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.

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).

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.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Captcha be gone

You'll be happy to know I've turned off "word verification" for comments. Honestly, I didn't even know it was on or I would have turned it off sooner. It's cruel and unusual punishment and I won't subject my readers to it. If you have a blog, I encourage you to turn it off as well. I'll moderate each comment to keep the spammers away.

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

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Winter harvest

Hi! I'm still here, still gardening, just crazy busy. Here's a peek at what I harvested this weekend.
Winter 2012 harvest
What do we have here? Packman broccoli side shoots (the heads eaten last week), Sugar Snap peas (producing like a BOSS), Bloomsdale spinach (leaves few and far between) and three lettuces: Garnet Rose, Red Oakleaf and Baby Romaine. More soon!

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