Sensing Spring

Despite a couple snowfalls last week, springtime is starting to make subtle hints that winter will be on its way out soon.

February dusting

I’m refilling my bird feeders daily, looking out for the goldfinches who swarm them. Specks of bright yellow have begun to appear among their feathers as they switch to their flashier summer plumage. Slowly the sunny yellow will take over the drab.

Indoors, my fig trees decided that it was time to come out of dormancy.

little figs

I’ve tried growing figs for the past three years after tasting a fresh fig straight from the tree in a friend’s garden. It was a wonderful flavor and they are pretty trees. The first winter killed my figs. The second winter I wrapped the trees in burlap and put them in a protected area, but they still died back to their roots and had to put all their energy into regrowing.  This winter I brought them indoors just before the first time that temperatures dipped below 20 degrees. I’d hoped they’d remain dormant longer, but suddenly leaves emerged a couple weeks ago and now they are fruiting. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, so we shall see. I’m making it up as I go.

Meanwhile, every variety of snow crocus has now bloomed. It’s an outbreak! The yellow ones, the blue ones, the white ones, and the purple ones. They are all particularly early varieties. Other bulbs can’t be too far away from flowering now, can they?

And solitary bees are hatching indoors! I brought in a wind chime that needs to be repaired. It’s made of bamboo. For the past week or two I’ve heard odd little sounds coming from its general direction. Then there were a couple bees on the floor near it. Maybe I should install a solitary bee nest this summer.

solitary bee

And I’ve experienced my first moment of being overwhelmed by all the seeds I’ve ordered. I tried to organize them last week, strategizing which to plant when and where so everything is staged correctly to maximize the little space I have.  Looking over the four seed orders that have arrived in the past couple months plus older seed packets I still have filed away, I wondered (as I do every year) what was I thinking? How will I possibly cram all of this into my little garden? So many beautiful plants for me to plant!

The first round of seeds is now in little planting cups staying warm in my kitchen. Spring had better be here by the time they’re ready to go in the ground!

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