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Spring fever

March 23, 2020

First afternoon of garden prep yesterday, playing one of the gulf island gardener’s favourite games: Hunt the pine cones.


Yes, yes, I know. These are fir cones, not pine cones. Let’s not quibble and just acknowledge that a lot of them fall over the winter months. My haul pales in comparison to that of a theatre chum who posted a photo on Facebook. Either she has a much larger garden than I have or this was her first year playing the game.

Next up: getting those well known garden tools, the dust pan and brush, out of the shed and tackling the pine needles covering every surface. (Okay, okay, fir needles.)

I was lucky last year. Both jobs were tackled the same day as my friend Krys was visiting. She did the cone hunt while I got on with the needles. No such luck this year. No visitors of any description for the foreseeable.

I could have moved from one task to the next yesterday, but you shouldn’t rush these big jobs. Instead, I made myself a cup of tea, hauled the cushions out of the shed and spent some quality time on the garden swing with Stella and the arts and books section of the paper. A taste of swing time to come.

Garden observations… There’s still kale growing in the raised bed. The stuff seems to be indestructible. There are a lot of buds on the lilacs. A lot of new growth on two of the rose bushes, almost none on the rest, which leaves me wondering if I pruned them back too much or if January was the wrong time to do it. (Pretty sure I usually do this job in January.) I also heavily pruned the dwarf apple tree and the blueberry,  black currant and gooseberry plants, none of which have produced much of anything for the past few years. Lots of new buds on the apple tree. One of the black currants is producing new growth, the other looks dead. Hmm. Ditto the blueberries. Too much pruning? Wrong time of year? Too early to tell? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

What to plant this year? Tricky question.

In theory I’m going to be away for three weeks in July – an eagerly anticipated visit to family and friends in the UK. I’m not sure I can ask the cat sitting neighbour to also water the garden every day. No watering for three weeks in July is unlikely to benefit any vegetables growing in the beds.

Of course the theory supposes that there are still planes flying anywhere in July and who the hell knows if that will be the case as the pandemic fallout continues. Perhaps the garden swing is the furthest I will get off the ground this summer.

I’ll prep the vegetable bed and get some early peas started next month. Other than that, I guess it’s just wait and see.

Stay safe, everyone.

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