My heart quickens this time of year. Spring is a treat for the heart and soul and a gift to gardeners the world over.
After a year fraught with unpredictability, I find comfort in the familiar. A trip through the garden teases all the wonderful things to come: buds and bulbs emerge, old-growth gives way to the new, and even the emerging weeds portend more time outdoors.
In the northern hemisphere, the vernal equinox arrives on March 20, 2021. It signals the beginning of spring, though the changes are subtle in California. While much of this country is buried in snow and killer ice, our risk of a hard frost has safely passed.
There are fewer opportunities to plant these days. Like most gardeners, a brown patch of soil is quickly filled with something new. I’ve reserved my EarthBox® for a tomato crop, but the garden is otherwise fully occupied. That’s not a bad thing, per se, but I do love adding new color here and there.
Birdsong and buzzing bees are the soundtracks of the season. The effervescent Ana’s hummingbirds are ever-present, but their numbers grow. I spotted one gathering fluff for her nest last week, wishing for the thousandth time that I had my camera in tow. I let the anemone flowers go to seed in the fall. They open like a kernel of popcorn in late winter, producing small clouds of soft white down. It’s always a treat to see the birds grab a bit of fluff.
Of course, not all “fluff” is intended for nature but tell that to the squirrels. The original cover of our swing is dismantled every year. The California Grey squirrels shred the cover to get to the batting inside. I repaired this corner a few years ago using an old tea towel and polyester batting. Apparently, the squirrels are not that discerning. They’ve torn through the tea towel to get to the synthetic batting inside. How do they know it’s there? Why do they want that scratchy stuff for their nest? Rhetorical questions, I know.
I treated myself to a pair of new gardening tools this weekend: a pair of clippers and a long-handled weeder. I’m counting myself lucky that I made it out of the store without serious injury. The edge of that tool is sharp. I’m ridiculously excited to use it, though, on a patch of unwanted grassy weeds.
Spring is around the corner, and the vaccine rollout is finally underway Things are looking up! I’m ready.