Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Process Begins

A bright clear blue sky, and the sun casts it magical spell upon the structures and life form in the garden as I am beckoned to enter. The temperature is forecast to be in the 50's, so light clothing is in order. How exciting to finally have my hands in the soil and think of what the day will bring.

This is that time of year the process begins: we cut back all the ornamental grasses (thank goodness for a chain saw, otherwise it would be a daunting task), dividing those which have become too large and planting them in another area or potting them up for family and friends. Each bed is cleaned of fallen leaves and branches, and all of the remaining plant stems with their dried seed pods (left to feed the birds throughout the winter) are trimmed. This week our roses will receive a moderate pruning (

Each flower bed is assessed as to replacing higher maintenance plants with less intensive drought tolerant ones and more evergreens. In addition we look to the holding area where potted plants from previous years are stored, and decide if any of those can be used.

We have been so eager about starting this year's vegetable garden that yesterday we shopped for seeds: sweet Walla Walla onions, spinach, lettuce, carrots, radishes. . . and each of these will find their way into the ground today in the first of several plantings; three weeks from now we'll plant a few more in order to stagger the growth. Indoors we sow green beans, basil and Ichiban eggplant, the variety which seems to do the best in our Pacific northwest garden.

My husband has already gone to cut and stack the brush and logs from the fallen tree which blocked our lower drive when we returned from Florida, so I will begin with cleaning the raised vegetable beds and the lower garden, for today I plant!

Happy gardening.