Last week the sun was shining and I wandered around my gardens looking for signs of Spring, of life. It’s an annual ritual: A gardener looking for her garden. The good news? All my old friends are beginning to stir! The minor bulbs have bloomed: the snowdrops under the still-leafless shrubs around the perimeter of my back yard beds; the purple and white crocus I planted years ago in our front lawn under the copper beech tree. And now the major bulbs are beginning to bloom: The bicolored daffodils at the edge of our back patio; the red tips of the peonies pushing out of the ground.
Spring was here according to the unfurling leaves on my tree roses. So my annual rituals were about to begin! I even got down on my knees and smoothed out the dirt in my raised vegetable beds. And I planted a few early spring crops: radishes and leaf lettuces.
And I dragged the large pot of mixed herbs out of my sunroom and into the Spring sunshine. The rosemary thanked me; she was getting a little spindly bathing in the weak winter sunshine.
Fast forward to this week: We’ve had brutally cold winds blowing for two days. The temperature dropped like a brick and I woke up this morning to the birdbath with frozen water in it and a flock of shivering birds looking for a drink and some breakfast. Out I hobbled to re-install the birdbath heater I removed last Friday, when the temperature hit 80 degrees!
Yes, folks. It’s New Jersey. This is the way we roll. The herb pot I dragged out on Friday? And the rosemary pot I dragged out of the greenhouse and into the raised vegetable garden? All I can say is it’s a good thing I remembered to drag them back into the greenhouse last night or they’d have expired from last night’s cold and wind.
And my roses? Well, we’ll see.
Do you plan to plant some vegetables this spring? Why not try leaf lettuces like Black Seeded Simpson or oak leaf? They can be started while it’s still chilly out (in fact they hate the heat of summer), grow great in containers and you don’t have to wait long to harvest them. Same with radishes!