Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Planting Underway

I've spent a few afternoons working outdoors this past week and a half. Today I planted 225 WallaWalla onion plants, a half dozen Viola tricolors, sowed two varieties each of snap and snow peas. Already planted are broccoli, lettuces, parsley and spinach seeds which haven't come up yet. Indoors are a dozen or so more vegetables in various stages of germination and growth.

I also sprinkled raw flax seeds in one of the garden beds. I had read in Sally Roth's book Backyard Bird Secrets for Every Season that she does this to provide nesting material to the birds. I do know that flax yields long fibers used to make linen fabric. It is also used to make paper. (I have purchased raw flax fiber and have cooked, beat and turned it into paper.) What I did not know was that birds like to weave it into their nests, along with the fibers from butterfly weed (another great fiber for papermaking, and which I had just gathered and stored away the day before I read Sally's note in the book!) So Sally writes that she buys raw flax seed at the grocery store (sold in the baking or cereal/grains aisle), sows it outdoors where some of it is eaten by the the birds, but most of it sprouts and grows. I decided to give it a try. Not only will the pretty blue flowers  be attractive to my eye, swaying in the breeze, but will attract native pollinators and butterflies to the garden as well. Hopefully more than enough of these seeds will sprout and grow producing usable fiber for the birds to build their nests and for me to turn into paper as well. I will keep you posted on the progress of this.

Still to do: 
- transplant the newly sprouted hollyhocks from the perennial border into the Hortus Conclusus before they
   are discovered by the deer.
- divide the bearded irises and move them to their new bed
- sow carrot, beet and turnip seeds
- mulch perennial border
- rake out and mulch beds around the house

I doubt I will get all of that done this week because there is art "work" to do as well. This and next month will be filled with much activity and I hope to get here to post regularly about it.  Let me know what gardening pursuits you are up to!

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