Spring Weekend

Rufus in the flower garden

spring_weekend-2 spring_weekend-3 spring_weekend-4 spring_weekend-5 spring_weekend-6 spring_weekend-7 spring_weekend-8 spring_weekend-9 spring_weekend-10While the calendar told us of Spring’s official arrival nearly a month ago, this weekend was, for us, the first full spring weekend.  We’ve had beautiful warm days already, but this weekend was time for outside cleaning up and pea planting.  So that’s what we did.

Sophie helped me get the peas in.  The garden area is in a rather sad state this year, as we didn’t plant anything last year and I had to abandon my garden regrading project early on last year when I wrenched my neck out of place somehow.  But the part I needed for the peas was cleaned and cleared and ready for planting.  So, 4 rows of Sugar Snaps went in.

I’m not a Very Good Gardener, but I am a Very Enthusiastic Gardener.  I tend to plant more than I should and than we get far too busy and the weeds take over and I leave the harvest for too long. But every year I determine to do better.  I’ve used straw mulch to help reduce the weeds the last few years I gardened, and it certainly did help, though my neighbor told me it was an invitation for rodents to nest.  I haven’t decided what I’ll be using this year, but as the planting this weekend was done at the same time as leaf clearing out of the flower beds, an abundance of leaves was placed at the end of my rows.  It isn’t pretty, but surely it will do the job.  I’m also going to try very hard to keep a garden journal this year.  I always think I’ll remember what I’ve planted and when, but I never do.  My journal writing history is bleak.  I’m very good at starting one, but the enthusiasm ends and discipline of daily writing soon leaves, and I am left with many partially filled notebooks.

A few weeks ago I checked on my bees, and they were doing well and had plenty of food stores.  About a week ago I looked at the hive but didn’t open it and was rather concerned at the lack of bees around the hive on what was a very sunny and rather warm-ish day.  I opened my hive this weekend and my fears were confirmed.  My hive was dead.  It looks like they died from a lack of ventilation within the hive, something I had been warned about. There is a balance between keeping the bees warm over the winter months and allowing ventilation so moisture escapes.  It appears that this novice erred on the side of a too tightly protected hive.  Perhaps I should have removed more of the winter covering earlier, but we still had many very cold days, so I didn’t think it was time.   The bright side is that now I have several frames of honey for us to enjoy.  I just need to figure out how to extract it.  As it’s too late to order more bees for the year, we’ll enjoy the honey and start over next year.

We also had our first outdoor fire of the season.  I do love the way everyone gathers around the fire.  Zach’s job is Chief Fire Builder and Tender.  He excels at his work.