Gardens love a spring rain

Finally, it rained. Not the harsh early spring pounding that bashes down new seedlings, rather the warm, soft misting that seems to be a magic elixir to garden life. Stepping out into the garden after a night of warm rain, into an explosion of growth and the perfumes of lilac, balm of Gillead (poplar), tulips, and of course apple and cherry blossom, is healing for the soul. The only sounds are those of birds in the tree canopy, calling happily to each other. On an extra special morning, the geese will fly overhead on their way to daytime hangouts. You can hear the movement of their well feathered wings, along with tier honking.

At this point, almost everything started from seed this spring has been planted out. The tomatoes plants are on their way to passing 6 inches, the potatoes are

well above ground, and most of the veggies are showing through (peas, lettuce, kale, onion, cucumber, swiss chard, carrots). I am hopeful that this morning’s walkabout will reveal pumpkin and squash shoots joining the garden party.

Spring is also the time for starting new beds (OK, I have been known to start them anytime during growing season, but spring is good). New raised beds for the tomatoes give them good sun and fewer weeds to contend with, and are easier on gardener backs. Putting these in left me with a patch of bare earth that had proven over the past four summers to be good for growing but tough to rototill. New raised veggie beds in our lower garden provided some choices for this upper space, so I decided to transform it into a perennial bed.

The new bed has a wavy path through the middle, providing a nice transition through our bedrock outcrops. There is also a good anchor tree to help focus attention. I learnt a few years ago that being aware of growing heights, and line of sight are important aspects of garden planning, so I put in a bean cage for the clematis and moonflowers to climb, and placed the new day lilies in according to size. Most of the plants are perennials with a few annuals tossed into the mix for colour and interest. The other plants include lavender, angel’s trumpet, ranunculus, horehound, soapwort, verbena, millet (for foliage colour and visual interest), and some lovely little carpet thymes. On the other side of the path I threw a crazy mix of sunflower seeds, and many flower seeds including cosmos, baby’s breath, and such. I just remembered I have annual poppy seeds to add in as well – these are great in a garden as they self seed.

There is good news on the azalea bushes – both are throwing out healthy looking leaves in their new location, so I am optimistic that they like their new homes. There is similar positive news for the heather and the lavender bushes which needed to be relocated. I am glad that these plants tolerate being moved; it means that if the first place I dig them in doesn’t work, I can save them.

The other news is that the garden cats are feeling quite comfortable adventuring among

the grass and trees. They are both tree climbers, and despite pitiful meows from above are quite capable of climbing down on their own. This morning they were down in the lower garden with the dogs as we played ball – two cats and three dogs bouncing happily through the grass.

It’s a good life.

Random garden pics coming up…

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