No more blog! Life moves fast and there is lots to do!

April 12, 2016

Let’s not pretend we can predict what will happen next and just watch the plants emerge and revel in the glory of their resilience.  This has been the bumpiest spring in memory – with fluctuating temps from 25 – 70. Yet it is the wind, the terrible roaring wind that has cause a pause in spring planting. Here the flowers come, the March of hyacinth, daffodil  and now the April tulips. And kindly, the weather turned colder after bloom so the flowers have not faded so fast as last year. The greens are jumping out of the ground – Korean Parsley being a garden star. Nanking cherry blossoms have fallen, peach are here and beach plum looks to be next. Redbud and juneberry are lovely. The promise of spring so sweet.

Feb 2

Happy Return to Light! Where did winter go? It came very late – what a spectacular third season. harvesting kale, cilantro, mustrad, lettuce and broccoli up through December. The terrible storm last week was abrupt and final. Previous hard frosts were also sudden and shocking after the cA conditions brought by El Nino. Now we prepare for spring, again.

September 13, 2015
We planted seeds today: forever hopeful even so late in the season: tatsoi, komatsuna, mizuna, parseley, cilantro, lettuces, parsnip, beet. Is it possible? With row cover and luck, maybe.

September already! The months have filled, growing over the wall and tumbling down the neighbor’s side. Fruits have ripend and dropped off the branch, jams, jellies, vinegars and tinctures crafted to hold summer’s sweetness. Verdant spring led to an extended drought all during August. Blessed September rain brought a complete change. Surely, the light is still intense at mid-day. The early hours and day’s finish have softened, the soil is finally moist and spring seeds are again poking leaves outstretched, reaching for life giving sunlight. It was a shift to coolness, a decided mark of the season when suddenly summer crops finished, in unison, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, in concert fading summer songs – so long! see you again next year. The peppers change from green to red in streaks, not done, yet.

July 7, 2015
All of the fruits re coming: western sand cherry were amazing today. Currants, black cap raspberries, alpine strawberries, gooseberries – so sweet this year. Cabbages spectacular! Peppers everywhere! Tomatoes just about there. And brocolli too. Squash, yes. Basil, too much. The summer has been kind.

June 29
Well really, it WAS a busy spring. Juneberries have come and gone and strawberries before them. Raspberries are picked as soon as they ripen or before so it is impossible to know how many have appeared.  Cabbage is harvested and many plants gone to seed: collected columbine, arugula, chervil. The temperatures have fluctuated and a pleasant 74 is not what could be expected. Greens are in overabundance and so we are inventing new ways to give them away! The caregivers freeze them.

April 29, 2015
It’s all happening now – Bradford pear and ornamental cherry, tulips and daffodils. Still chill in the air – 35 degrees just a few days ago, the soil is still stone cold.  Dry, dry, dry with the occasional hot day. Windy conditions work against planting. Spring is here in earnest and we are ready to turn the corner.

April 16, 2015
 The gardens are changing quickly. First tulip bloomed yesterday, several more followed today, Hyacinth and daffodil are on full. Soil is still cold although yesterday’s high was 70. Planted spinach, beets, carrot and radish today.  Transplanted shrubs. June and choke berry are leafing a bit while winter berry hasn’t shown even a node. Nanking cherry has begun to flower. Dividing perennials was a huge success last Sunday with over 150 plants finding new homes and everything doing just great with the timing. Many dogwoods left the Old Stone House.

April 10, 2015
Transplants and new bare-root plants are going in. The garden is being edited – dividing perennials event this Sunday!

Spring is finally here in earnest. Cold tonight though!  Lilacs are showing green – pretty much the first to show. Crocus have been hanging around for a while, Daffs just coming on and the hyacinth here or there. A couple of days of heat faded the early blooms. Plenty more to come – tulips are about half up.  The squirrels were going for the Nanking cherry so we netted it today. Sparrows peck the lettuce when it went out the day before Easter – so row cover for that until more greens are available. Even the poor cabbarge was pecked to a nub. Time to plant beets and radish! hurry up now, it is coming fast.

March 25, 2015
Again freezing at night. Tody 41. Snowdrops are finally out from under the snow. Crocus bloomed yesterday. A few warm days buyt not many. Put plants in a makeshift cold frame and they were good to 28 degrees. Tomato and calendula would not do it – turned to jelly – cabbage, broccoli, cilantro and lettuce were fine. Brought them in when it snowed again. Budding seems delayed compared to previous springs. It was really a hard freeze all season.

Februry 23, 2015

The ice has been with us for weeks.  Snow pack, record lows. The bulbs are coming, regardless, pushing through the snow with unstoppable energy. Following a silent, ancient directive, they deliver the first thoughts of spring. Rejoice!

