3/04/2013

Signs of Spring

Two kids, born 2 nights ago.
Pick one of the coldest, most uncomfortable nights for weather, and our nanny, Veronica, gave birth to twin males. At this stage, they're so cute. Every blade of grass, every straw or rock or board, is new to them and has to be investigated.
Just a little ice left from our dusting of snow this week, hanging on to the quince buds. Quince is originally to China and Japan. Like forsythia, flowering quince was early-on imported to the U.S. as a landscape plant. I found plant sales listings from the early 1800s, where it was brought up the Mississippi River by boat and advertised for sale in St. Louis. Sometimes on walks in the Ozarks woods I'll find a flowering quince, the only thing left of an early homestead.
This is Rosemary 'Barbecue' and next to it, just out of site is Rosemary 'Hill Hardy.' Both have come through the winter just fine so far. I took cuttings of 'Hill Hardy' to the seed exchange in West Plains, MO yesterday to share.
The bluebirds are already checking out the houses, getting ready for a spring nesting. I must clean out the old nests this week and get the houses ready for new tenants.

I also have too many bluebird houses near the garden and need to spread them out farther away. While I like bluebirds a lot - one of my favorite birds, they are death on black swallowtail butterfly larvae and eat them all unless I find ways to discourage them. Swallowtails like to lay eggs in the fennel plants, but in last year's drought I lost nearly all the fennel. When swallowtails hatch on dill, they're usually lower to the ground and the bluebirds don't seem to find them as easily.

The bentwood trellis that was made about 5 years ago, and on which I grew my Potawatamie pole beans last year, is ready for the burn pile and time to make a new trellis.
If you don't know my book, Making Bentwood Trellises, I (of course) highly recommend it. It's on my website under Books.

Not much green on a snowy day in the garden. The nice thing about snows in the Ozarks, is they are gone quickly. This one lasted to almost noon before it melted away - just enough snow to say we had one.
But the jonquils don't mind the little whisps of snow and soon they will win out and winter will be over.
I'm encouraged, the more plants that come into bloom, the more excited I become for the garden season ahead!

1 comment:

Sue Doherty said...

Jim this is a lovely post. We all need the promis of spring at this cold and gloomy time of year dont we? Your pictures have inspired me and you cute little kids have got me excited at the prospect of my spring lambs that will be born over the next couple of weeks! As you will see from the pictures, the sheep are ready to drop.