Two sisters, two coasts, one blog

Easter in the garden

WEST TWIN:

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.

Lilies and bluebells & the first of the lilac blooms - wish these pics were scratch and sniff!!

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.

Orange emperors and pansies amid the carrot patch

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.

Calendula, self-seeded.

Snap peas and baby Fava beans

Can you see the honeybee?

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.

Let the egg hunt begin...

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.

Nestled in the culinary Sage....

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.

*

17 Responses to “Easter in the garden”

  1. virginiakaser

    So lovely, Rucha. I have let things go to seed just to see the flowers, too. Once I had a huge garden full of wild radish blossoms. I think I had a tiny baby and a toddler and just hadn’t gotten out there to do anything at all. It was beautiful (to me anyway). May have looked like a weed-patch to others!

    Reply
    • ruchapowers

      Thank you Virginia! So nice to ‘see’ you here. Wild radish flowers sound lovely, might have to try that one too. Last summer I had chard that bolted and grew as tall as my sunflowers and went to seed. This year I have little “volunteer” chard plants sprinkled through my garden bed, ready to go and I didn’t even have to do a thing except let the plant do it’s thing!

      Reply
  2. oami powers

    Seriously, I want to fly you out to work your magic in our garden. I notice that one of your flower beds is made using decorative cinder blocks. We had been talking about doing that here, did you just get them from HD?

    Reply
    • ruchapowers

      O – look at your calendar, decided when you have a free weekend, think about what the weather will be like at that time and if we can get some yard work done…and let’s make it happen! I’ll come visit and we can plan your next year’s worth of garden projects! HA! p.s. the cinder blocks were already here on site, we just re-purposed them. Only drawback is that the snails love cinder blocks and especially love to get in the nook and crannies of the decorative ones, and wait until after dark. I’ve have to lace the area with Sluggo despite my reluctance to.

      Reply
      • oami powers

        Really??? Let’s do it!! I’ll tell K about the slug issue…not sure if we have so many here? But we do have voles, so what ever we build had to have a protective layer of wire mesh underneath it to stop their incursions.

  3. Aunt Diana

    Lovely gardening/garden, Rucha et al. You too a convert to tulips….took me a while, but I’m there with you now. Puts me in mind of the old Brown verse we used to mock but now find appropriate: ‘A garden is a lovesome thing! Rose plot! Fringed pool! Ferned grot! The veriest school of peace…’
    xx

    Reply
  4. betty

    I cannot believe how lush everything is already. And carrots?! I obviously live on the wrong side of the country. Very pretty photos!

    Reply
    • ruchapowers

      I will say that I planted the carrots from seed last October and the managed to make it through a very dry winter here and finally seemed ready to harvest in late March. I don’t know if 5 months to grow carrots is average or unusual but we were happy to have them….

      Reply
    • ruchapowers

      Thanks Anne-Marie! It’s a slow process growing a garden that’s substantial enough to feed a family, so for now I just call it “the snacking garden” because I can send my boys out there to forage and harvest to their hearts content. Yum yum!

      Reply
  5. nerponline

    I’ve got bee envy. Your pretty garden brings them in. I our yard we should grow flowers instead of veggies, I think. Vegetables are so plentiful, good and affordable in the great produce markets hereabouts. Check out a beautiful new video documentary called “Queen of the Sun” (What The Bees Are Telling Us). They are saying they need our help.

    Reply
  6. fran

    love your garden pictures, all of it, tulips, carrots, kids, eggs, baskets, looks like very good fun

    Reply
  7. ursula

    wow, i just got to read this. your garden looks beautiful. i was flipping back and forth between the text and your references and loving the pics. i love flower porn too and have a bulb order formnext to my bed right now. supports the school anyway! i’m intoxicated by these tulips coming up right now. getting ready to plant tomatos soon in box beds. i love spring.

    Reply
  8. Jacquelyn Marie

    Beautiful Rucha. You are such a creative woman with your garden, your Easter eggs, your children, your life. Lots of love

    Reply

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