Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Signs of Spring...(until it hits 22 degrees F later...)

This weekend was pleasant and I saw the sign (it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign!) of spring:

The bleeding heart plants are starting to emerge!

Gorgeous, mauve tinged things.  (Usually I don't like mauve, like my bathroom for example which came that way, but when in nature, it's quite tolerable, even nice).

Last year my bleeding hearts were massive, so perhaps I will divide them in one of my few shady spots.  Their atypical flowers/petals make them one of the few flowers I really admire.  I have lilies of the valley planted near them for a couple of years, but apparently those needed dry shade and I may have rotted them.  Fan of bell shaped droopy/head nodding flowers too.  No idea why, just got a thing for them.  This was earlier on in my quest to fill up my shady area (under some permanent landscaping bush/trees) with groundcover rather than the weeds that seemed to proliferate there.

Strawberry begonia, aka Mother of Thousands or another million names this plant can be given has been an excellent solution as was the addition of Creeping Jenny and shade sedum, but I think the begonia got hungry and swallowed those up a bit.  How to curb her appetite... probably just continual redistribution to other spots in the non-edible garden areas that I don't want to mulch!  (The leaves naturally die down and will "mulch itself," making me a happy gardener and I can focus more on the good stuff.)

 Speaking of groundcovers, the chickweed has taken over! Run! Or do as the Aussies do.  Just eat it.
I finally got around to making that chickweed chimichurri that I've been talking about and in addition, as I was going all Japanese I made a chickweed/tatsoi mustard/siberian kale chirashi salad.  Lots of chickweed that night.  I found it to be excellent and I felt healthy for sure afterwards:

Unless I am vigilant about yanking up the chickweed (more so inside the garden beds than outside them) the chickweed is allowed to go crazy and I've become ZEN with it.  Plus it's a pot herb I don't have to take care of that thrives perfectly fine on its own without any input on my end.  Sometimes I wish I was a goat and could just nosh right down on my lush bed of chickweed.  Instead I feel the need to wash it and pull off the little brown leaves that aren't so fresh.  Darn standards :)

In other news, garden cleanup still in progress prior to doing any outdoor exposed seed sowing.  The compost bin hasn't been turned in months and doesn't close w/o the aid of a heavy brick and one corner is popping open.  The compost/non-composted material has sunk though, and I can just say that the popped open corner is more ventilation?  The lack of compost breakdown can be said to be, uh, slow or cold composting?  Lots of beneficial microorganisms are staying alive in there!

Until then, just waiting for these gray skies to turn sunny and blue for an extended period.