Living up to its name..

This week is spring break here, which is normally a sort of optimistic title around these parts. This year, not so much. The weekend saw our first truly spring-like days, and the weekdays are following suit quite nicely. I even sat out on the back patio and grilled last night (color me surprised that I actually  had charcoal)! Now, if only the administrators got spring break off, too.

It’s been difficult not to think about my plans for the yard and garden this year now that it’s finally getting warmer. Last week I talked about the plans part*, but it got long so I didn’t go into the plants I’ve ordered, which should be here in .. oh.. about two months. *grin*

Backyard:
15137   Strawberry – Ozark Beauty – 25 Plants

I’m pretty excited about these guys, but haven’t exactly decided where they’ll go yet. I need to cut the bed for them, so hopefully the ground will thaw here soon so I can get it all prepped before they arrive! I don’t usually have an issue with animals eating things from the gardens, but I’m a little more concerned about strawberries, so we’ll see if I actually get any of these to full ripe before the critters get them.

Side bed by patio:
41285A  Moonflower Giant White – 1 Pkt. (20 seeds)

These will vine up the pergola. My eventual plan for the pergola is grape vines, but I’m expecting that it will take a few years before they grow enough so my hope is to use some vining annuals in the interim. I love Moonflowers – friends in DC had them in their back patio and they were enchanting and beautiful. This is the bed that needs to be overhauled, which I’m not particularly looking forward to, but such is life.

Deck* (in containers):
22018   Patio Princess Tomato – 1 order (3 plants)

I have two other tomato varietals (see farther down) this year, but will only get 1 or 2 plants of each, depending on what the other folks who ordered with me want. I’m expecting to get 1 of one kind and 2 of the other (but don’t know which), and since I may end up with just one of each I wanted to have another option to be sure I’d have plenty of fresh tomatoes this year. I’m excited to try these – they grow in pots, so they’ll be up on the (newly remodeled) back deck.

Front yard:
36483A  Dolichos, Lablab – 1 Pkt. (35 seeds) – in the flower boxes
22105   Lobelia Cardinal Flower – 2 plants
42267A  Convolvulus Enchantment Series – Mix – 1 Pkt. (150 seeds)

I originally envisioned foxglove in the front yard, but either the plants I ordered never survived or the squirrels dug them up. I’m hoping the lobelia will have better luck. The Convulvulus are sort of a filler – I planted Cosmos in a patch in the front two years ago, and though they’re supposed to be an annual, they rebloomed last year. I decided to hedge my bets that they’d make it another, but if they do, I have other places I can fill in with the Convolvulus. The Dolichos will go in the front flower boxes just as a variety on the morning glories I’ve done in the past.

Garden boxes:
69013   Asparagus Mary Washington – 1 Pack (25 Roots)
14985   Onion Walla Walla Sweet – 1 offer (2 bunches)
20615C  Sweet Pepper Collection (6 plants, one of each, though I’m splitting this with a friend)
23015   Tomato Fresh Salsa – 1 order (1-2 plants; the others will go to a friend)
20651 Tomato Fourth of July Hybrid – 1 order (1-2 plants; the others will go to mom and dad)
59114   Lettuce EZ Serve – 15′ Seed Tape
54833A  Summer Squash Sunray Hybrid – 1 Pkt. (25 seeds)
51722A  Winter Squash Burpee’s Butterbush – 1 Pkt. (25 seeds)
52175A  Burpless Beauty Cucumber – Packet (30 seeds)
53512A  Snap Pea Super Sugar Snap V.P. – 1 Pkt. (200 seeds)
60962A  Radish Burpee White – 1 Pkt. (300 seeds)

And that’s the vegetables.

  • I’ve been wanting to grow asparagus for*ever* but the long lead-up time discouraged me. This year I’ve decided I’ll never get it if I don’t just start some, so here’s hoping it works.
  • The onions, peppers and tomatoes will get used for salsa inevitably, though I hope to have enough to enjoy lots of them fresh too.
  • One of the reasons I tend not to eat more salads is that I don’t like how wilty the lettuce gets if it’s not really fresh, and I don’t eat it consistently enough to buy it really fresh regularly; the lettuce above looks good and they say that when you harvest it, it just falls apart into a nearly ready-made salad, so here’s hoping!
  • I like summer squash in stir fries and kabobs and this is the kind I planted two years ago which has a great taste. The winter squash I’m hoping to store and use throughout the fall and winter – I love squash, but don’t think to get it very often.
  • Cukes are just good summer food. I was at a restaurant last weekend that had cucumber slices in the water that reminded me how much I like that, so even if I end up with lots this year, I expect I’ll find uses for them.
  • Snap peas are great snacks, great in stir fries, and I suspect they freeze rather well, too. I’m rather fond of the idea of chopping up some of the squash, onions, peppers and peas and freezing my own little garden stir fry packets for use throughout the year.
  • I eat radishes raw as a snack whenever I remember to get them, which isn’t often. I wanted to grow them two years ago, but never managed to get the seeds in the ground before it got too warm. Given that I’m already itching to get out in the garden this year, I don’t expect that to be as much of an issue!

So yeah.. it’s 52 degrees out now (at twenty to seven in the evening, so not bad) but the ground still appears to be frozen and the small strip of yard that doesn’t get direct sunlight still has snow. Spring now, please?

* Smart, smart dad suggested I contact the City to see if the deck would require a building permit and it pr’bly will, and may even need a variance because the existing deck might be too close to the property line, so I’ll be making my first foray into grown-up home-owner/city relations soon!

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