Thursday, May 31, 2018

It's Green and Beautiful!

We hardly had a spring this year. It seemed like one day it was winter and then suddenly it was summer. Things have been moving at high speed since my post in April. Here's a walk around the homestead this week, we'll start with the front porch and look at things in order of a walkabout.

These two beauties came from an Amish greenhouse we like to frequent. We've been buying our tomato and pepper starts there for several years. Their payment counter is in the flower greenhouse - I'd be OK if I didn't have to pay for my veggies. Once I get in there I usually end up taking home a basket (or two) or some flats of posies.

These Million Bells remind me of small purple roses.

And this basket overflowing with pink Petunias is almost three feet across!

Along side the driveway is a very large mulch pile that has been aging for almost two years. It's at its prime this year and we are using it liberally. It is about six large truck loads of chipped deciduous trees in leaf. Moist, rich, and life just wants to spring from it, like these pretty little mushrooms. There are colonies of more than one kind to be found.

Across from our driveway the side of the road is awash in Purple Phlox in bloom. It was hard to get a picture as we had a nice breeze this afternoon and everything was in motion. 

The Bleeding Hearts, Lilac and Ornamental Quince have all come and gone but the Bee Balm was quick to stand in their place. The distinctive blossom has such a lovely color. And it is aptly named, the bees seem to love it. 

And I think there are more Columbine blooming in my front garden than I ever saw during my entire time in Colorado. They are eager and proud little bloomers. I will be transplanting them this year, so I hope they are hearty, as well.

And the Rhododendrons are spectacular this year. I think the sudden summer without the false starts of early warm ups followed by freezes suited the woody ornamentals. I love the perfect bouquets held out on friendly stems. I feel a connectedness to the Rhododendrons - they communicate with me all winter long with their posture and leaves. The colder it is, the tighter the leaves curl up into little cylinders. Who needs a thermometer when they are so willing to keep me informed? And I admire their tenacity, when all other green leaved bushes have turned to barren twigs - they keep their green on. 

And how about that raised bed - the one where I was sure things would grow in my last post? It's got a wire hoop frame to keep the chickens out and life is growing enthusiastically in it's safe bounds.

Tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, onions, carrots, radishes, snap peas, beets, lettuce, basil, chives and dill are filling out and will soon fill it up. And just like every year - I am captivated by the tiny seeds and fragile stems that persist and burst with life until they are strong, sturdy plants.

Kent has been tackling a big job and he is succeeding. The blackberries and raspberries were getting out of hand and had taken over our little grape vines (our "vinyette") and created an unruly mass of impenetrable, spiney canes. He has recovered the grapes and is taming the blackberries. The raspberries were sacrificed for the greater good.

They don't look like much but these grape vines already appear to have miniature grape clusters growing on them.

And the blackberries are just covered in clouds of white blossoms! A super abundance that bodes well for blackberry pies and jam. 

Their nearby neighbors, the pear and apple trees, are not to be outdone. Tiny apples and pears are beginning to bulge with expectancy.

And one final picture for now - the Locust Trees are in bloom all around us. The air is sweetly scented and the trees are striking in their finery. This makes the bees very happy. And we are happy to have a new swarm take up residence in our hives today!

The green is here and with it the humidity, the insects, and the heat. But I have resolved to stop my whining and revel in the abundance of life that thrives in this warm climate, rich soil, and lavish moisture. There is a chaotic party of plants and creatures determined to celebrate life! I'm going to join them!