So just when you think spring has arrived, and the crocus and daffodil are finally peeking out from underneath the mulch, the winds howl, the temperatures drop, and rain is forecast for the next five days. I look at pictures taken on this day last year; the peach, apple and pear trees are in bloom, the daffodils were in full bloom, and spring had arrived. This year, Nature is not so kind.
We got our mulch delivery this week so at least hubby has mulched the island flower bed. We’ve been shoveling up all the old mulch around the front of the house and placing new, fresh mulch down. Technically you don’t have to do that, and in fact in years past, we just layered new mulch on top of old. We noticed that the weeds were plentiful last year and speculated that the mulch had begun to create a nice layer of soil as it broke down and decomposed over the landscape fabric, providing weeds with a perfect soil in which to germinate. Sure enough, as we scooped up the mulch, the under layer was like beautiful compost, worms and all. We’ve spread it over the bare spots on the lawn so it won’t go to waste.
Speaking of waste, with three outdoor cats and two indoor/outdoor cats, it also makes sense from a purely…odor prevention point of view. The cats now use the woods and flower gardens for their potty areas, but when they were little, or when it rained, they used the mulch around the landscaping. I don’t think there’s any way to prevent this but they don’t seem to like the newer mulch. Maybe it smells funny or something.
I planted lettuce seeds, but nothing is up yet. We’ve used the organic oil sprays on the fruit trees and are just waiting for them to finally bud. I hope they actually do wait, at least until the rains pass this week. I don’t want rain to keep the pollinators away, nor do I want the rain to wash off all the petals. I got some great pictures of the fruit trees in bloom last year. I think the apple blossoms are my absolute favorite; the perfume is beautiful, and the way the blooms change from peach-pink to white over the week is nature’s most creative painting. Apple blossom time…I keep singing the song in my head as I look at the barren branches. Soon, very soon!
Mostly I’ve been writing feverishly, taking on as many article assignments as I can. When the weather warms up in a week or two, I’ll cut back to work the garden before the very hot weather arrives. My latest articles have been about horses, cats and fish, and can be found on PawNation.com.
I’ve also published several new gardening articles recently. I invite you to take a peek and share the links if you like them via your favorite social network. Enjoy!
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.