Blooming and growing

We had more rain last night and this morning, and while we have some sun as I’m writing this, we’re expected to have more rain and thunderstorms tonight.

The plants and trees are loving it!

The lilacs near the house are so heavy with clusters of flowers, the branches are bowing down with the weight, to the point that even short little me has to duck to go under them!

This is our fifth spring here, and I’ve never seen the white lilacs blooming and well as this year.

The double lilacs in the old kitchen garden had to recover from storm damage a couple of years ago, then the late May killer frost last year. It’s been a while since these have bloomed so heavily!

The nearby honeysuckle did all right last year, as they start budding later than things like the lilacs and did not get affected by the last frost as much, and it looks like this year they will do even better.

Even the hawthorn, which is thoroughly shaded, is blooming.

After uploading the photo, I could see that it has some sort of insect infestation under some of the leaves!

Also, just look at that thorn! Yikes!

Shrubs aren’t the only thing we’ve got blooming right now.

Yes! We have blooming tomatoes! These would be the Sophie’s Choice, which we started very early indoors, then restarted after the seedlings got eaten by cats. An early start was recommended for this variety, even though it is a short season variety, so I’m not too surprised to see flowers on these ones. To see them so soon after transplanting, though, is rather awesome!

While checking the various garden beds, I could finally see the purple carrots are starting to sprout. They’re still very hard to see, but they are making an appearance. The yellow Uzbek carrots are being much more enthusiastic about sprouting! I can’t tell about the Napoli and Kyoto Red planted near the south fence. They were pelleted seeds, so we could space them further apart, which makes it harder to see if those tiny leaflets are carrot, or some weed!

The peas that had already sprouted at the trellis are getting noticeably bigger. In the old kitchen garden, I’m finally seeing some beets, though for all my efforts to pull up and transplant the mint out from the bed last fall, they are still coming up strong, along with some other weeds. The beet seedlings are too tiny and delicate to risk disturbing them while trying to weed.

In the lettuce bed, the buttercrunch lettuce germinated a while back and it won’t be long before we are able to start harvesting baby leaves while thinning the rows. Another variety, Lunix, if I remember correctly, as also started to sprout, but like the beet bed, efforts to pull up the weed roots were not very successful. My mother had planted some very invasive flowers in this bed, and they are incredibly difficult to get under control!

The Kulli corn is still looking a weak, but the bush beans planted with them are starting to come up! I’ve got arrows pointing to the bean seedlings that are in this photo.

Meanwhile, all around the various beds, we’ve got onion sets coming up, and the onions started from seed seem to have all survived and are getting stronger. All of the transplants seem to have not only survived being transplanted, but are handling the heavy rains we’ve had, just fine. The first spinach that was planted are growing their true leaves now, and it won’t be long before we will be having fresh greens to eat!

I am so looking forward to when my morning rounds will start to include harvesting fresh leafy greens, beans, peas and summer squash, regularly again!

The Re-Farmer

Let’s think of flowers and warmth!

After the damage to our tulips, plus our dropping temperatures, I thought it would be nice to post pictures of things that are actually blooming right now!

The ornamental apples in the old kitchen garden are blooming quite nicely right now! They always tend to start blooming before any of the other crab apple trees.

The double lilacs in the old kitchen garden are also starting to open up, quite a bit earlier than the other varieties. They all seem to bloom at different times, which leaves us with months of lovely scents around the yard.

Late this afternoon, one of my daughters and I headed to town for some errands and, as we came back and paused to lock the gate, I remembered to grab one of the trail cams facing the gate. It is now set up, low on a tree across from where the tulips are planted. Hopefully, low enough that even a short critter like a skunk will trigger the motion sensor.

The girls and I later went out to check on things and talk about our options. Of course, we also checked on other areas and were very excited to see some purple in a sea of green!

The flower stalks on the grape hyacinths have started to shoot up! They are all so very tiny! 😀 One of my daughters was kind enough to carefully step through the greenery to get a picture of one for me. Meanwhile, my other daughter spotted some more flowers.

The little patch of wild strawberries is starting to bloom, too!

Thankfully, everything we’ve got growing right now is quite hardy. As I write this, we are at 2C/36F, but feels like -5C/23F. Or -7C/19F. depending on which app I look at. My desktop app is showing frost advisories and possible snow tonight. My phone’s app thinks we are warmer, and is showing no frost warnings. Either way, it’s cold, wet and windy out there. Chilly enough that I just finished setting up the heater bulb in the sun room again, under the seed trays in the mini greenhouse. I’m still holding out home for the purple sunflowers and gourds.

This chill is supposed to continue through tomorrow, before things start warming up again. Current long range forecasts now show that the first couple of days of June – which is our average last frost date – are supposed to get as high as 27C/81F again! After that, it’s supposed to cool down a couple of degrees, but we’re supposed to get almost a week of rain. If the forecast stays the same, we’ll have about 4 hot days to put our transplants out. We haven’t been able to take the trays outside every day to harden them off, so I’m really hoping that leaving the inner door to the sun room open, and the ceiling fan running on high, will be enough to provide them with the conditions they need.

We shall see how things turn out!

The Re-Farmer