Spring is arriving – slowly. Today I noticed birds chirping in the middle of the day for the first time this year, and the garden centers are flush with seeds and seed starting supplies. A couple of weeks ago I had planned on going out early this week and starting to prep the garden, but the ground is still too wet to make working it a productive task (after last year’s drought I am certainly not complaining about the long drenching rains that have made it too wet to work at the moment!). The first batch of seeds for this year has already been purchased – Cucumber (Marketmore), Pea (Alaska), Okra (Clemson Spineless), Watermelon (Crimson Sweet), and Pumpkin (Big Max) – so planting seems to be right around the corner, though it is still several weeks away.
The trees are starting to show some signs of spring as well, the cherries and most of the apple trees are starting to swell buds, though they are still far from opening. So far the quince trees planted last winter have yet to show any life aside from the bark looking to be still alive; alone among the fruit trees there are no buds visible on either quince. Since it is my first experience with them I am guessing that I am not looking for the right thing.
It is the unfortunate period of the shoulder season… The clearly dormant winter season has now passed, and the burst of spring growth has not yet occurred There are of course lots of things happening – the entire process of coming out of dormancy is going on everywhere we care to look – but the “big things” are still weeks away. It’s these last moments of “rest” before the active phase of the gardening year that breeds impatience, despite having a list of things which have been pushed off all winter and need to be done now anyway.