Our Spring Garden

The garden is going beautifully strong.  The cool weather and constant rain early on has made our lettuces and kales grow like crazy, and now that the sun has peeked through at least a couple of times, we’ve got flowers and blossoms coming out, too!

The first few roses are peeking out.  We’ve already had issues with deer nibbling off the rosebuds, so have sprayed a couple of times.  Stinky, but effective!

The poppies are out!  I wished they lasted longer.  They’re so gorgeous and fragile and temporary.  For some reason this year something (probably deer – it always seems to be deer) are eating our little mini poppies.  At least these big beauties have been left alone!  You can see a sorry-looking cedar tree in the pasture in the background.  In part it looks terrible here because the evening light is so intense, but I’m sorry to say it always looks awful at this point.  The horses the previous owners had ate pretty much all the bark off its trunk, and it just looks worse every day.  We’re going to take it down at some point.  At least it’s in a pretty easy spot to get rid of.  Heck, in its condition, it may just fall over.

Our spinach is starting to look ready!  You can see here the netting we’ve put over our raised beds to protect the plants from deer.  A complete necessity.

The netting is actually fairly hard to see, which is ideal.  It’s still nice to look out at the garden this way, yet the plants are protected.  The first two beds have the netting.  You can see how we’ve created a basic ‘tent’ structure with the netting over two sticks with a string between them.  We fasten the netting to the raised beds with small nails so it’s easy to take up and down.

More beautiful lettuce!  This one is a head of romaine.  The romaine especially has been going gangbusters with the cooler wet weather, and even now it’s getting warmer just keeps on going.  We’ve been harvesting the bigger leaves and the middle just keeps filling out.  Hopefully should last all season!

We clearly planted this curly endive lettuce too close together in the bed, but boy does it look nice.  Pretty soon we’ll have to start picking leaves from it just so each head has a little more room to grow.

This is arugula, which was planted by the previous owners and keeps coming back every year and spreading more and more.  It’s honestly hard to keep up with, because it gets woody pretty quickly.  Just have to be on top of harvesting it.  This is one of those things the deer don’t ever touch.  Too spicy is my theory.  They also stay away from my hot peppers, garlic an onions.

This red lettuce is getting lovely and is just about big enough to pick.  Within a week it will be ready.

Here’s our broccoli raab out in the pasture!  This was before I cut the stems way down, sorted out the woody stems best I could and cooked or gave away most of it.  I’m hoping we’ll have a second crack at it – it does already look like it is starting to sprout some new growth.

Some of our beautiful chives!  I actually enjoy the flowers on these.  They add some nice color to a veggie garden.

At long last the peas are starting to flower.  It’s crazy how tall they got before they sprouted any flowers at all.  It must be the lack of heat and sun, because every year previous they’ve maybe gotten two feet high before flowers popped out, and this year they’re at about three or four feet and only just beginning to flower.

Our flowering sweet pea (non-edible!) is such a nice blast of color in the garden.  I really enjoy these things, we have them up our front walk, too.  Very lush, require minimal watering, and are colorful from early spring to late fall.  Couldn’t ask for a harder working flower.

As always, plenty of visitors on the property!  This gigantic tom turkey is almost always around.  Here he is roosting about forty feet up in one of our white pines in the evening.  In the morning he wakes us up gobble-gobbling.  He’s constantly strutting around the pastures looking for ladies and fanning his tail.  They are massive birds, beautiful plumage, yet somehow so ridiculous.

Does all this action mean it’s officially summer???