Happy Easter All!
In getting ready for the Easter Bunny’s visit we spent the last couple days in out the garden, raking, blowing and generally removing obstacles that might confuse little egg-hunters. Looking around me I mused at how much had grown and changed since I last posted about my garden’s progress, so I thought this might be a nice chance to check in and show you what’s new.
And there is so much to show! Spring really sprung after we finally got some rains in late February (more rain coming this week, fingers crossed) and so the bulbs that I was so excited about back when I was planning the spring garden really came through. This is the first time I’ve planted a lot of tulips. I was seduced by glossy bulb-catalogs (plant porn!) and put in almost 50 bulbs last fall.
The first tulips to bloom, the Orange Emperor, truly lived up to it’s name with it’s regal height and brilliant orange color. What I discovered this spring is that tulips almost break my heart because they are so beautiful. They come out of nowhere and rise up with this incredible saturated color and mysterious inner sanctum, protected by painterly concave petals.
I was so taken with how lovely tulips are that I revisited a book on my bookshelf called Tulipomania by Mike Dash, the byline of which sums it up best: “the story of the world’s most coveted flower& the extraordinary passions it aroused”. Trying to quantify what exactly makes the tulip so alluring, as I am learning in this book, is not an easy task given human’s obsession with them which led to, among other things, the first futures market (and inevitable market crash) in history. Wow!
But I can relate. These bulbs have brought me bring such joy this season and yet at the same time somehow make me sad because they are just a one time event whose bloom will soon fade, unlike the more dependable and yet visually less stimulating perennials. I think that’s the attraction of them, like maybe how a flashy new mistress looks so good next to a familiar old wife?
In defense of us old wives I had to counsel myself to proceed with caution when a new bulb catalog arrived in my mailbox this week, with it’s siren call to “reserve now for Fall 2012”. I tried to stay in the daffodil section and look only for varieties that would come back year after year. When I sneaked a peek at the tulips, imagine my thrill to discover that those Orange Emperors are listed as “best to naturalize”! Yay!! Maybe we’ll see a repeat performance from these beauties next Spring? I will surely report.
And what else? Well, the carrots came in strong and are mostly harvested by now. I left just a few to go stay in the bed unharvested so I can see their wonderful umbel of white flowers in the fall, and save seeds for a second generation planting also.
We had a plethora of snap peas on those plants in the back bed by the fence. Reportedly. I didn’t get to eat that many because my kids sat along there and munched them as fast as they could discover them. Almost better than hunting for colored eggs I’d say!
Because I am equal parts lazy gardener and curious observer I also let the brassicas (which bolted in the early burst of spring) go to flower. They are tall flowers with delicate yellow flowers (see above) that remind me of wildflowers. Maybe that’s why the bees just LOVE them. Between the delicate pink flower of the arugula, and the kale which is just now starting to grow taller and bolt, the garden is just full of buzzing, flying pollinators. Excellent news!
I know very soon it will be time to pull up these plants and prepare the beds for summer planting. The garden is about to change yet again. We want to put in a lot more edible crops this summer and have been slowly working on more new beds to get them ready. My goal (after talking with Sarah from Crop to Kitchen, a friend and fellow urban farmer) is to have my veggie crops planted from starts by the end of April. That’s if Mother Nature agrees.
But for now it is a garden alive with contrasting colors and critters and sound. It is pretty and vibrant and is the perfect place for a bunny to hide some eggs.
Trying to capture it on camera is as fun and elusive as the Easter bunny himself but it is so wonderful to be out in the garden enjoying as a family the space s we’ve diligently worked on. It’s the satisfaction of the foot-work mixed, with the possibilities of what is to come.
Here’s wishing you all many beautiful and “picture perfect” moments this Easter day and a wonderful time in your garden this Spring.