Tulips and Spinach, Oh, My!

Spring keeps popping up with new colors and forms. I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to have new life exploding good cheer where we watched the magical, weeping birch tree slowly die, then decay and eventually topple over. I loved that tree and the birds that gathered on it, but this bucket of blooms fills me with gratitude every time I look outside!

The seeds I sowed outdoors on Spring Equinox are off to a very slow start. They’re cool weather crops, but we’ve had cold nights and very little sun. I feel grateful for this volunteer spinach amongst my hyacinths. I just harvested some leaves because it’s blocking a few of the late bloomers in this bed. Yumminess awaits!

Out back, the Garden Tower is fully planted with more cool weather crops — arugula, different types of lettuce, carrots, spinach and chard. Most of these are itty bitty seedlings I just transplanted from inside. I did manage to find some organic collard, lettuce and sweet pea starts at our health food store, but it’s still early for transplants. The sweet peas went into the ground in front of the clematis trellis.

David’s mowing the lawn as I type, so please excuse the extra long grass and weeds. I’m staying out of his way! One thing I love about the backyard garden is how tucked away it is. After I turned a third of an acre into an urban permaculture farm at our last place, he requested more swaths of regular yard at this one. But sometimes Crazy Plant Lady can’t help herself. We put in the corrugated bed last Fall, and this Spring I added two 20-gallon fabric pots for growing potatoes. You can see them behind the pot of day lilies just poking through the soil:

The far back bed with the white trellis currently has garlic growing in it, but I’m going to try some sweet potatoes there this Summer. That area doesn’t get the best light, but it gets scorching afternoon sun. Sweet potatoes are one of the few plants I can grow there that like it hot, hot, hot. We’ll see how it goes. With me, everything’s an experiment. Behind the trellis, you can see a pot of stinging nettles I brought from Goshen. I do love my nettles, but you definitely want to keep those contained.

To the left, you see one of the potted perennial rhubarb plants and a black lace elderberry that lost its biggest branch to something. I suspect the bunny, but it might have been an ice storm. To the right in the black grow bags, you see some lilies and lavender starting to peek out. Behind those to the right, Egyptian walking onions — a perennial onion that can take over your yard if you don’t keep up with them! I mostly put them in raised beds and containers now, as I love having free and easy food that returns year after year.

I’m afraid my “perennial” purple kale and collards that I’ve had for several years up front may have (frost)bitten the dust this year. No worries, though, I finally found a good source for sea kale seedlings! I miss those gorgeous easy care plants from my Goshen garden. The cuttings I took from there didn’t transplant well. Hopefully, I’ll have better luck this time. Sea kale is more of a cabbage, and it comes out before most other greens in Spring. It’s perennial by nature, not just a fluke. I love the dusty sage colored leaves and the beautiful white flowers that make it such an edible ornamental. As with everything, we shall see!

What are you growing this year? There are so many ways to increase beauty and food security even in a small space.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Ok, now I’m hungry.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. […] Tulips and Spinach, Oh, My! — Laura Bruno’s Blog […]

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  3. What am I “growing?”  CHILDREN!   They, like gardens, need love, attention, weeding, pruning, sunshine, and raising!  They are a lot of work but worth the joy and beauty that generally comes along with the effort. I have three and they also change like seasons.  And like your gardening, “everything’s an experiment!”

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  4. Posted by Jane Derbenwick on May 5, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Amazing amount of work you’ve done, Laura !🌺

    Liked by 1 person

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