Dear Friends and Gardeners (March 22, 2009)

Dear Friends and Gardeners (Carol and Dee),

I so look forward to our (now) weekly exchange of notes: where we are in our various states of gardening and fresh optimism for the new season upon us. I am almost certain you all noted the vernal equinox this last Friday morning, March 20th and did the appropriate dance for the first day of spring. Send pictures of the dancing, please.

As promised, our weather this week ran the gamut from snow and hail, cranked up to 70 degrees and ended up with a wham!- an incredible two hour thunder and lightning show last night. The big storm was gracious enough to show up just in time for cocktail hour, so I assumed by favorite position on the covered patio, wineglass in hand, with a 55 pound dog in my lap. When the wind started sending the rain sideways, and under the patio roof, we had to grab a waterproof blanket to keep us dry. It was downright awesome.

I would guess we rec’d almost a half an inch of rain – a great amount for Boise. Earlier in the day, I was lamenting the powder dry feel of the garden soil and hoping I would not have to get out the hoses. I have to get a new rain gauge this week. (Like hose-end sprayers, seems like we need a new rain gauge every other year. What’s with that?) We really like to keep track of the rainfall as the discrepancies in the amount reported around town seem to be so at odds with what we’ve actually experienced. The rain barrels probably filled up at least three times, and we have them set up to capture the rain from the roof then drain it away from the foundation of the house. Later in the season, I will use them for holding water to be used on the flower beds. I just took a look at my soil and it is nice and wet down to at least 8-9 inches. Big sigh of relief. The ski hill got 4 new inches and looks gorgeous.

Time for true confessions:

I did get the poppy seeds spread around.

I planted a big pot of mixed greens, and I have stopped to admire the bulbs coming up everywhere.

The three big pots of tulips I have been bringing along in the garage, well, they are blooming! I guess it’s about time to take the balled-and-burlaped white pines (leftover from Christmas decorating) out of the big pots at the front door. I will drop the tulips into these same containers and hope they can withstand 26 degree nights. All this I, I, I talk should really say, we, we, we since I can’t lift the pines out by myself.

The raspberry canes are languishing in a big plastic container, still moist and needing desperately to go in the ground. In other words, they are screaming, “Plant me!!!” The rhubarb is growing and still in the plastic bag it came home in. OK, so is the asparagus. Having admitted that to you, I am now heading out with my gloves and the shovel to do something remarkable: like, plant this stuff.

We are not EVEN going to talk about the little holding nursery I have around on the northwest side of the house. No we aren’t.

Cleanup and rake up will continue here this week betwixt and between storms. The forecast doesn’t show a single day even reaching 60 degrees for the upcoming week. That’s why the wise ones made polar fleece. The good news: my three week cold and the ague have passed (finally).

I’m sure Carol got her peas in on St. Patrick’s Day, and Dee probably has blossoms on her tomato plants by now. Never fear, my Felco-carryin’ friends, I am on my way back to the garden.

Until next week, yours in sun and soil.

PS, I ordered a used copy of 84 Charing Cross Road and put the movie in my Netflix queue.