I mentioned in one of my last posts that branches from flowering trees or shrubs can be cut, placed in water, and they'll bloom inside - it's really that easy. So I thought that rather than a picture of snow, I'd channel spring with a forced quince bloom. You can do this with forsythia, apple, plum, quince, cherry - it's such a nice tiny thing to do. They bloom in a week or two - it depends on the type of plant it's from.
You'll understand the importance of such gestures if you've been anywhere remotely close to this corner of the world over the past month or so. This is a brief summary of what you'd hear in passing:
"Snow, blah blah, snow, snow, storm, winter, snow, shovel, snow, blah blah."
March is just around the corner, and I don't know how those first snowdrops are going to fare, covered in a few feet of snow. (I don't mean to minimize the snow thing - it's a big deal. Check this out. It's not quite as bad as that locally, but you get the idea.) So I will leave it at this - we've had a lot of snow lately, and people are dreaming of spring. Or heading South.
The "blah blahs" in those conversations could easily be filled in with laments about how everyone seems to be sick with some unpleasant winter malady. In our house, we've had many doctor visits over the past few weeks for the boys and their ears. P started a new antibiotic (small cringe with a shiver of thankfulness for our great doctor and that they're available) and hopefully he'll be on the mend very soon.
Adam and I need to sit down and plan the gardens for this year and order some seeds. We'll likely order from Annapolis Seeds, and get some from our farmer's market. We'll use some leftovers we have, and buy some heritage starts locally as we did last year. I feel like we're late, but I'm planning to direct sow everything I'm responsible for. I've never had much luck starting seeds indoors. I did plant some garlic in the fall, and transplanted some of the herbs that we had at the other house. I will need some new rhubarb, definitely, and want to plant calendula (why have I never planted it before?!) We'll also have to contend with deer here, which will be a challenge, I'm sure.
I'm also dreaming of all of the beautiful new hens I'd like to add to my flock this spring. Like most things, I'll research everything voraciously and in a scattershot sort of way, then just decide at the last minute what to do. I do enjoy my brown layers - they're great producers, cute as anything, and friendly. But wouldn't some blue and green and pink eggs be lovely? We currently have 13 ladies, and I think we'll increase the flock to 24. Or maybe 30.
And the bees! I've been digging them out after every snowfall (and maybe talking to them a bit through the ventilation holes), and they're still going in there. I can't wait to open the hives up when it finally warms up in a few more months. I hope they have enough honey in there to get them through.
The countdown to spring is on!