Sometimes we have cruel (or kind: pick your poet) April showers, and dark quick storms with thunder and lightning and hail. I brought a few cherry branches inside where they have bloomed cheerfully in the kitchen to help me survive the meteorologically difficult moments.

cherry blossom bouquet

Out in the garden, I don’t know what the winter-grown cabbage plants have been reading but someone has convinced them to abandon normal cabbage behavior in favor of mass seed production, which I suppose is nice for their (apparent) goal of Earth domination (the cabbage apocalpyse) but utterly inadequate when it comes to my spring salads. These mutant cabbage plants (cell phone towers…?) are taller every day and each about to burst into some sort of bloom instead of any sort of cabbage head. (I don’t expect to like the flowers.)

very bad cabbagesNice polite lettuces have come to be quite an embarrassment to the cabbages.

good lettuces

Now we move on to a stand of onions known far and wide (from the picket fence clear to the greenhouse) as the Great Onion Forest. It includes three varieties of happy onions who aspire only to become parts of my suppers, growing there in the shadow of the perennial herb bed, which is just beyond (chives, French sorrel, chard, Greek oregano…)

onion forestYou may observe that the onions were all clipped before the Gardener planted them outside and the reason the Gardener did that is because some onion expert book-writer guy told her to and she just hopes he was right about it even though he’s been wrong before but we are not going to talk about cucumbers right now.

Next, exciting news from the Fate Department, which is where we find this report on the new accidental bean trellis.

accidental bean trellisYou may sense that, once upon a time, this bean trellis had an incarnation as a farm gate…

But that was before Mr. O drove the tractor down the lane to pick up and transport a huge length of a fallen oak tree and the tree snagged the gate as it traveled past and reconfigured it to a perfect 90 degree angle thus morphing it (the gate not the tree) into the free-standing bean trellis you see here. Add to that the fact that I bought bean seeds this year. (There are no coincidences.) (ps: the gate was not in actual use as a gate before it underwent the fortuitous transformation.)

Now. That is quite enough press, or screen, about vegetables so we will move right on to the cute little maidenhair fern clump (adiantum capillus-veneris) which was languishing last year but is smiling in its handmade tufa pot (which if it looks like a mixing bowl is because it was cast in a mixing bowl).

adiantum capillus-veneris bowlIn other news, the fruit trees are all thinking seriously of blossoms but discreetly waiting for just a bit more security, weatherwise. Only the ornamental cherry has wrecklessly, no of course I meant recklessly (with a tip of the bottle to  Kininvie), opened all flowers and I do appreciate its brave forging ahead into heaven knows what sort of next weather but of course there is no fruit at risk here.

brave or silly cherryThe native trilliums are in various stages of upness, this (Trillium ovatum) one getting the prize for earliest blooms.

Western trillium

It is simply the time of year when everything is growing like crazy and I like to wander around the gardens and see which things I planted in the fall on top of which then-dormant spring things so that now there are lots of places with two things growing together, so interesting and kind of like attending a botanical prize fight.

Oh I suppose I will rescue the astilbe from that pushy delphinium–

plant fight


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in Pacific Northwest native plants, trees, vegetable garden and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to semi-Spring

  1. kininvie says:

    So nice to see things that are actually growing instead of hunkering down out of the wind and the snow and the frost. Even if they are ferns. Tell me, is ‘wrecklessly’ an Americanism or a typo? Whichever, I like it. I shall adopt it for plants that bloom early but remain unscathed. I also like the blanda….they are doing well. Now, where’s my hummingbird picture?

    • kininvie says:

      PS Those cabbages….too much fertility. Rip them out and re-sow. They’ll go bitter the minute they flower (I could draw a human analogy here, but I won’t)

      • linniew says:

        PS You will be pleased to know that I’ve already seeded more cabbage plants in the greenhouse. Too much fertility? I guess that seems reasonable. (Your parenthetical remark is pregnant with meaning.)

    • linniew says:

      Oh Kininvie, you are welcome to put my spelling errors to good use. (No one else could do it half so well.) “Wreckless” is kind of a cute word with all that meaning. As to hummingbirds, I considered putting rum in the birdbath to slow them down for photos but really I think that isn’t the best idea so I’ll keep thinking.

  2. I’m laughing at Kininvie’s comment.

    Nice bean trellis. Just my style–rescued and re-purposed. Everything looks great and you’re so right. Every day, I notice something new in the garden and what I noticed yesterday is twice the size today.

