May 1, 2014

A beautiful transformation is under way. All winter long, my fair city has been a gray asphalt wasteland where Ponderosa pines stood vigil. So tall and straight, like policemen in uniforms of solemn green. Beautiful, but hardly joyful. They’ve watched over the long winter nights.

Now, at last, the other trees are waking to the spring sun. Blossoms unfold on graceful branches: pink hawthorn and plum, white apple and cherry. And magnolias! I never realized Spokane had so many magnolia trees.

Lovely as the flowers are, the real event for me is when the leaves unfurl. Branches were dull and bare. Suddenly they’re outlined in vibrant green. Within a few days, the leaves will grow out and spread into their natural forms.

Maple, oak, mountain ash and fruit woods go from skinny gray trunks haloed in silvery twigs to magnificent living sculptures. No longer the pine trees stand alone. Smaller trees surround them, decked in brighter colors. Wind dances in the leaves. It sings a soft hymn of summer to be.

PS — I’m so ready, could you tell?

The newly improved Bed 3 is full now, mostly with compost but also with some of my natural earth. You might wonder why I’d want to put in all those rocks and weed seeds. Well, what I really want to put in is some of the microbes and other tiny creatures already present in the soil. They’ll get my future plants started right.

Bed 3 is potentially my best garden bed. It’s beside a garage, where it receives full sun. Because of this, I’ve already put in some seeds. Blue Lake pole beans, Homemade Pickle cucumbers and Sugar Snap peas, all are waiting for the right conditions to pop open. Just for something pretty, I put in a few sweet peas, too.

I also put in seed to Bed 7, which gets morning sun but afternoon shade. Because it’s cooler, I’ve started my DeCicco broccoli and Amazing cauliflower. If I get the chance, I’ll put in a couple of cabbage there as well.

My self-sown plants are coming up. Violas are blooming already. They’re always my first. Snapdragons, sunflowers and dill are also emerging. The bees will be happy with my garden when those get taller.

Indoor Forest
I’ve begun the process of hardening off the flowers and vegetables I started inside. The tomatoes look really ready. I’m holding myself back from planting them before Mother’s Day, which is our traditional planting date for warm season crops.

My California poppies are already out. They look a little wilted, but I trust they’ll perk back up. Next, I need to harden off the asparagus, which I’ll be adding to the ones already present in Bed 2.

Until next Thursday, happy planting!


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