Sunday, April 22, 2012

This Week in the Garden

Three weeks in the garden, actually.

It's been rather an unusual month, here at Terrace House.  Last we examined the garden, we were just breaking out from the dead of winter into early spring, but a spring following a dry, drought-ridden winter.  Than in three extraordinary weeks, we went from something like 10% of normal precipitation, year-to-date, to over 75% of normal.  That's a good 65% of the an annual year's rainfall over the course of three very short weeks.

It's been damp.

And now, in mid-April, when half the country is just pulling out of full winter, we've suddenly launched ourselves into summer.  Until 3 days ago our heater ran every night.  Now the boys are running around in bathing suits and we're closing up the house mid-day to try and hold on to a vestige of cool air.  It hasn't hit the 90s here... yet.

I'd classify the garden as confused.

The Japanese maples have progressed from tiny red buds to full golden leaves

Also about the garden:
The earliest blooming fruit trees are beginning to fruit out.  The pear is still in bloom, but the lowquats are already half an inch long.

Ground orchids are poking their first leaves out of the mud

Azaleas are going mad

As are these onion? garlic?  under the fruit trees

Scattered about in hidden spots, forget-me-nots and wild strawberry are shooting up.

As, until three days ago, was the moss.

Two weeks ago, last year's seedpods and these big fat buds were all the wisteria had to say.
This week, we're roofed in purple.

A row of bleeding hearts, living up to their name

And last week, the garden sprouted some very unusual flowers, just in time for Easter.

Now that it's warmed up, there are no sign of snakes yet, but the tree frogs are in full-throated form, and my oldest son and I spent Friday afternoon rescuing this long-tailed beauty from under my mom's couch. And bookcase.  And chest of drawers. He was speedy.  Also, alligator lizards have a surprisingly mean bite, which neither of us felt like sampling.

My sons' favorite animal babies of the week, however, we found on a screen door.  First we wondered what those odd little blobs were.

Then one of my sons touched the screen gently, and the blobs... exploded.

As long as you don't have arachnophobia, click on the following pictures for an enlargement, and to see the most beautiful, bright yellow and black baby spiders you've ever seen.  They're loves!  They hung out for 48 hours and when we woke up on the third day, they were gone.  Good luck, baby spiders!

Right now, the sun is rising, and the whole garden is glowing gold.  Later today we celebrate Earth Day at the Wildlife Festival.  More about that, and also Rebecca-falls-out-of-armored-personnel-carrier, bounces down cheese-grater steps and through open air before landing self in Emergency Room, later today.

Edited to Add:

Just post-publishing, a bird I'd never heard before started calling in the yard. It sounded like "AghKhawHaa, AghKhawHaa!"

My son and I froze.  "Did you do that with your computer?" he asked.  Uh-uh, I said.  He sprang for the front door.  "It's a ROOSTER" he gasped.  I went to peek, and perched right on my garden wall was a male quail, in full voice and with his little springy feather springing!  He took off, as soon as he saw me.  I grabbed the camera and stalked him past the grapevines and through the wild onion, but before I could get a shot, he disappeared down the hill in a whirl of wings.  A quail! In my garden!  Happy Earth Day, Me.

1 comment:

  1. That looks like wild garlic to me. You should be able to smell it. An early edible treat from the garden! Wonderful stuff. Next year, before it flowers, pick the young leaves for salad or steaming as a vegetable. Great too for use in a light, summery pesto, replacing the usual Basil leaf and garlic bulb with the garlic leaf. (With wild garlic you use the leaf rather than the bulb.) A great dollop of the green paste is delicious floated on top of a hearty Provencal bean soup, the garlic flavour melting and suffusing each mouthful.