Monday, May 5, 2008

Growing My Garden

My old backyard cherry tree flowered again last week but then struggled with below freezing nights and rain drenched days for the next week. The warm weather has now returned, but the blossoms show the wear and tear of surviving. The tree also seems to have managed to reproduce itself. I have 3 new volunteer trees that blossomed for the first time this year. I assume they grew from seeds, but I need to do more research to find out if this is likely.
My little patch of raspberry canes came through the winter in fine shape. Over the years they have gradually moved themselves towards a more open sunny area of the yard. Lots of new canes pushing up through the grass lawn, which I don't discourage. The raspberries provide far more food than the lawn. I still have a few bags of last year's fruit crop in the freezer so it's definitely time to start using them up before the new berries appear.
I really enjoy seeing the perennials come to life after surviving a harsh winter. The picture above are the sprouts of some ginger mint that I had growing in a pot last year. My chives also survived well (see previous post) as well as a patch of self seeding thyme, but I did lose a couple of ornamental flowers that I'd started to take for granted as coming up each year. I have to look at this as an opportunity to try some new varieties.

Then there are the wonderful surprises that remind us how persistent life can be. I found these watermelons, or maybe pumpkins, that had clung to life after their seeds had been carelessly discarded sometime last summer. I'm sure these are going to grow into beautiful plants. I planted some 'scarlet runner green beans' against a fence and hope to show pictures of these once they start growing. This is a colourful and tasty variety of climbing green bean that I remember from my childhood so many years ago.

And of course one of my major spring joys is to buy tender young herbs and then watch them grow into maturity. I just wish it wasn't so emotionally difficult to actually cut, rip and sever in order to eat them. I think at some level they've manipulated me by tasting so good, encouraging me to keep their genetics in the pool by saving their seeds and deepening their adaptation to my little backyard micro-climate environment.

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