This sign at my local hardware store pretty much sums up how most of us Pacific Northwest gardeners have been feeling lately. I’ve lost count as to how many people have mentioned to me during some conversation that this has been the coldest April on record. So it should come as no surprise that as soon as the sun came out on Saturday, I was outside enjoying every minute of it. Tinkering around in my garden is bringing me some much needed tranquility after a stressful week.
This post is inspired by my blogger friend, Meg, at Grow and Resist, who periodically writes a post titled Mid-month Meanderings where she posts little updates about what’s happening around her yard. Yesterday, I spent a lot of time taking stock of the beautiful, horitcultural developments that are happening all around my property and I wanted you to see them.
I got a new high-bush blueberry plant at the farmers’ market from Cascadian Edible Landscapes (Eat Your Yard) to replace the one I planted last year that got trampled by the aforementioned dogs. These are also now protected by a chicken wire partition.
My beautiful, abundant rhubarb! I love how beautifully ornamental it looks.
And all this time I thought I couldn’t grow rhubarb. I spent years coveting the stocky rhubarb plants I’d see in other people’s yards that they’d say grew like weeds. Turns out, if you let it establish without harvesting it the first year, it comes back with a vengeance â€“ stockier than ever.
The first chive buds of the season. Lovely!
My two favorite lavender plants I added to my pollinator path survived the winter and are looking as healthy as ever!
Speaking of pollinators, I planted a ton of sunflowers, cosmos, and zinnias yesterday in hopes of having an amazing dense bed of blooms this summer. I’m experimenting with a raised bed out front â€“ I put a ton of seeds in it without paying much attention to spacing (so not like me). I’m hopeful, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Here is the revamped coop in all its glory. The extension has worked like a charm. I found Lucy dusting right by the partition while Camila sat right up next to it on the other side. I’ve been putting them in the run together for some supervised run time and things are going fine. Last night, I let the big girls go to bed while I took the freaked out, peeping chickies inside (they can sense that it’s getting dark and they should be getting to safety on higher ground). About a half hour later, when it was dark, I put one chick under each arm, walked them out to the hen house, and plopped them on their little perch, which was theirs from their bathtub days. This was genius! It’s the right size for them at the moment (they’re still a little small and awkward for the big chicken roosting bars) and it’s familiar to them. I don’t know much about chicken psychology, but I think it made them feel a little safer. I sat outside of the coop for about 15 minutes until the peeping stopped and when I checked in on them, everyone was hunkered down ready to sleep for the night.
I shot out of bed at the first sign of light and rushed out to the hen house to prevent any morning beatings. I opened up the hen house doors to find all five chickens, calm and sleepy. As the chickies began to stir and peck around the hen house floor, the adult chickens, still not quite ready to get moving, looked down and watched their new roommates. As the hens plopped down, one by one, the chickies scurried to the corner to avoid being pecked. But they didn’t get pecked. The hens paid them no mind and proceeded to walk down to the run. I’m not going to call it yet, but I think this integration business might have been a success. Fingers crossed.
It’s supposed to be even nicer today than it was yesterday. It might just be all the vitamin D talking, but I’m feeling pretty optimistic this morning. I think spring and summer are finally on their way. I can feel it!