Monday, February 27, 2012

An early spring

Spring has snuck up on me. It's still February, but we've had a warm winter and lots of rain. The garden has exploded in delight. I planted potatoes and onions today (too late -- as usual), then went around and took photos. Here's some random shots from the goings-on in my garden.

Here are the crazy snap peas. I got these planted on time in October, and it shows. They've outgrown the four-foot-tall tomato cages and are draping down to the ground. Yes, the vines are at least eight feet long, and covered in peas.
Snap peas out of control

We've had fresh snap peas for dinner at least once a week for the past month. So sweet!
Snap peas

There's nothing left of the broccoli but stems, leaves and side shoots. I didn't catch this head soon enough and it went to seed. I like its pretty yellow flowers.
Broccoli in bloom

I'm growing kohlrabi for the first time. This is a gorgeous organic purple kohlrabi from Peaceful Valley. The seeds came in a Seattle Garden Bloggers' Fling swag bag. I'm planning to eat the bulb raw, like jicama, and saute the greens. This one's just about ready to eat.
Kohlrabi

A peek inside the pop-up greenhouse reveals a seven-foot lime tree, fully recovered from last year's freezes, covered in blossoms, bees and baby limes.
Bee on lime tree

The blossoms smell so good. The greenhouse is filled with a jasmine-like fragrance.
Lime blossoms

This is how warm it's been -- the crazy cosmos are already coming up. Cardboard and compost have successfully kept them out of the veggie beds where they lived last year, but the ones outside the bed frame are allowed to stay (for now).
Cosmos

The 'Erlicheer' daffodils are in bloom. None of my other bulbs have bloomed - no crocus, no irises, no muscari, no freesia, no alliums, no hardy tulips, no lilies! Guess it's too warm for the cold weather bulbs and too cool for the warm weather bulbs.
'Erlicheer' daffodil

And look! My baby Texas mountain laurel is blooming for the first time. The blossoms smell like purple Pixy-Stix candy or grape Kool-Aid.
Baby Texas mountain laurel

The aroma takes me straight back to my childhood in south Houston, waiting for the snow cone man on the corner of Glenwyck Drive and Regency. I can still remember the combined scent of coconut-flavored snow cone syrup, truck exhaust and Texas mountain laurel blossoms. Funny what sticks with you decades later.

Next up -- roses in bloom (I tell ya, the groundhog was wrong, dead wrong), and more on the snap peas! In the meantime, I'd love to hear about what's blooming early in your garden.

Words and photos © 2009-2012 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

12 comments:

  1. You really are having a great spring show and yes I had broccoli flowers too. They are attractive. I'm really glad that you planted the kohlrabi seeds. What a success. Mine are still languishing in the packet. Maybe next year.

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    1. Just put the seeds in the fridge and plant them next year!

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  2. Scents do bring back memories. We always hope they're happy ones.
    Love that lime tree. Beautiful blossoms and those tiny limes. How cool!

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    1. There are some scents that bring back unpleasant memories, but thankfully no garden-related ones.

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  3. I can practically smell the citrus blossoms. They're one of my favorite fragrances. The bees just love those creamy white flowers, don't they?! Your kohlrabi looks good. I haven't ventured into kohlrabi territory yet. I dipped my toes into Tatsoi land and I wasn't disappointed. Well, except that they have recently bolted. That tatsoi likes it cold! Your garden looks wonderful. Good work, gardener!

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    1. Thanks, Roberta. I had fair success with Tatsoi two years ago -- need to try it again. I thought the bees would be all over the broccoli flowers but they prefer the limes.

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  4. I've heard several people talking about how wonderful the snow peas are this year. Yours look great. Wouldn't you know I didn't plant any? Oh well, there's always next year.

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    1. Yes, there's always next year! October and again in January...

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  5. Lucky lady with snow peas for dinner so frequently! This spring has started so early. I'm hopeful that everything that has started growing won't get nipped by a March frost. The tropical sage are nearly blooming and the columbine should be by tomorrow. It seems early...I need to check my blog posts from last year to see when they started blooming. A lemon tree that has been in the garage all winter, tucked away in a dark corner, is covered in blooms! Yippee!

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    1. I'll trade you limes for lemons, Cat! No blooms on my yellow columbine yet, and my beloved blue columbine appears to have faded away in summer's drought, no sign of it at all.

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  6. I didn't plant a fall garden this year because of the drought. Or rather, I did plant a fall garden, but it was entirely onion and garlic because I never water them...or very rarely (and haven't done so since I planted everything)

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    1. I considered not planting a fall garden too, but I couldn't help myself. Thank goodness for the rain. I planted garlic on time but my onions too late. Oh well, the worst that can happen is abject crop failure!

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