Rosey the Riveter

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Walk Around the Homestead

Five days ago, the kids were out playing in the snow.  Today, it is 73 degrees.  Watching the 10 day forecast, I knew it was going to be a great day to be outside catching up on garden stuff, so I got all of my errands run yesterday so I could stay home and soak up the sun.  It's been awhile since I did a "Walk" post, which I like to do every now and then so I can have some record of things.  An online garden-journal if you will.

The crocuses and daffodils are popping through.  I suspected last year they were late varieties and this year confirms it... neighbors have daffodils that have blossomed now, and there's even another neighbor whose daffodils have already gone by!

The forsythia I planted last spring is budding.  I am looking forward to her cheery yellow blooms, although they will arrive earlier here than they did growing up in New England, when they were a birthday present from mother nature.
I had lost all hope for the rhubarb I planted last year, but I was VERY excited to see this little guy.  I couldn't pick any last year, because you're not supposed to harvest (lightly) until the second year.  I would love it if I could get just enough for some strawberry rhubarb jam.  I've been told it doesn't grow well here, though, so we'll see.
The Saturn Peach tree I planted last year.  Peaches produce on new growth, and take a few years, so I'm not sure if we'll get any this year, or not. Regardless, it will need to be lightly pruned in the near future.
The beautiful weather was perfect for turning the compost pile.  It was up to 120 degrees and really cooking until the snow came.  I was surprised at how much it had decomposed since I'd last turned it a few weeks ago.  There's not much left to go, and there were lots of worms, so I am looking forward to adding it into the garden.
This cilantro self-seeded and didn't seem to be affected at all by the snow.

The Lemon Balm clings to life.  I have a feeling in a few weeks it's going to start to really take off.

The Chives and the Garlic Chives are beginning to grow, despite the weed remnants from last summer.

This is celery that I grew last spring from the bottom of a store-bought bunch.  It's the greenest thing here.  Because it's a member of the carrot family, the Black Swallowtails loved it.  So, it stays for the butterflies in spite of the fact that it's not growing nice stalks for eating.

The bird house Stephen designed and built with the girls.  I enjoy watching the birds while I do dishes.  We have a beautiful red-winged blackbird and a pair of cardinals... and lots and lots of brown-headed cowbirds and mourning doves.

According to, we have now bottomed out when it comes to average temps.  February can be a brutal month, but it's also when things start to come alive here in Hampton Roads.  Last year, it was such a mild winter, I'd already planted peas and radishes by now.  I'm going to wait a few more weeks this time around!

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