Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ready to plant

I'm waiting.  I'm trying to be patient. These mild February days are trying.

beds ready to plant.....
Surely spinach, sugar snap peas, kale, or lettuce seeds (my itching to garden voice says?)  Uh, global climate change is good for something, she whispers....

But.  Even in the Piedmont, peas sown before late February were problematic.  And of course in mild winter years, here in the mountains and in the Piedmont, lots of greens overwintered and would be flourishing now.

But.  Here was a post from a few years back:  wise, I thought, in retrospect.

This winter, as has happened in the last two before, there have been hard freezes that took out all of the greens, aside from leeks and garlic.  I have a nice rosemary plant which I think has survived so far (the last two winters sapped them, after decades of being OK).

I'm still ready to plant.  I've ordered some wire cloches that may serve as small protective coverings with some row cover or plastic, so we'll see.  I was eyeing some space next to the studio this morning as potential cold frame space.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Another mild winter day

The second of February isn't usually warm, although as "Groundhog Day" here in the U.S., we mark the day around whether it's cloudy or not.  It was cloudy here, but, of course, this doesn't really have relevance to whether it will be cold or not for the coming month.

My vegetable beds are prepared, with fresh compost, mycorrhizae for vegetables, etc.

Only leeks, garlic, and cress have overwintered, along with chives, of course, now starting to emerge.

I'm itching to plant, but it's still too early, even for sugar snap peas, snow peas, and spinach.  I'm sitting on my hands until later in the month....

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I'm waiting for hummingbirds

In these mild winter days, on the last day of January, I'm thinking about spring.

I gathered up some organic compost to enrich my vegetable beds, cleaned the beds up (of dead greens and parsley), admired the leeks of various sorts (some looking wan, others - the perennial ones- looking more robust), clipped back some perennial stems, and thought:  I'm waiting for spring.

It's still way too early, I know, but there are daffodils in flower around the corner.  And tulip foliage is emerging, too, in spots I've tucked former Valentine's Day bulbs in, to overwinter.

I'm remembering hummingbird visits some years ago (we saw lots in Guatemala recently, primarily visiting feeders, but also in gardens).

Here was a great sequence of photos on a venerable Campsis at the Biltmore Estate, some years ago.

A hummingbird coming in to visit a Campsis flower: click for a larger view.
Day 7 #challengeatnaturephotography

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Back home on a mild winter day

Beaver Lake in late January

Missing the big snowstorm in the eastern U.S. while traveling, we were glad to catch a bit of the snow and remaining ice, too, on one of our favorite spots in Asheville, Beaver Lake.  Day 6 at #challengeonnaturephotography.

Ice on Beaver Lake 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Market in Quetzaltenango

All over the world, markets have distinct characteristics; they're full of people, local favorites, and often surprises.

This one, near the bus station, in the highland city of Quetzaltenango in Guatemala, was distinguished by lots of prepared vegetables (an unusual market offering).

And this goat was unusual, too (she was providing milk, perhaps on demand? according to the "leche" sign).

This will serve as Day 5 in #challengeonnaturephotography.

The vegetables and fruits fall into that category, I think.  Hmm, of course, now I've just realized that I already posted about this!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Growing organic vegetables

Day 2 at #challengeonnaturephotography

These are photos of growing plants organically, and creating a "kitchen garden" in a country (Guatemala) where it's most unusual to have an restaurant serving organic food, much less from their own garden (on the hotel's grounds, in a very modest, non-tourist town on Lake Atitlan).

Jose with Swiss Chard, kale, and other greens

To these gardeners, it was definitely about living in harmony with their year-round growing season.

Banco de similar (seed storage shed)
Jose showing Tim their saved seeds

Nature comes in guises both familiar and wild; both are worth celebrating.


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