Dec 17, 2014
A beautiful, mild, slightly damp day.  Kale and brocoli harvested this week have been delicious. Parsely still available and celery leaf, too. The low tunnel just waiting for the light. We are almost to the center of the darkess as every day is shorter still. Soon though we will cross the peak and move back to light; energy will increase again.

Dec 1, 2014

The garden seems to be sleeping.  Lettuce still thrives under the low tunnel, even after several days of 20 degree weather. Yesterday was 60. Broccoli is borderline wanting to live. Kales are droopy, too. 

Nov 19, 2014

The hard freeze came and will stay for 3 days.  Five feet of snow dumped near Buffalo. Here, it will be 60 degrees again next week. Row cover is holding the lettuce in a sunny spot – still looking good.

Nov 17, 2014

A November thunderstorm; icy air moving into warm, Last week was the final butterfly sucking at the aster, still rich with flowers. Sudden freeze is predicted.  Water is off.  Final beans are harvested.  Beds mulched and bedded down with straw.  So many seeds collected, still yet to be cleaned and packaged.    Broccoli, beets, collards of course, abundant still.  Lettuce under plastic tunnel looking great – will see what the hard freeze brings. Blesed with the warm and gentle summer, all things happy. Dry in August to finish things off. Gorgeous in September.  October mild.  And now at last rest,

July 24, 2014

The elderberries are ripe – the birds tell me which bunches to pick. Last week I jellied the 3rd and final round of sand cherry. Berries are abundant; a pint of raspberries, strawberries by the handful.  Small patches big delights,

July 8, 2014

First Monarch butterfly of the season spotted in the North Dutch garden on an echinacea. Crops harvested: zucchini, cucumber, string beans, tomatoes, herbs galore, Peppers are forming.

Saturday, June 21

The heart of light! It is a fabulous growing season with squash and tomatoes on the way! A favorable start and lettuce has been great, too. Pleasenant temps and incredible low humidity make it bright. Cucumbers climbing, Beans a bit slow, just setting blossoms to fruit.  Peppers reluctant but coming. Eggplant stubborn, waiting for more heat. Tomatillos and husk cherries forming earlier than in memory. Summer flowers just beginning – dyer’s coreopsis, hollyhock, larkspur, speedwell, yarrow, lilies. Corn knee high and it’s not the 4th of July, yet. Squash amazing. Chard too. Broccoli, yes! Garlic scapes, yum.  Juneberries, raspberries, strawberries.

June 10

In the thick of the growing season. Many flowers have come and gone. Broccoli has been harvested, cabbages are heading up. Chard is large and basil too.  Open leaves are healthy from sun and rain.  A glorious fgrowing season. Tomatoes already set on a number of plants and zucchini, too. Flocks of birds attacking the fruits and lettuce. Compost bins full of comfrey steaming away.

May 27

What’s in bloom? Last iris, baptisia – full on – purple phlox, lilacs are gone, strawberries,  Many past and many still to come –  the bees and butterflies are here  Blue swallowtail and skipper, big bumbles buzzing about.

May 16, 2014

It is Wildflower Week!  June berry, chokeberry, fothergilla, redbud, beach plum and more have already come. Wild geranium is here, strong and beautiful.  Many of our cultivated flowers nod their heads in agreement: iris, tulips (still hanging in there) cosomos, petunias (not quite comfortable yet) snapdragon, salvia, alyssum, pansies ever faithful.  It is a great range.  Ornamental apple blossoms were spectacular last week. After much cold and the slowest spring in memory, a great show exploded at once. Warm temperatures and regular rain brought growth with vigor. Time for all of the seeds to be planted and starts to jump out of their pots.

April 26, 2014

Tulips are coming full on as daffodils exit. June berry yes! Nanking cherry has bloomed and faded while western sand cherry is just budding up. Dead nettle everywhere, ready to eat – clean and fresh, happy as can be. Chick weed on its heels with dandelion not far behind. A slow, slow spring I expect a rapid-fire succession of rapid growth is soon upon us.

April 23, 2014

Windy today following several days of warmth.  The daffodlls are full on blooming with hellebores as company. Tulips on the way and black kohosh just emerging.  Some lilacs are leafing out, hydrangeas, and choke berry.  Winterberry, pear and others, still holding back. Early lettuce plantings survived a light snow that turned to ice.  Very impressive for such fragile looking plants.  Celery is holding nicely, as well. Jetusalem artichokes are dug – the few remaining have started to sprout. Pruning, all done!

April 3, 2014 Spring is finally here.  Still cool. snowdrops are well up and daffodils are coming.  Squirrels enjoy crocus and early tulips. No leaf in sight but buds are swelling. Spring herbs are emerging. Time to do final pruning on grapes and fruit trees. Peas and other hearty seeds are being planted now.

