The garden is slowly defrosting. The gate is no longer blocked by drifts, for starters.
The potato beds, which were buried a few weeks ago, are now bare. This photo was taken February 15:
...and this a couple days ago:
One of the boxes holding grapes has weeds that will need to come out -- but it also has dozens of tiny thyme plants growing, seeded from the herb tire right next to it.
The thyme tire (no photo, sorry) is one of my older ones from several years ago, back when I was still figuring out the concept of tire gardening and foolishly put the tires on bare ground -- which meant, of course, weeds grew right up through them. We transported the tires full of herbs to a new spot, which kept the weeds intact. The weeds are easy enough to pull, but not the grasses, and over the last couple years the grasses have started chocking out the thyme. I'm going to empty the tire, fill it with fresh soil, transplant the baby thyme plants and start over.
The baby orchard is nearly free of snow.
Only about a week ago, there were huge drifts nearly burying them.
Now this is all that's left:
The young fruit trees look healthy and eager to bud. Here's a peach:
And here's an apple:
Not everything is snow-free, however. This quarter of the garden is still fairly buried.
Many of the Brussels sprouts I planted last year (and which got infested with aphids) have overwintered very well, and will produce seeds if I let them. I'll let one plant go to seed and pull the rest.
Most of the herbs did fine, but I suspect the rosemary didn't make it. (Shucks. I have to accept that rosemary doesn't overwinter very well.)
Here's oregano, which would seed itself across the entire garden if I let it:
Here's spearmint. It started as one tiny plant I bought at the local hardware store and is diligently spreading through the whole tire, which I'm encouraging. The nice thing about gardening in tires is I can plant spreading herbs such as mints and not have to worry about it infesting other parts of the garden.
Here's sage, which is the toughest herb I've ever seen. It handles winters beautifully.
The blueberry tires are free of snow, and the young plants are budding profusely. We might even get some fruit this year.
You can see the dramatic advantage of using tires in a snowy northern climate. The soil heats up and melts off the surrounding snow much faster.
So, while it's clearly too early to do anything in the garden at the moment, it's high time I get Brussels sprouts and cayenne peppers planted indoors. I'll probably get a jumpstart on broccoli as well. Spring! Glorious spring!