Early spring rituals: planting, clearing…..and discovering

 It’s time to get started!  The onions and leeks, broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts we planted last month and put under lights in the basement are now on the back deck where they are getting used to real sun and wind.  We expect to plant them out in the garden over the week-end, hopefully just before it rains! 

 At the same time we’ve been planting greens directly in the ground! And radishes, carrots and pok choy; beets and peas.  It’s true, the garden season is here.  We started our tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants which are now warm and germinating on top of the tallest kitchen cupboard.  As soon as they peek through the soil, they will take up residence under the lights for a few weeks until they become seedlings.  We hope to eat well through the summer and next winter, too.

 But wonder of spring wonders, as we’ve been cleaning the gardens we began harvesting leeks and last night feasted on spring leek soup, one of the great delicacies of all times in my book.  We also found 5 renegade carrots, spring carrots being the sweetest carrots ever grown.

 I became convinced that what I thought was Redbore Kale must actually be perennial kale when I remembered getting seeds at the Urban Gardeners’ Conference at the U. of Guelph in 2009.  I cut back the tops of this gorgeous plant, just like the roses, and it is sprouting all along each stem!  Admirable behaviour.  We ate last year’s tops for dinner.  It’s not just red kale that seems to be returning; today I’m investigating some green-with-purple-vein kale in another part of the yard.  It is more vibrant than expected after a long winter.  I admit to being a kale junkie. 

 But it’s not only vegetables that pull me into the gardens.  The spring bulbs are blooming away.  Yesterday I found 2 fully blooming blue hyacinths as well as the usual assortment of crocuses and squill.  How I drool over the squill lawns onQueen Street. 

 Blood root has also popped out in little clumpsALLOVER the yard.  I am so happy to see it thriving.  Actually a native wild flower, Bloodroot is among the first to bloom.  A medicinal plant, its common name comes from the red-orange “blood” that comes from its roots.  With 5 pure white petals and golden stamens and pistil, it is striking, if tiny.  It sits close to the ground and emerges tightly wrapped in its leaf.  Like a natural clock, the flowers bloom with the sun; opening wide a mid-day and closing in the cool of the evening and morning.  All too soon the petals fall but not before each leaf begins to unfurl from around the stem opening into a large, scalloped heart of blue-green.  The foliage stays attractive until mid-summer.

 Happy early spring gardening!  We earned it…..

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About goldenyarrow

Bonnie Wodin, proprietor of Golden Yarrow, has been a garden designer and mentor of organic gardening and landscaping since 1986. Her commitment to steward the land can connect you with your yard, your place on Earth.
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2 Responses to Early spring rituals: planting, clearing…..and discovering

  1. Wild_Bill says:

    As you probably know the ground is still frozen as hard as a carp here. Two more weeks and we’ll be in good shape. By then the last remaining snow should be gone.

    I love bloodroot. It grows in relatively sweet soils. I often find it near granite bedrock for some reason. It truly is one of the most beautiful early spring wild flowers.

    Thanks.

    • goldenyarrow says:

      Yes, its a bit weird to be in a place where spring comes so early, although I hear we are especting flurries in the next few days. The soil here IS sweet, we have a limestone substrate. Of course, our bloodroot here came directly from Heath where it also thrived.

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