The Propagator casts his net, capturing the silvery, leaping imaginations of gardeners far and wide.
1. Willows awaken. Imagine my delight when a recent review of the willow sticks lodged in mud early this winter began to show signs of life. Few things could appear more miraculous to me. And I envision previously bare, raw looking banks torn by each new flood sheltered by their guardians – willow, red twig dogwood, and Douglas spirea alike, their branches and roots capturing organic matter (and the odd bit of discarded clothing or broken plastic toy), gradually reclaiming lost ground.
2. Early forage. Having rather belatedly become aware of the importance of early food sources for bees and other pollinators, I am keeping an eye out this spring for what’s on offer in the garden. Several bulbs, including muscara and hyacinth, violets, and the lovely sulphur yellow flowers of my otherwise unsuccessful broccoli raab. This latter appears to be quite popular with an assortment of small pollinators. Tree-wise, there’s some sort of plum, whose cloud of flowers is stunning and its fruit not worth eating and quince.
3. Reconfigured soaker hoses. Last year’s soaker hose arrangement failed to provide adequate coverage, necessitating frequent supplementary watering with the hose. This year, armed with another length of hose and fittings, I am determined to deliver water to each plant in my perennial beds. So far, I have managed 2 of the smaller beds fairly well, with only a narrow strip of groundcovers left out. This weekend shall see me completing the task, though I remain apprehensive that: (1) my supply of hose will be exhausted before the full area is covered, (2) the water pressure will be inadequate in some of the farther branches of hose, and (3) I will continue to struggle to trust my system and be drive by anxiety to frequent, redundant waterings, thereby undermining the whole purpose of installing soaker hoses in the first place (i.e., water conservation and labor saving).
4. Multiplying goldenrod. I was thrilled to discover that my goldenrod, which graced the garden with long lasting wands of brightest yellow beloved by pollinators, has not only survived the winter but multiplied! Now, I fully realize that this is far from astonishing given goldenrod’s reputation as a “weedy” and “thuggish” denizen of the garden, but I am as delighted by the multiplication as I would be if this were the most delicate and persnickity of plants.
5. Newly emerging restio shoots. Another exciting development. After weathering its transplant mid-summer, followed by an occasional hard frost this winter, the Giant Cape Restio is producing new shoots.
6. Fence cleared. So, this past weekend saw me swinging a crow bar with violent abandon to demolish the last of the rotten patchwork posing as a fence that obscured the view of the stream from the back garden as well as a ramshackle sort of coop or hutch marring the side of the barn. Furthermore, the mountain of uprooted vinca that formerly cloaked this area was finally binned. I confess I had been avoiding this task, feeling as I did that more than enough time had already been sacrificed to the eradication of this interloper. But when I observed the vinca sprouting hopeful new growth atop the tarp, my ire fueled previously unthinkable exertions.