So Long Spring!
A lot has happened since my last post – lots of it good and some of it a bit more challenging! Of course the weather has been one of the challenges – with frost forecast late in May and even into June, we held off planting all but our perennials and a few of our hardy annuals until we felt it was safe. Combined with many hot, dry and windy days, the conditions definitely slowed our transplanting.
The other major challenge came at the end of May. We were headed to the farm to finally get the irrigation running and from the highway we saw black smoke rising from the vicinity of our land. As we approached, it became clear it was coming from our farm. We watched huge billows of black smoke rising, sure it was the barn, but it turned out to be the trees near our dugout. The fire department was soon on the scene, and along with many very kind neighbours working for hours the fire was mostly extinguished. But there were many scary moments!
We lost close to three acres of trees and hundreds of feet of irrigation hose, but feel very lucky. Our gardens, shelterbelts, and barn were unharmed. We spent days dealing with the aftermath, though, and got even further behind in our planting. We are so lucky to have dear friends and family that came out the next weekend to lend a hand – cutting scorched trees and helping us plant some of the thousands of seedlings still to get in the ground. We are so grateful for the kindness and generosity of neighbours, friends and family.
Now on to the happier news! One of the most exciting things to happen this spring is that we got our hoophouse built and filled with plants. We got finished about a month later than we’d planned but it looks great and we hope will help extend some flowers into fall as well as allow us to start earlier next spring.
Our tulips, large alliums, and daffodils are mostly done but some of our other spring perennials are flowering now (like catmint and lady’s mantle). And it looks like we will get quite a few peonies this year! I am amazed at the resilience of many of our perennial plants and shrubs after an extremely cold winter with little snow cover and spring moisture. Anything that can survive our conditions deserves respect.
And we finally got a soaking rain this last weekend! I hope that all who needed this rain got it – it has been an extremely dry spring with no more that a trace of precipitation at our farm. With almost everything now in the ground the timing of this rain is perfect for us and I’m sure we won’t recognize the gardens in a week or two.