Tuesday, March 15, 2011

last year's garden

This time of year I crave pictures of green- of color- of leaves and flowers and vegetables. 

The most notable thing about the Twin Cities' landscape in March is the lack of color.  Gray snow, gray sky, gray streets.  The thaw is here-  highs predicted in the 40s and 50s all week.  The maple sap is flowing and the snow is melting, but it's still going to take a while before we see anything green.

So I go over last year's garden photos.  It helps with the garden planning, but mostly it's a kind of color therapy- as well as a chance to remember what being outside without a jacket feels like and to remember the smell of something other than diesel exhaust.

Here's a good one of what I think is one of the most underrated plants for Minnesota:  The Winnipeg Parks Rose.  It was developed at a research station in Manitoba and is tough to zone 2 or 3 depending on who you believe, so even the harshest Minnesota winter won't kill it.  In addition, it's not very thorny, has red-tinged foliage, and the color of the flowers will burn your retinas.  Maybe it's too garish for some, but I love it.  I'm glad I planted a bunch when I did, because they seem to have been taken off the market.  If anyone knows where they have gone, please let me know.  I ordered them bare root, I think through Jung seeds, but Jung has discontinued them. It's a shame, because these deserve to be planted more often.

Also, I mentioned Danvers carrots in a previous post.  Here's what you get when you plant Danvers in full sun, in soil amended with wheelbarrows of compost, and you weed out (by accident) the competing carrots.  This is my son holding a monster that measured over 4 inches wide at the top.  It's by far the biggest carrot I've ever grown, and I wasn't even trying.  We made a pot of carrot soup from this one alone, and even tasted pretty good.

Today, we boiled down the first of the maple sap- about a cup or maybe a cup and half of it- and ended up with about a teaspoon of syrup.  But it tasted great!  I hope that the warmer, wetter weather means we'll be getting more sap.  I see that some is leaking from the bottom of the spigot- I wonder if it's in right, and if anyone knows what the best course of action to take is, if the spile isn't fitted correctly.  Is it better to remove it and re-place it, or just leave it be?  I'm open to ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment