The signs of spring are everywhere, and with all of the rain we have been getting since fall, this spring promises to be a glorious one. Our Texas mountain laurels are literally covered with blooms this year. They look stunning and smell wonderful. We are fortunate to have two ‘Silver Peso’ Texas mountain laurels which are especially beautiful with their dark purple blooms and silver grey foliage. The Japanese primrose next to the Silver Peso is just starting to bloom now as well, adding to the effect with its pretty canary yellow blooms.
The bees flock to these blooms in droves.
Our redbud and fruit trees are also starting to bloom and the Carolina jessamine on the chicken enclosure is covered with bright yellow flowers already. Many of our trees and woody perennials are starting to bud which is really gratifying since I was not sure how many of these plants survived the brutal drought and heat wave of 2011. I was almost sure that we were going to lose our only rusty blackhaw viburnum, but it looks like it simply went dormant early last fall because it has buds all over it now. All in all it looks like most of our trees and perennials survived, even if some sustained some pretty severe stress damage. We will just have to provide lots of compost and TLC to the survivors to help them along.
The new raised beds in the greenhouse are now completed and fully planted. The tomato plants are already setting blooms. I have three varieties in the greenhouse this spring; Lola, a greenhouse variety, and Big Beef and Celebrity which are disease resistant and heat tolerant. I also have a couple of new varieties that I am going to try in the outside gardens; New Girl and Valley Girl, both of which are early varieties and are heat tolerant.
We also have lettuce, spinach, Chinese cabbage, kale, mixed salad greens, savoy greens, jalapeno peppers, green and red bell peppers, poblano peppers, radicchio, parsley, dill and cilantro in these raised beds.
Crop growing in the outdoor gardens is also vigorous. Our weather has been wet and mild which has kept our winter veggies growing steadily. We have tons of kale, chard, broccoli, beets, carrots, onions, pac choi, tat soi, snow and snap peas, turnips, parsnips and collards which we have been harvesting regularly since fall. I have let some of the broccoli bloom to feed and to attract the bees, but more new broccoli is already setting heads and will be ready to harvest soon.
I’d love to share more, but I need to get out in the gardens and plant more potatoes and greens!