All the snow in the garden has melted! And while the soil is still far too damp to work, that isn't stopping us from getting out there and getting ready for the season to start anyway. It feels so late - I keep looking at the calendar and fretting a bit, but then walking out to the garden and realizing that we are just not ready for planting yet. I know so many folks around here are feeling the same - oh, that winter we just had! I think it's got us all itching and daydreaming about the green gardens of summertime.
We harvested parsnips this weekend, which was such a treat. The truth is, I don't love the taste of parsnips (I know, I know), but I will forever and always plant them. Because there is something so incredibly exciting about overwintering them as we do, and arriving to a messy, brown, mess of a garden early in the spring and finding them grown and ready for harvesting. The first thing we pull out of the garden each year, and a reminder of what is to come. Yes, just that fact alone makes them taste absolutely divine.
Nothing may be in the ground yet, but I've mapped out where it's all going. I'm making a few changes this year, adding some raised beds to ease, I hope, with the work of keeping the 'edges' of the beds clear and weed free. We're experimenting with a few Hugelkultur beds that I'm excited to watch evolve. And I'm switching up squash entirely, fed up with squash bugs year after year - and eliminating the mulch those bugs love to hide in, and getting set up for row covers. Lots of new things in the garden, and I find myself feeling as though I know less about it all with each year that we add to our gardening belt! So many new ideas, always a few big mysteries - and I guess that's what keeps it interesting, and us looking forward with wonder.
As our garden begins to open, so too does Ani's Garden Cottage. She dusted off her space and raked the leaves and was thrilled to discover the crocuses that we planted around her house in the fall. The girls have plans for a flower garden of their own right outside Ani's place. And I've got plans to build my little girl something of a hammock too (I can use clothesline rope for that, surely!). With my two older boys off to NYC for a grand adventure with their grandparents, the three little ones were so happy to be running in the woods and settling into Ani's little garden place. Outside, all day long, we were. The event called for celebration, they decided, and the tiny fire pit was broken in for the 2015 season, complete with marshmallows.
How good it feels to start again. Tis' the season.