Spring gardens are slow to wake. Day by day, they brighten a bit more. Blooms begin. Foliage fills in. Then one morning, you step outside and find the world transformed by life.
This morning — a blustery, cold one set against the backdrop of a bright sun — it feels as if the garden has gotten out of bed. Everything has the quality of a painting begun and of the beautiful creation it will eventually become.
The spring garden is tiptoeing into the kitchen to get a cup of compost tea without waking up the still slumbering summer loving plants. This is the time when it’s easiest to see the raw beauty and potential in garden.
Spikes of garlic, first leaves of horseradish, fall started dead nettle, and nearly invisible seedlings add pops of pointillist green to a landscape still held in the thrall of winter. And you know it’s just a matter of time before presently tidy paths will be overtaken by plant abundance.
Trees are brushed with delicate flowers. Some are leafing. The late-starters are forming those cottony white nodes along the skin that offer proof of life after winter dormancy.
Today the garden canvas is prepared and penciled in with the contours and structure to support the color and complexity to come.
Nature has just picked up the brush and is slowing revealing its true creative power using its palette of perennial and previously started plants.
Nature, of course, also has creative ideas and often inserts recommended plants to fill areas that need more vitality and attention. Sometimes I conscientiously accept nature’s offerings. Other times, I take that as my cue to address those deficiencies in our garden to keep down the weeds.
The Garden Journal
There are many ways to document the evolution and history of your landscape. I keep my records in a written journal supported by photo histories. The above photos were taken to help me keep track of my potager (ornamental kitchen garden) on April 22, 2022.
This area started as a row market garden. However, over the last few years, I’ve been transitioning it into an ornamental, edible landscape garden with lots of perennial foods, herbs, spices, and flowers plus some decorative natives like inkberry, aronia, and a newly planted weeping redbud. I’ve got some row and raised bed vegetables mixed in. I also finally got all the local granite gravel paths and new arches in place and painted the coop and gate.
I’ll be documenting other areas of my landscape in future posts and updating these periodically to show the seasonal changes. Make sure to subscribe to get notifications when new posts go up!
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