It promises to be a berry good year

I hate myself when I do those stupid little puns. But I couldn’t help myself.

This morning, I was rocking out with Tim on the River Radio, acting the part of Dirt Diva to the stars. We are trying very hard to wrap ourselves around the notion that tomorrow is the first day of Spring 2008. Still quite cold and wet and muddy out there with snow forecast for later in the week. As I said then, and will repeat now, after being in bed sick for over a week a couple of weeks ago, cold and wet does not cut it for me. All the same, I am trying to clean up little parts of the garden, bit by bit.

Yesterday, I dragged a trash can on wheels over to the perennial bed at the edge of the driveway. I made a pact with myself I would only spend about 10 minutes cleaning up a small space in a bed that is 25 feet long and 4 feet deep. I cleared the fallen leaves from an area about 2 feet by 3 feet, opening up the new tulip leaves to the sunshine. And low and behold, after getting up close and personal with the garden, I realized my adored parrotia tree is almost ready to burst with its little tiny mop-head blossoms. The flowers are rarely noticed but if you have a parrotia or know someone who does (read: local nursery) check out the cool little bloosoms. They are amazing and fleeting and will make you smile that you discovered them……after all.

In my rustling about I found just one of my alpine strawberry plants. Today I resolve to divide it and transplant it into my new strawberry pot. I actually bought the pot last season, planted my precious fraises de bois in the pockets only to have someone (who shall remain nameless) forget to water it. Double damn. If you have any alpine stawberries to give away, I need a couple more.

I am busy busy planting the Bountiful is Beautiful border (TM)
and kitchen garden. Yesterday I scouted strawberry plants. Picked some up at D & B Supply. I purchased two varieties: All Star and Quinalt. One is June bearing and one is everbearing. I am trying to assure a lonnnnnnnnnngggg season of fresh berries for my daiquiris. Or my breakfast. Or my salads.

I highly highly recommend you check out the website for our local extension office, so click here . All the information you need is right here at your finger tips. I pulled up recommendations for the best raspberries to grow here, and more on different ways to use these plants in the landscape. I grow my raspberries in a modified “hill method.” I didn’t know it was called that, but I knew it worked well for me and it is an excellent way to incorporate this delicious fragile (and “expensive-if-store-bought”) fruit into your little food patch. Everything you need to know about the best strawberries is on this site as well. Do your homework.

Coming up next: looking out for my friends (or, in search of nice raspberry plants).