It’s spring – sort of. The weather has been warm, in the 60s and 70s, and the peach and pear trees are blooming. This is both good and bad. It’s great because I love the peach blossoms…
…but it’s bad because the weather is expected to CRASH this weekend and over the next week, with temperatures plunging back into the teens at night!
What can we do?
Honestly, there’s nothing we can do about that. I’d like to offer all sorts of advice. But with a home orchard like ours, there’s nothing to do except keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.
Commercial orchards, like the big orange groves down in Florida, have smudge pots and heaters they can pull into the orchard. Strawberry farmers will spray water over their plants before freezing temperatures arrive so that ice forms on the plants, acting as a barrier to freezing temperatures. I don’t feel confident about doing any of those things.
So I wait, and I hope, and I take a lot of pictures now just in case I lose all my pretty flowers – and future peaches – by this time next week.
In the meantime, work around the farm commences.
The seeds have started to germinate! These beautiful little things are calendula seeds. Calendula is a useful herb for skin care products. It’s also a very pretty garden flower that I love planting around my herb garden.
Speaking of the herb garden and my little pond, Hubby bought my “Jeremiah” the bullfrog (Yes, it was named that at the store, but the Lowe’s cashier did a lovely karaoke with us at the register). We finished raking up the pine needles and I’ve been adding tags to the herbs so that I can identify the medicinal and tea herbs planted throughout the garden. The mint is spreading nicely – you can see springs of it popping up among the phlox. That’s fine with me. The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned.
Here’s another view of the same area. We finished cleaning out the perennial beds we wanted to redo. They are in the background of this picture. We cleared out all the Missouri primrose, pulled up the straggly perennials we didn’t like anymore, divided the iris and daylilies, and replanted everything. I’ve got some lovely St. John’s Wort seeds starting in the basement that, if they grow, will also be added to this area. Marigolds will complete the picture and add color throughout the seasons.
I’m excited by so many things in this year’s garden. The lovely folks at Better Bilt sent me a box of the VineSpine (R) Linking Trellis System to use with our peas and in the vegetable garden. I took it out of the box and was all set to photograph it and plant peas this weekend until I saw the weather forecast! We haven’t finished cleaning out the chickweed from the vegetable garden beds, and we need to redo several of the raised beds. But I am really looking forward to trying the VineSpine Linking Trellis System and sharing the results with you and the kind people at Better Bilt.
So that’s it for the adventures here at Seven Oaks Farm. Happy gardening. Keep growing! (And stay warm during this – I hope – last cold snap of the season.)
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.