The garden is not completely planted -- there are still a lot of staples I have to get into the ground, including corn, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. -- but here's an update on spring happenings:
In late April, the pear tree was chock-full of blossoms.
Now we can see tiny pears forming behind the blossom ends.
The cherry bushes we planted three years ago are thriving. This year, for the first time, they exploded with blossoms.
Minute cherries, about 1/4 inch across:
In late April, Younger Daughter and I weeded the pea beds...
...and got four rows of peas planted.
They're now poking up. I'll get them trellised shortly.
Inside the garden expansion, on the other side of the pond from where we planted the orchard, was an unused strip of ground.
Don rototilled this area, over and over.
We plan to heavily amend the soil with compost and some sand, and try planting corn there this year. As the development of our tire garden abundantly illustrates, we've had limited success planting directly in the ground in years past, so this will be an experiment.
Of the cayenne peppers I planted indoors in February, it was past time to get them planted. Some were even forming flowers.
I hardened them off thoroughly over a period of a couple of weeks...
...and cleared three beds for them.
A few days ago I transplanted them into the garden. I planted about 58 (give or take) and still had about a dozen left over, so I gave them to a neighbor.
Rather to my surprise (since I always expect plants to die on me, black thumb that I have), they are surviving so far.
The older blueberry bushes are heavy with blossoms.
The younger blueberries we planted last year are also blossoming in modest amounts. They're all healthy, but they're also just getting started, so I don't expect a lot out of them for a couple more years.
We've seen a few pests hanging around. I have a feeling it's going to be a heavy yellow jacket year.
The raspberries are lush and full...
...with thousands of buds about to blossom.
The strawberries are absolutely exploding with blossoms, thousands of them. These are some of the June-bearers:
This is one of our ever-bearing strawberry beds (we have two):
This is one of my surviving pineberry plants. I planted two tires' worth of these hybrids in March, but unfortunately I neglected them during a dry spell, and many of them didn't grow. My bad. My hope is the eight surviving plants (four per tire) will spread out and multiply over the next couple of years. (Black thumb, I tell ya.)
The Brussels sprouts I planted a couple weeks ago are doing wonderfully. I lost a few, of course, but the majority are thriving.
I had three that looked like they died, but they have small new growth, so I'm hopeful.
I'm using a variety of tools to clear tires of weeds and prep them for incoming transplants or seeds.
This is a winter wren, a tiny bird with a huge and beautiful voice.
Now that the pond is entirely enclosed, Lydia (who is not a water dog) likes to explore the edge.
She doesn't like to swim, but she does like to pretend she can catch frogs.
I have three beds of potato onions, all growing well.
These are red grapes (I have to look up the exact variety), temporarily potted until we can get tires and a trellis set up. These are a new venture for us. I chose this particular variety because it's supposed to be suitable for three purposes: fresh eating, juicing, and even wine.
Some of our second-year carrots. These overwintered and will go to seed this year.
At this stage they look like these huge freaky mutant things. I've never watched carrots go to seed before, so this will be interesting.
I planted some red bell peppers in the house a few days ago.
This is just a grocery-story pepper. In the past I've planted seeds like this and they've grown beautifully, but so far nothing has come up. We'll see what happens.
Today I planted eight each of cantaloupe and watermelon (no pix, sorry). I also planted broccoli...
I also got the basil in the ground, the plants I started from seed in late March.
The basil will share a tire with some lettuce that keeps reseeding itself from year to year.
We're making progress in the garden. It's slow, as always, but we're moving forward.