyacinths, one of my absolute favorites, have opened and their scent even in the cold, is overwhelmingly wonderful. None of the vegetables I planted last weekend have started to emerge, but I'll keep reporting on their progress. My dad always

told me I needed to be more patient in the garden and he was right and today the weather is just one more reminder that Mother Nature is truly in charge!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Amazing what a little warm weather will do!

We had a spectacular spring weekend here in Western New York. Sun, the warmest temperatures yet for 2011 and the emergence of flowers and insects. I have daffodils, Grecian wind flowers, an early tulip and a star flower open as of lunch time today. These early bloomers really do give you hope that your garden will come back to life and that it is well on its way to gorgeousness. I also planted two typ

es of Swiss Chard, beets and spinach and I'll report on their progress once I start to see some shoots. Enjoy these photos of some early blooms.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Time for Early Spring Vegetables

Now that I think we are finally past the time of much measurable snow, it's time to start thinking about planting early spring vegetables. I have three - square foot gardening boxes in my garden. Each box is two foot square. I use these boxes to grow vegetables each summer. Because they are small, they are easy to maintain and because they are raised beds, the soil drains well and there is no breaking ground each spring. I built the square foot gardening boxes after reading the book "All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space" by Mel Bartholomew. It's a wonderful book that describes how easy it is to grow lots of vegetables in just a little space. After I built my boxes, I used the soil recipe in the book to make the soil mixture to fill my boxes. Now all I do is add some fresh mushroom compost and a little vermiculite each year and my vegetables grow wild! The book also lists how many of each type of vegetable that you can grow in 1 square foot of space. This weekend it looks like temperatures will be back in the 50s and the soil is workable, so it is time to plant my early spring vegetables. This year I'm planting beets, two types of Swiss Chard, Buttercrunch head lettuce and spinach. When we pass the frost date, I will add Early Girl and grape tomato plants and waxed beans. These spaces are small, so there is very little maintenance and the only fertilizer I use is organic compost. I have never had a pest problem and I think that is because there is so much variety in my garden. Pick your favorite spring vegetable and get planting!