Today, is the first full day of Spring. A celebration for sure! I’m additionally relieved because now I can cease fretting about what’s coming up too early. For now. Should the weather warm up too quickly, it’ll be back to worrying about the state of garden and globe.
The hellebores and crocus heralded the arrival of Daylight Saving Time. The birdsong has grown louder. I’m absolutely loving the longer days. How wonderful it is to take a turn around the garden after a full day of work and decompress in the lingering light. It’s these small, simple moments I cherish greatly.
The pace of doing chores has picked up. As planned, the neighbor’s hedge got trimmed, additional birdhouse and bee-house were installed. There’s always so much publicity about encouraging honeybees in the garden but we really should be promoting the myriad native bees – they’ve co-evolved with the native plants. Most are loners and harmless. Every gardener should be encouraging them to take up residence in their gardens. In mine, there are now three such houses in different location. I expect to add another in the middle of the meadow. There are also discreet piles of sticks and such for those bees that prefer rustic homes.
Fun fact – Carpenter bees are the pollinators of choice for milkweed. The interior of the milkweed flowers are too sticky for insect lightweights. They get stuck. When you observe butterflies alighting for a nectar fix, look closely and you will see that they are not in the flower but instead, they alight offside and are careful to stay away from the sticky center. The carpenter bee is the only one large, smooth and heavy enough to get into the flower and thus become its prime pollinator. Even the fuzzy bumble bee is not heavy enough. I imagine they would get their fuzz removed if they tried sneaking into the flower. Bee waxing!
Once I learned this fact, I’ve begun taking a kindly view of these special bees. To keep them away from making homes in my wooden pergola, I provide them with alternatives by way of logs placed closer to where the milkweed grows. A spray of lemon oil and cinnamon on the pergola is said to help keep them at bay.
The tiny front lawn has been de-thatched thoroughly – it’s always amazing how much matting happens annually. The area gets aerated by stomping around in spiked shoes and making many small holes all over. Seeding will happen any day now – I’m awaiting the Eco-seed I ordered from @prairiemoonnursery. I shall report how this seed variety turns out.
Next on tap are chores like recommissioning the rain barrel, starting up the recirculating watering system of the wall garden to get it growing again, feeding the fruit trees and, as the temperatures climb, slowly bringing out plants from the greenhouse.
There’s a nice rhythm that happens at this time. As plants begin growing and flowers bloom and the birds build nests, the garden chores get done. Everybody is busy tending to their own business in a companionable manner.
The early daffodils will start trumpeting very soon. I can’t wait!
(c) 2023 Shobha Vanchiswar
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