Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring In Progress

It was time! The two raised beds, where we overwinter or start our early crops, were rotting. Seven years..who would have thought they would last that long.
The Captain was prepared, cut all the boards ahead of time, and we got down to business. The rot was even worse than we imagined.
Our weather is still very cold, so we felt sure, once the sides were extracted, the earth would stand frozen, alone and unsupported, like a beautiful chocolate cake. That is pretty well what happened as you can see below. Soil on the sides crumbled a bit, and well you know how things go...there was a modest miscalculation caused by the decrepit state of the raised bed. And, we forgot about the wire at the bottom to keep out the rodents, and so, it did go as planned, except we forgot some things.
Originally we had lined behind the boards with plastic, mostly to keep the soil from washing out between the wood. Yup, we forgot that too...  We got up to speed pretty quickly, and although the wire has to be retrofitted, surprisingly it went along fairly well, until we I got tired and cranky.
Supervising is a tough job! One bed done, now for the back one. Maybe this year..maybe not. There are always jobs in the garden, it's just making time for them I guess, and that is often the problem. Making the time. Just do what you can, don't get too bogged down. The intention was and always has been, for it to be a joy in our lives.

I closed my eyes and thought of the first day of spring. Did you celebrate? It was a beautiful sunny day here on the south shore; a perfect day to be invited out for lunch, to raise a glass with an ode to the season recited capably by another guest. So dear friend, you knew exactly what to do when you found that forgotten bag of tulip bulbs in the shed...craft a centerpiece. Thank you so much for making it happen. Happy Spring Everyone.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Out And About

The ice has moved out of the bay for now, hopefully for good. Out on our recent walk, the gravel roads frozen like concrete, hurt your eyes blue sky above, we noticed a neighbouring home having a second floor built above it. We always referred to it as 'the pink house' but likely we will have to give it another name soon. The construction workers have had great weather to do this, with very little snow this winter.

While the temperatures were practically balmy when I wrote my last blog, we recently dipped to well below zero, cold winds making it feel bitter. But, during that warm balmy time, seeds were planted in the raised bed with the Lexan cover. It did not take them long to germinate and hopefully, they will continue to do well.
Knowing the weather was going to 'dip' this past week, they were covered with another layer of insulation I call Fleece or Reemay. This comes in different weights ..ours is a medium weight. But it does the job, keeping little germinated seeds alive under the white blanket and over that, the Lexan cover. Arugula, radish and spinach sprouted but not beets so far. As a wise gardener once told me..."think of that raised bed as an outside refrigerator"..and I do. It will keep the greens chilled to perfection until the days lengthen even longer and they put on more growth. We are going up to seven degrees on Wednesday so will remove the Remay and if needed, will prop open the cover as it does get very warm about one in the afternoon in that raised bed.

Looking back to last year's photos, it was remarkable to see no snow. In fact, on the 20th, we had fluffed up the beds, and had everything ready to plant. I am doubtful we will this year, but you never know.
Our neighbour's Witch Hazel is in bloom (mine is not but that's another story) and I notice the little Daphne that is native to Nova Scotia is wanting to open so signs of spring are appearing daily. I could do without the constant coo coooing of the Mourning Doves at crack of dawn though. No crows looking for nest material so far, but I have seen on the warm days, the chickadees and squirrels pecking and chewing on the maples for the sweet sap. It won't be long now and Nova Scotia gardeners will be in hyper mode!