    I’m curious why you have the netting/wire over the lettuce seedlings. I’ve got two large panels of wire mounted to a square 2×4. My son asked me if I wanted them and I said okay but I don’t have a clue what they’re for or how I’ll use them. Are you using them to keep the slugs off your lettuce?

    • linniew says:

      Hi Gracie

      The netting keeps the lettuce from running away.

      Also, in the past, a deer has occasionally overcome our keep-out-deer measures and devoured the lettuce patch.

  3. A very characterful garden. One worries for the cherry but I expect it makes your heart sing none the less.

  4. Kudos to Mr. O for creating the new bean trellis even if it was a happy accident. I could use one of the same and am half tempted to run the Subaru through the cattle panel to see if I get similar results. At the very least I’d have an excuse for a new fence.

    I’ve gone my entire life without ever entertaining the notion of world domination by cabbage. What the hell else are you growing out your way anyhow? And, more importantly, if this does come to pass, will we all be slawed?

    • linniew says:

      Oh Roberta you made me laugh so much with this comment. Good luck with the Subaru/cattle panel plan. I rolled a Volvo once but all I got was a dented up car.

      Of course it is high time you thought about the cabbage threat. And of course we will be slawed. (HBO is working on a Cabbage Apocalypse series. It was on Facebook.) Our only hope is cabbage worms, big ones. Or chickens. So you (and Kininvie) are set, just let ’em at the cabbage. Personally I’m into big sharp knives. (The best slaw defense is slaw offense.)

  5. Alberto says:

    Thank God you mentioned the fence wasn’t in use before Mr. O took it away… I had already pictured some pissed off pigs wandering over your onions and salads…
    As for the cabbages I guess there is some kind of alien radio communication going on and they’re using cabbages like antennas… My Brussels sprouts are transmitting something too, instead of producing actual sprouts. I now wonder whether my artichokes will have a retina display and a wider range of ring tones….

  6. b-a-g says:

    Are you sure its not fate to keep a dairy cow in your garden ?

  7. bridget says:

    Those cabbage flowers will be much loved by bees and other garden visitors. Lovin the Trilliums.
    Bridget x.

  8. Rachelle says:

    You have found my gardening voice! I would demand you give it back, but you are making such good use of it, I’ll allow you to continue using it; especially as you garden in a neater zone than I. This make me a tad forlorn. My gardener’s voice and you seem to be having such a rollickingly good time. Sorry to hear you did not find any gold digging your pine garden bed. Perhaps you could make use of gold flowers instead or teach those pines to sing a pirate shantie or if that proves too difficult, stake any trees using pirate knots. Use your best judgment.

    • linniew says:

      Hi Rachelle!
      Glad we use the same language, gardenarily speaking. The gold I seek has nothing to do with pirates, more to do with pioneers, but I do love pirates (I had a parrot once, really I did) and I used to dream of going to sea until I saw that movie, The Perfect Storm– it scared me. But I would like very much to learn about knots. I make knots, but no two are the same, like snowflakes only there is a practicality issue I think. (I am never certain about practicality issues.)

  9. mulishandcompany says:

    The husband seems to think that I am the Grand Master of Knots – probably because we tied one 15 years ago and how that all come to pass is still a mystery to him. I chalk it up to taking a keen interest in macrame in the 70s. The trick is to approach knot tying without a shred of doubt. It’s all a matter of confidence and if the thing comes apart I use an expression that can only mean one thing: utter disbelief.

    • linniew says:

      Confidence is so important. But macrame leading to matrimony is still remarkable. I hated the idea of (re)marriage so I guess it follows that I suck at knots. Still I waltz up to those arbors, twine in hand, and tie away like I’m just home from two years before the mast.

  10. Alistair says:

    Linnie, I see that even the cabbage is multi storey in the USA. I am impressed with the bean trellis and guess it looks even better when the beans are growing.

    • linniew says:

      I have hesitated to immediately take the action recommended by Kininvie, just to see what happens next with the elevated cabbages, and they do continue to entallate (get taller) but also they taper and seem to have in mind a tiny little flowery ornament at the top. Then I will kill them. The bean trellis is rather like using an chainsaw to slice cucumbers, and I may perhaps possibly cover just a bit of its overstated mass with a climbing rose or etc. –but I know I can count on you Alistair to not breath a word of that plan to Mr O!

  11. Katie says:

    Hi Linnie!
    Your cabbages seem to have communicated the plan to their relatives to the South. There was a mass bolting here this week as well. Collards were involved too, and broccoli, and brussels sprouts.

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