Spring Is Around Here Somewhere

The official start to Spring is — oh, next week, according to my calendar. March 20, to be precise. For gardeners like my husband, planting hopes spring eternal and start to ramp up the day after Christmas.

But calendars lie.

Gardeners’ hopes spring eternal. These seeds are languishing in our garage already.

Right after that purported grand debut of Spring comes Easter, a warm-sounding holiday which falls appropriately enough on April Fool’s Day this year. No doubt to remind us here in the High Sierra that only fools start thinking “planting time” is truly here by then.

It’s followed a few weeks later by Earth Day, April 22, by which time we ought to be getting warm enough to throw a few seeds in the ground, shouldn’t we? Well, that’s followed by May 3, National Day of Prayer, a helpful occasion if you’re thinking of asking a bit of Divine Intervention on those planting plans, just in case.

But today, just three short days away from the Official Spring,  is — well . . . .

Our “view” of the Valley says it all.
A grand day for reading seed catalogs and dreaming.

Grapes

Our journey into vineyard-dom began just a week ago. A dozen baby grapevines finally made it out of the greenhouse and into the soil. And boy, were they ready!

Just planted.

So were the bunny rabbits, unfortunately. Most of the lower leaves disappeared that very first night as bunny salad. A quick trip to the hardware store for rabbit fence put an end to the Chez Cottontail Deli. But losing so many tender sprouts was depressing nonetheless.

Tendrils already hanging on.

Fast-forward just one week to more encouraging news: several of the newly-planted twigs have already grown an amazing six inches and managed to wrap their tendrils neatly around the horizontal wire! One week. Go figure!

Pretty soon we’ll have grapes in earnest, as we already do in the mature arbor. Bunnies, eat your heart out.

Mature Himrod vine

High Mountain Gardening

When gardening is an addiction, no expanse of perfectly-manicured green lawn is ever large enough. Yet another reason for expanding the greenbelt:  fresh edges for new flower beds.

The organized gardener’s dream.

As you can see, projects like this call for certain must-have gardening equipment. A mini-tiller to make short work of digging trenches. A handy roll-around metal tool tray to keep those sprinkler parts organized and at waist height (no bending over). A quad, of course (doesn’t every high mountain garden need one?) with its own dump-style trailer to haul away the rocks.

How many tools does it take to add a sprinkler run?

Soon we will have yet another beautiful swath of emerald-green lawn, edged in glorious flowers.

Thank heavens for the ride-on lawnmower.