March 24, 2014

Time to come out of hibernation.  Fluctuating temperatures and strong winds prevent early planting and even hardening off those seedlings. Time to prune, rake some of the accumulated leaves, stock trellis supplies and get ready for the rapid onset of spring! Setting bed edges, dividing perennials and turning the compost are all on the horizon.

March 17, 2014

Frigid air still blowing. The snowdrops have been blooming for a time and now the crocus are coming along.  Warm, then cold, cold, cold.  The thaw in imminent.

January 16

Nice yesterday – 40 – and a bit cooler today.  Still nice to work outdoors with the thought of spring in mind.  Eight weeks away, yest it felt like tomorrow.  the soil is loose and moist. First seed trays were planted today and some tulips potted for forcing.

January 4, 2014

Looking forward to a new garden year! Below normal temperatures.

Oct 26, 2013

Still dry.  The gardens are very productive – a week of below normal cold temperatures did not damage anything. Leaves are just beginning to fall. Green are strong.  Asters, zinnias, clematis and blanket flower are all glorious. Last of the tomatillos are coming in.  Ground cherries are all gone.  A few raspberries still brighten the day.

Oct 2, 2013

No rain for 2 weeks.  85 degrees today. Feels like sumer.

September 19, 2013

Well, here we are at the harvest moon.  What a wonderful growing season we had this year.  Just one little bit of drought and now another.  Perfect for collecting seed.  Time surely goes quickly when I am gardening.

June 21, 2013

Well, how did that happen?

Flowers are blooming everywhere.  Broccoli is heading.  Kale is huge. Spring crops are finishing and summer is growing by leaps, daily.  Enormous rains and brilliant sunshine.

We have finally edged every bed, sheet mulched and planted.
Weeding and thinning are the order of the week.
Nature has been generous.

Juneberries fruited, reliably last week.
Grapes are forming on the vine.
Elderberries bend, heavy with blossoms.

Cramp bark fruits are scarfed up by birds before anywhere near red.

April 10, 2013

Spring has arrived suddenly, after weeks of winter wind and cold. 82 degrees – quite the shift.  All the bulbs are up – tulips not yet forming heads except for the few early bloomers. Many trees have not yet made buds, much less leaves.  Yet transplanting and installation of new perennials has to be done in a hurry.  Rain today will bring more seasonable temperatures and much needed moisture, thankfully.

March 13, 2013

Dr Vandana Shiva spoke at Brooklyn Botanic garden on Saturday.  An extraordinary message of compassion and Seed Saving!  Seedling have been started in the OSH basement and are doing well: lettuce, kales, broccoli, mache and more. The weather continues to fluctuate between warm and freezing.  Some transplanting and stone setting is now possible.

March 6, 2013
The snowdrops are well up and daffodils are coming.  The first brave ones have bloomed.  Hellbores are abundant.  The witch hazel is in bloom.  And there are a few crocus.  Spring is not far, now.

February  Where did February go/  Lots of grey.  Some digging in of edging on the warm days. Seed starting, indoors.  last raking and mowing of leaves for mulch.

January 30, 2013
Spring-like weather allowed stone setting today.  Graceful curves will shape the new sitting garden.  A thimble berry was moved there from the north Dutch garden, to the place where the old oak stood.  The oak came down in the tornado 3 years ago.  Under the oak I had found a letter box stamp.  Someone had carved an image of the Old Stone House and left it in a rusty Altoids can for someone – me – to find.  A treasure beyond measure.  Harvest today was a big bag of Jerusalem artichoke, or sunchoke as many call them. Food waiting for me in the ground – nature’s bounty.

January 28, 2013
Too frozen to work outdoors, we are cleaning seeds that were collected last year.  BBG – Making Brooklyn Bloom – has announced thet Vandana Shiva will be the keynote this year on March 9.
I am invited me to teach about berry yielding native shrubs.

January 23. 2013
A world of difference!
12 degrees this morning brrrr.
Time to order seeds and organize the collection for our 8th Annual Seed Celebration & Swap coming up on April 6.

January 14, 2013
Dreary out but really pleasant.  Aaron and I cleaned the north colonial garden of leaves and started to arrange edging.  1,000 cobbles to set in all of the gardens and then we will finally be through our make-over.  Volunteers have made all of this doable and I am ever-grateful.

Bulbs are poking their green tops through the newly unfrozen soil.  Winter is far from over and yet it feels oddly spring-like.  The light is returning and woody shrubs arre already beginning to bud up. Quick, better transplant asap.  Dividing iris and pulling up the too-many Jobes tears are at the top of the list.  Then the goosberry must go to a better spot.  The woodland sunflower and some of the goldenrod, too.