Sunday, April 22, 2018

Spring, have you sprung?

I sure hope so! Feeling cautiously optimistic that Spring might finally be here in earnest after that crazy yo-yo start the season had here in the Northeast, I decided to break with tradition today. It was opening day at Sebago, and that usually means a pre-potluck paddle, but nobody really instigated anything. I could easily have taken on the instigator role myself (and I felt a little guilty that I didn't), but it just seemed like today would be a very convenient day to get my garden plot at the club ready to go for the season. My first stop of the day in Canarsie was therefore at Dragonetti's Florist and Garden Center, over on the other side of the Paerdegat Basin, to pick up some compost; I walked that over to the club on a luggage cart. How's that for urban gardening for you?

I used to clear out the bed in the fall, at the end of the growing season, but a couple of years ago some of my ecologically-minded friends were sharing an article recommending leaving things more or less alone until spring, to provide shelter for beneficial insects like native bees and ladybugs and food for birds. It made enough sense that I've now adopted that practice for my garden. So the above is pretty much the shaggy dried remnants of last year's plants. 

Mostly cleared out

I was so happy to find new growth on the lavender, thyme, and rosemary. We had some harsh weather and also some very up-and-down swings this winter, and although all of these had made it through last winter, they were looking pretty dry the last time I'd looked at them. I was afraid it had all been too much for them, but look at the fresh new growth here on the lavender! Thyme and rosemary are also coming back. 

Compost added, onions and daffodils thinned, and that was it for today - by now the meeting had started, I'd just wanted to finish this up. I forgot to put out the cat discourager sticks, but we don't have as many stray cats as we used to (there used to be a guy that was feeding them in the parking lot of the gym next door, and I think that the gym got new owners a few years back, and they may have asked the guy to cease and desist) so I'll keep my fingers crossed that this doesn't get used as a litter box. 

I actually got seeds during one of the snowstorms we had over the winter. I went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and they had these pretty seed packets on display in their gift shop. I just couldn't resist making a nod to warmer weather there in the middle of the snow. I was going to plant the beets and chard today but there was suddenly an opportunity to go out for a boat ride so I did that instead - so even though I wasn't expecting to, I still got to get out on the water on Opening Day. 

And here's the first garden-aided dish of the year - onion soup with the thinned onions, plus white wine and some broth I'd made a couple of weeks ago. In addition to a dinner tonight, this will make a good lunch or two during the week, which is likely to be hectic .

Great start to Earth Day weekend!


Alana said...

I think spring is here in the Binghamton area, too. Our community garden opens in May. With our life as caregivers, we do all we can to enjoy!

LauraEhlers said...

How fantastic!! I am itching to get the tiny garden started but it has been so drippy now that the cold is gone! Fingers crossed for Monday! Ps-your soup looks fab!

bonnie said...

I'm just so happy it's finally really feeling like time to garden!