Tuesday, February 28, 2012

(Not Quite) Spring Garden


Despite the fact that it snowed on Sunday, despite the fact that it's so windy and cold right now that I just walked home clutching my hat so it didn't blow away the windows are rattling in their frames, despite the fact that our birdbath is frozen over every morning when I get up, I am already so so excited about gardening. I have started a lot of seedlings in the sunroom, which is a nice cozy thing to have; it's soothing to see the little shoots growing and reminding me each day that spring is coming. But even more than the seedlings, I am excited about what my garden has done on its own, unsupervised. Things I left untended, things I forgot about, things I never knew about, are coming to life. 

I was thrilled to discover that one of my purple sprouting broccoli plants is sprouting some purple brocoli. I went into the garden to pick some kale and there it was-a tiny, tightly coiled little mass  of broccoli flowers at the top, and another, tinier one at each branch all the way down. I hadn't forgotten it exactly; I vaguely remembered planting broccoli there, but it was still such a nice little surprise. 


I really enjoyed seeing the first signs of rhubarb coming back to life, tight pink skin stretched over the packed leaves. The whole thing reminded me of a brain when I first saw it. When I poked around I saw that it has a few new crowns around it. I planted it last year and harvested a little rhubarb, but I'm hoping this year will have a more substantial harvest. 

I have also been eating some of my cabbages from last year and I can't get over how beautiful they are. They sit out in snow and rain all winter, happy to stay fresh and crisp and perfect until we are ready to eat them. I always feel good about eating fruit or vegetables that are so brilliantly coloured. It makes me feel that I am getting so much nutrition, like Popeye's with his spinach. It just feels healthier to be eating violently purple cabbage than the pale green kind.

Inside the sun room, my strawberry plants are already flowering in their hanging basket. A few peas must have left behind last fall, because they had self-seeded while the basket was sitting outside and when I looked at it there were already several pea shoots growing. It is so comfortable and cheering to see these plants quietly working away, growing, unbidden by me. I am so very excited for spring to arrive, for growing to begin in earnest. I am giddy for it. I want to get out a big straw hat and a trowel. I am so excited for muddy knees and for salad for days. I can't wait to sink my fingers into the soil. 

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