Wow! March sure left us like a lion. The blizzard a week ago Wednesday left us reeling. I had just put out some lawn chairs the previous weekend. I spent this past Saturday locating them from all over the property. A side to the greenhouse blew off. There were branches everywhere on the lawns and gardens. One side of the house was completely bare, while the other had snow a foot deep.
I hauled in a huge pile of wood from the outdoor pile to a place under cover of a porch roof. Wouldn’t you know all the snow drifted onto it, while the outdoor pile was bone dry. Good thing I have been blessed with good humor and an ability to accept irony.
I attended a lovely potluck supper with friends at Diane Welch’s on Saturday evening. It goes without saying . . . the food was fabulous.
Chickens came up in our conversations since a few of us had years of experience raising them. When Violet and I arrived home after dark in the pouring (and I mean pouring) rain we discovered the hen house door had blown shut. None of the occupants were inside all nice and cozy. We spent over an hour rounding up 16 birds. They were all over the place, completely bedraggled and fighting us every minute.
We ended up soaking wet and bloodied from running through prickers. Violet is a terrific good sport and hardly complained.
You’ll notice there is not a whole lot of gardening news. Besides crocuses, snowdrops and witch hazel, the ornamental world remains quite bleak.
I do have good vegetable news. My January plantings are finally table-ready. I seeded spinach, tatsoi, lettuce and spigarelli into large containers inside the unheated greenhouse. They took forever to germinate and didn’t really start growing until mid February. I am now cutting salads nightly. Hurrah!
I seeded a row of snap peas and one of cherry belle radishes in the outdoor hoop house. They germinated after two entire weeks. I was shocked it took so long, since it gets quite warm in there on sunny days.
I’ll do anything to avoid dragging out a rototiller. I’m trying a new layering method on my permanent vegetable beds. In the fall I planted winter rye. Planted is actually a euphemism. I tossed the seed onto last season’s mulch and did not bother to cover it. Remarkably, it took.
A couple weeks ago, I covered the rye with fresh horse manure and wood shavings. (Don’t do as I do!) On Saturday, I limed the manure, spread a healthy coating of field pea seeds and covered it with an inch or so of dirt. When and if the peas germinate, I’ll cut the tender shoots for salad. Then I plan to plant the tomatoes in the area and simply cover the peas with mulch hay to allow them to rot and improve the soil. Oh, the best laid plans. We’ll see.
Palm Sunday is less than two weeks away. It has to warm up and show real signs of the changing season by then.
I’m way more of a leftie than President Obama, but honestly, can the guy ever catch a break?
Back in 1947, (no, I don’t remember — I was a babe in arms then) Michigan Republican Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, heartily supported the Cold War policies of Harry Truman. He famously said “Partisan politics stops at the water’s edge.”
Not so for Barack Obama. Let’s see, John McCain — a sore loser if I ever saw one — blames Obama’s feckless foreign policy for the Russian invasion of Crimea. Mike Rogers (R. Mich.) accuses Obama of playing marbles while Putin plays chess. Of course, Lindsay Graham (R. S.C.) — Mr. Benghazi conspiracy — told CNN that “we have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression.”
The best one of all — the half-governor of Alaska (a foreign policy expert) says Putin wrestles bears and drills for oil while our president wears mom jeans. Really?
I shudder to think if John McCain had won the White House. We would be at war again with Iran and Russia. Even George Bush and hawk Dick Cheney didn’t go after Russia when Putin invaded Georgia in 2008.
Having lived through the Cold War of the 1950s, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the death of high school friends in Vietnam, I’m happy that President Obama is a thoughtful, careful man willing to negotiate first.
Hopefully, by next column there will be some solid gardening news.