Spring is coming! And I have verifiable proof, thanks to this picture I just took of buds on the maple tree.
All of this spring-like behavior means we need to get serious about figuring out where the flower beds are going this year. Last year was like our starter year - we moved in January, and then slowly moved IN over the next several months, all while figuring out how to care for the farm on our own, and that meant the planting beds fell pretty far down the list. Our efforts at figuring out my dad's multiple old mowers and their idiosyncrasies led Clark to make the very apt observation that we were like missionaries who had just been dropped in Africa. Well intentioned but surviving mainly by the grace of God.
This year, though, we're figuring out the flower beds. I should admit here that my dreams of reviving the giant vegetable garden are going to have to wait one more year. No doubt we'll still grow tomatoes and a few other easy things - it would just be crazy not to grow tomatoes. But for the heavy lifting on the vegetable side I just signed up for a CSA from Flying Cloud Farm. Support local farmers, feel virtuous, avoid weeding giant vegetable garden? For this year I'll take it.
When we grew flowers for market we had two main fields - one in the main yard, and one up at the barn. Both worked well since they had ready sources of water - we used the lake and a pump in the yard, and I've got a giant water container under the downspout at the barn. Also both are flat to sort-of flat, which is the most you can hope for in these mountains.
But this year, since we're not growing for production, I don't need full fields of flowers. More just happy beds that let us grown our favorite varieties. I'm thinking the best spot is going to end up being what used to be my larkspur and day lily beds - possibly extending it to a long zig-zag series of beds. In my ideal world we're going to turn these into fancy raised beds - both because this particular spot doesn't drain all that well, and also because it might help keep the dogs out of them.
I'll report back on our progress - growing is a process, and one that's more fun when it's shared with friends. And speaking of friends - if you've got any tips/tricks/questions/commiserations on your growing process I'd love to hear from you. xoxo