Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Spring in Asheville

It's definitely an early spring here in Asheville. There are benefits to having written so many blog posts over the years in terms of weather and spring.

It seems early to me to have daffodils, thrift, and cherries in flower now — with Bradford pears about ready to pop.  Here was a post from mid-March, 2016 about flowering cherries and Bradford pears.

Last year, we had bloodroot in flower as of March 4, here in Asheville, as this post attests

And there was travel musing around that post, too.

And in 2016, the sassafras next to the blue house next door that we planted, well, they were in full flower in mid-March

They seem right on schedule, although, sadly, as I suspected in fall, the one on the right has succumbed to some sort of root rot, probably, given all the rain last year.

I cleaned up the raised beds in front this afternoon on a lovely warm day.  Nice to have the perennial herbs cut back (lots of die-back over the winter),  a few stray winter annuals removed, and a few of the leaves removed, too.

There's gardening to do  -- I'm doing a program in the middle of March about "Spring Gardening Tasks"  --  a title I hate, but that's what it's called for the Blue Ridge Eco-Gardening certificate program at the NC Arboretum. 

My message is more about what not to do, in terms of protecting pollinators and insects and other critters still overwintering....

But taking out winter annuals is always a good thing, no matter how pretty.

A Lamium in flower.  I don't want it to go to seed!

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Signs of spring

Hepatica is always a sign of spring.

My post on Places of the Spirit reflected that.
February 23, 2015 (in our Asheville garden)

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Heading back to the US

Gardening has been on my mind, as I assessed what quick-growing veggie seeds that I have in Canada currently.  I've been working on my programs for spring, too, so that's reminded me of timing, "tasks," etc.

I'm in good shape with my supply of seeds here.  I'm hopeful for excellent transplants from the local nurseries, too.

from the trail to the Pointe des Epinettes

We'll be back in late May, so timing will be important.

This summer, unlike last, we'll be able to stay through September, so there's a lot more possibility for decent-sized greens. And harvest beyond just the cherries I managed to harvest before we left in early August last year -- we have apple and pear trees, too, as well as gooseberries.

As a regular writer, posting now every day, I appreciated this sentiment, seen a year and a half ago in Vancouver, in one of Emily Carr University's building.


Thursday, February 7, 2019

The magic of longer daylength

Remarkably, the daylight here in Quebec is not that different that what it’s like in North Carolina currently.  Better actually, because it becomes lighter earlier -- we're farther east, so the sun is up a half-hour earlier; tomorrow's sunrise is 6:54 am, with sunset at 4:42, with dusk stretching close to 5:30 pm.

In Asheville, sunrise tomorrow is 7:25 am, with sunset at 6:03 pm.

All in all, I rather like the Le Bic version, actually.  Morning light is a good thing, even as I spend a bit more time sleeping here than in NC.  My body needs recovery from all of our XC-skiing, I think, and it does seem a bit dark in the evenings, although it's getting brighter every day.

At tea-time today, at Heritage St. Laurent's English language library, I mentioned this.  The young Ph.D. student from Norway totally understood -- she said it didn't get light until 10 am on her recent visit home, getting dark at 3 pm.

from the Point des Epinettes trail in Parc national du Bic

That seems about what it's like here in the winter solstice, according to the two local women who were there, practicing their English (good for them!)

I'm thankful that I wasn't here then.

The young woman from the Philippines, well, hooray for her bravery to come to Quebec, start learning French, while embracing her Quebecois wife's family.  Ditto for the young Ontario woman, who came here with her Quebecois boyfriend.  There's a lot more support for immigrants learning French -- interesting.  The young Canadian won't be eligible for free French classes until she's here for a year.

Even though I'm still uber-tired from skiing for a couple of hours every day, it's a great place to be.

We thought briefly yesterday about returning to NC ahead of a snowy period early next week.  And then thought, well, there’s actually nothing that really is driving our return, until first program commitments on March 7, and then throughout the month.

Why not just stay for awhile longer, we thought this morning?

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Quebec-grown baby bok choy

I wrote about what I think was Quebec-greenhouse-grown baby bok choy today on my sister blog, Places of the Spirit.  It was distributed by a Quebec company (but who also has growing spaces in the Dominican Republic and Mexico).

Here’s the post, for anyone interested in it.

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