Is it just the overall sense of pandemic-induced malaise that has infected me — and likely many of you — or is spring especially late in arriving this year? Perhaps I am more focused on the weather than usual, since the only way we can see people other than those in our household is outside: physically distanced walks, visits from one end of the driveway to the other or, for those of us fortunate enough to have large yards, actual sit-down visits with at least six feet between people, as long as we keep the numbers to five or fewer. More than once, my partner and I have planned such an encounter, only to have to cancel it because of low temperatures or rain (or snow).
A friend tells me the unfurling of those first few yellow-green leaves on the trees in most of our neighbourhoods is right on schedule for early May, but the landscape still looks pretty grey to me. Perhaps we will awake on May 4th to a cacophony of colour; after all we have had enough April showers that it is not unreasonable for us to expect some May flowers.
As I have admitted here in the past, I am not the gardener in our household. What to me is a chore to my partner is a pleasure, from planning what to grow and ordering the seeds through to everything – except perhaps the perpetual weeding – that follows from there. I do, however, enjoy the beauty of our flower and food gardens as well as the bounty they provide for us throughout the summer and early fall.
Finding signs of spring
There are, undeniably, signs of spring: here are some of them from our house and yard as of May 1st.
The forsythia is in full and enthusiastic bloom, its shaggy appearance showing solidarity with all of us who have not been able to get a hair cut in far too long.
The daffodils are opening.
Growing it ourselves
Our first ever attempt at growing mushrooms was a great success, with an initial harvest on April 22nd and, we hope, more to come.
Action in the basement
The always important marijuana seedlings are thriving under grow lights in the basement:
Out in the yard
Despite the cool temperatures, the peas are up, as well as garlic and chives:
As soon as I see the rhubarb pop through the soil, I start thinking about making rhubarb lemonade.
While it will still be awhile until there is enough to make a batch, here is the recipe:
Cook 8 cups chopped rhubarb with 3 cups white sugar, 3 Tbsp. grated lemon peel and just enough water to moisten the bottom of the pot until the rhubarb is completely soft. Strain and cool, then add 1.5 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Store concentrate in fridge and add to white wine or flat or sparkling water for a delicious and refreshing drink.
We picked up kale, onion and herb seedlings today and will be picking up the more delicate pepper and tomato seedlings in a month from our friends at Root Radical CSA on Howe Island.
The real proof that spring is on its way?
Four friends old enough to be receiving CPP and OAS, blowing bubbles in the sun on April 25th: