Most garden centres and farmers’ markets have been closed for a while this spring, though the garden centres are opening now and farmers are making their seedlings and early veggies available via delivery or pickup orders.
Meanwhile, without access to others’ efforts, I’ve been enjoying gardening the old-fashioned way: planting my own seeds (including ones I’ve saved from past seasons’ crops) and spending more time working on my composting and other soil enrichment. We’ve had some nice warm days, in the high teens and even low-twenties Celsius, but a lot of frosty nights. However, last night the temperature only dropped to 7 C., so I moved my seedlings out of the house and into the mini-greenhouse (which I can bring inside on frosty nights) to harden off.
When I dug the finished compost out of the bottom of the composter the other day, I had to laugh at all the bits of eggshells. Hubby has been sneaking them into the composter, on the theory that they’re good for the soil. Well, they do add calcium, and I’m told they help prevent blossom end rot on tomatoes, peppers, and squash, and discourage slugs and snails. So all good—except he’s been sticking them the composter without crushing them, and consequently my compost looks more like a shell midden than garden soil. Ah well, I remember how well the wild strawberries grew in the sandy beach soil on the shores of Haida Gwaii, soil which was richly mixed with aeons worth of seashells. So maybe this will be a good thing for my garden soil after all.
My mom would have loved to see my little garden, I’m sure. And both my grand-dads, too. I am grateful to have had family who taught me to garden—even if I wasn’t very fond of weeding and digging and canning and such when I was young! My mom passed away on April 23, 2008 (12 years and 2 days ago)–and on that day, in the early morning, the last snowflakes of that late spring floated down—bits of downy, angel-wing feathers, I like to think. And the beginning of an eternal gardening season for her, perhaps, as she joined family gardeners who had gone on before.
Spring has sprung!
Another week has passed, and even though we’ve had night-time temperatures as low as -6C, daytime temperatures in the single digits C, April showers, and … yes, even some snow yesterday! … spring is still springing. A week ago I took some plants from indoors to the greenhouse, thinking night-time freezes were finished. Wishful thinking, I’m afraid. Despite that, the plants are doing well–and the temperature in the greenhouse today got up to 30C (check out that thermometer!) though it was only 7C outside. The smell in the greenhouse was lovely … warm, moist soil and fresh new plants. The garden plants are doing well, too–wild strawberries, chives, green onions, rhubarb, and more. Flowers and bushes … and early fruit blossoms … are in bloom around our complex, too!
Then off for another solitary walk through the neighbourhood oxbows. As usual, I didn’t meet a soul during my trek … at least not humans … but lots of flying creatures (check out the ducks taking off from the pond and the robin looking for worms), beautiful skyscapes (including the man in the moon peering down), and, of course, plants springing forth to welcome the spring! When I was just about home, a man came out of his house and demanded, in a cranky voice, what I was taking pictures of. “Spring!” I announced joyfully … and a smile broke out on his face. “Yes, it is!” he agreed.
Is Spring springing? Well, take a look at these photos, and tell me what you think!
The last set of photos I posted were taken March 15–the beginning of Spring Break here in Penticton. Since then we had a lot of beautiful sunny days, clear blue skies, daytime temperatures around 7 or 8 C. and night time as low as -6 C. In the past few days the clouds have moved in … and temperatures have risen as high as 14 C in the daytime and usually – 1 or -2 C at night — except for last night when the temperature only dropped to +3 C! That must mean spring is springing, right? So how does that explain the weather predictions for tonight for heavy snow in all the highway passes (but rain here in the valley)? Oh right, it still is March for a few more days … and you know what they say about March weather: “Comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” … Hmm… A bit more “lamb” would be nice, don’t you think?
The photos in this slide show have been taken over the past few days, and it does look kind of hopeful that spring is springing 🙂 Check them out 🙂
It’s been a long while since I’ve walked around my neighbourhood and our Okanagan River Oxbows to snap some Penticton Pedestrian photos. But it’s the beginning of Spring Break, the sun is shining gloriously, it’s warmed up to 3 C (that’s 37 F for you folks south of the border), and despite Covid19 social distancing, it’s still okay to get out and enjoy nature. Lots of snow still up on the hilltops and a forecast of -7 C (19 F) tonight–but still, plenty of signs of spring popping up here and there 🙂
Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day happened to land on the same date this year–and I’m thinking that momentous event totally messed up Spring! How else could it be that here in Penticton in the sunny South Okanagan, four days later, the weather forecast reads “rain showers or wet flurries.” Come on! It’s April! Easter has come and gone! This isn’t Alberta, after all 🙂 Check it out:
Even the sky can’t make up its mind…cloudy or clear?
Though the sun does peek through occasionally
And snow piles are finally melting away…
Well, at least the ice has melted off the oxbows … and the turtles have come out of hibernation and are hopefully trying to catch a few rays….
The urban deer are looking chipper, too — and I see they’re mighty pleased to be able to nibble at the fresh green tulips … and have even left a few buds behind to let us humans enjoy the flowers when they finally get around to blooming!
A few brave souls figure that if they get outside and pretend it’s Spring, the weatherman might take the hint and send some truly Spring-like weather along.
Oh! Check it out! Lots of flowers! It must be spring after all! Or is it?
Ohhhhh… someone has just been to the nursery …
And so sad … beautiful plastic flowers!
But wait! Maybe spring is springing after all! Looks like Mother Nature isn’t going to let Mr. April Fool get away with his tricks altogether …
Yes! Spring has sprung!
April 13, 2012
It must be true that March showers – and April ones too, oh dear – bring April flowers!
March 24, 2012
March 23 seemed like spring had truly arrived … the next day, March 24, not quite so much. The sun was trying half-heartedly to peek through a high-overcast sky, and Old Man Winter kept puffing out swirls of chilly breeze. Still, at least it wasn’t raining, hailing, sleeting (like a lot of March before and after), so we went up to Munson Mountain, where the famous “Penticton” sign overlooks Okanagan Lake. The view from the lookout is pretty spectacular, even on a greyish day, as these shots demonstrate. Afterwards, we went for a walk on Skaha Lake beach. Although few folks were out, those that were had spring in their hearts! Yummm…. marshmallow roast!
March 23, 2012
The old saying tells us that “March comes in like a lion and goes out with a lamb.” Well… This spring in Penticton, it’s pretty much been like a lion all month. However, we’ve had a couple beautiful very-early-spring-like days – and joyfully for the kids, one of them was during spring break. In fact, it was such an amazingly beautiful day, that it seemed like everyone in the city was out enjoying it.