A Little Ray of Sunshine

Monday, April 24, 2006

Spring in the air

Saturday my husband and a friend worked on the yard. They weeded the front garden (which is, we hope, to eventually need no more maintanance than occasional pruning of the forsithias and watering, but isn't there yet). The friend sprayed the yard for the dandylions and other broadleaf weeds. Since perhaps two-thirds of our ground cover consists of these plants, we're expecting the yard to look pretty terrible pretty soon. It would be nicer to pull them out by hand in terms of not having the poisen spray, but completely impracticle. The basswood tree got pruned down to one trunk. It was a volunteer seedling from my parents' big trees that started in Mom's rose garden. My folks left it there for a few years, well, because they weren't sure the cherry in the garden was going to live, and they need some decently sized tree in that area to shade the front door. They've been trying for twenty years to get two cherry trees to grow at their house, and for twenty years have had just the one. This year it looks like the little one will bloom, too, and finally they'll get a good cherry crop.
So last fall they told us we could have the basswood if we'd just take it out of the rose garden. It had about fifteen trunks coming up from the base. We cut off all but the five straightest central trunks, dug it out as best we could (without damaging the roses or cherry, weren't sure we got enough root to keep it alive), stuck it in the ground here, and left it for the winter. Well, it's a hardy little tree and made it through the winter just fine. With the buds all swollen and green, the men decided it was time to thin it down to the best of the five trunks.
The tulips are all up in the front garden with their spiky leaves, and so are the iris. The forsithia are considering putting out leaves. I can't blame them for delaying a bit, between the snow last week and how severely the men pruned them back last year before moving them. (I can tell they're delaying because usually forsithia leaf before lilac, but the lilac next door has already leafed.) The ground cover ivy has sprouted, and the columbines are growing enthusiasticly. They all seem a little ahead of season to me.
Dad says that the winters have generally been getting milder here and spring coming earlier. Globle warming, he says. Well, perhaps so, but I'm still suspicious that it's just a temporary thing. Sun-spot cycles and all, you know. This year, instead of whining about drought, the farmers are whining about flooding. I suppose they feel it's their duty to whine about water.
Yesterday we planted the peas and parsnips out at my folks. Perhaps next week it will be warm enough for beans. It was horribly windy, a storm was blowing in. I strongly suggest not to try to plant parsnips in the wind. The seeds are perfect little kites. There might be some lovely parsnip plants coming up on the little rise west of the garden where the wind blew the seeds it snatched out of my hands. But the storm was good in other ways: we got done planting just before the rain started, and seeds do like to be watered.