Coastal Gardening: April!

April is here, hallelujah! The garden is just starting to awaken, I saw my first hummingbird of 2021 making a visit, our bees are visiting the rosemary, and the transplanted tulip bulbs are coming up in force! While some folks go crazy shopping for clothing, or music, or books, my thing is definitely daydreaming at the nurseries. While around here there's not a great selection, in a few weeks we'll be heading to the city to pick up another nuc of honeybees and I can guarantee the back of the wagon will be packed to the gills with goodies from my favorite garden stores in P-town. Some big happies this year are the natives. The red flowering currants are kicking off their 3rd year and this is the FIRST year they've blossomed, which was a thrill as they have made up for lost time! And the foxgloves are going nuts - big thanks to my friend M who educated me that they are biennial, as I thought I'd killed 'em last year. Because I am pretty familiar with where the deer do and don't go, I 'hid' a number of the tulip bulbs when transplanting them from pots amongst the super scented deer-resistant herbs and along the front of the house where they dare not approach. Crossing fingers that the aphids don't decimate the golden currants like they have in years past, and celebrating the comeback of our camellia whose leaves wer beat up pretty badly last spring by an unknown force. And there is SO much more to look forward to that I'll be sharing shots of next month, from the many California Lilac bushes we have that are so close to bursting into bloom, to the rhododendrons and azaleas and rockroses. Along with that there are many goodies still underground, including the 25+ new gladiolas and several bags' worth of nasturtium seeds. That and temps finally nearly the 60's? Happiness :) (From top left: golden currant, yellow tulip, rosemary, camellia and red flowering currant.)

While other things have been planted in our veggie garden, they are not visible yet, so I thought I'd show off our garlic bed, which next month will also be our bean bed when I get those sown at month-end. Last year I discovered that just around the time the garlic is harvested, the beans get tall enough to warrant adding a trellis, so they are awesome companion plants (do the books say this? not sure! but it's a killer discovery...). Along with this bed, I've also got an entire bed of 5 types of potatoes planted (German Butterball, Austrian Crescent, Peruvian Sunrise, Red Pontiac, and French Classic Fingerling) which my potato-obsessed husband is pretty stoked about. After getting one too many starchy potatoes last year, I did my homework on the waxy varieties we love and the 4'x12' bed is pure waxy. I know, it's monstrous, but that's why we have a standalone freezer in our laundry room! With our decision not to butcher a pig this year, it creates MUCH more room for fruit and veggie freezing, which I'm thrilled about (not that I don't want do butcher a pig, but we are on a budget and until we raise our own piggies - hopefully in 2022 - we're just going to take advantage of buying through my husband's co-op, where he can get some great deals from the same folks we procured our last piggy from !). I've also planted our onions, carrots, parsnips (first timer!), and parsley, and have tomato and pepper starts in the hothouse a few inches tall that hopefully will turn into nice healthy starts so I can save some coin this year. Next week I'll be getting zucchini and cuke seeds sowed. Wheeeee!

And last but not least, a little visitor over by the hollyhocks that I just had to snap a picture of. I never get tired of these tiny little dudes!

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