Yes, spring has sprung—yesterday marked the vernal equinox, when day and night are almost equal in length—but the pace of change has slowed. Sure, we have green tufts of foliage sprouting (these remind me of Patrick Mahomes’ hair), and I find more new growth at the base of last year’s stalks each day. Nevertheless, this progress feels undramatic. Many days are still cold. Most of what I see is brown. I waited all winter for March. Now it’s here and all I want is for it to be April.
What have I been doing since I last posted?
Battling rabbits, a huge part of gardening here. When I was growing up in Houston, I do not ever recall seeing a rabbit. Here, they’re an infestation. This year, instead of littering my flower beds with Irish Spring and encircling them with unsightly wire, I created this frame.
I am very pleased with the result of my little building project. I like the way they impose a little order on the chaos. I also like not worrying if the tulips are being gnawed to stubs.
Speaking of tulips, for the most part I’ve given up on them and switched to planting daffodils, which rabbits don’t care for. However, I did plant some in this pot, following Monty Don’s suggestion, and look what’s happening.
Speaking again of rabbits, once again some enterprising expectant mother rabbit burrowed a softball-sized hole at the base of this tree, planning to plant her baby there.
The same thing happened last year in the same spot. As I talked about in this post from 2022, Rabbits 101, rabbits dig shallow depressions and line them with fur from their bellies. Then they hide their babies in them.
This particular location is not good. The dog was very excited about last year’s kit, and killed it with curiosity. This year I filled the hole with dirt and surrounded it with wire fencing. Later I found this in the front yard.
What is this rabbit thinking? This is a horrible place to hide. It’s a miracle any survive.
How are my plants doing?
As planned, I drove out to Burr Oak Nature Center in Independence on March 11 to pick up my order from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery.
Many of my plants are still dormant. I may have bought boxes of dirt—but I remember last year I worried the same thing. Tiny wine-colored knobs on the base of some of the stems could be new growth. I run outside every hour or so to check on them.
The native wildflower seeds I planted in January are still out there and—big news—the Rudbeckia hirta has sprouted. I almost need a microscope to see the tiny leaves so I’ll wait to share a picture, but I’m encouraged. The rest, alas, show no signs of life yet.
I planted seeds indoors, too: violas, pansies, forget-me-nots, and lavender. Look how great they look!
Being the penny-pincher I am, I added up the price of the seeds and seed-starting mix and calculate that the cost of each plant to be thirty-one cents.
Why do I need so many plants?
Once again, I was inspired to emulate this photograph, this from a TV show.
Le voilà. Here is our new bed. We’re trying to smother the existing turf using the cardboard method. (I described this in an earlier post Dig, till, smother: How to remove sod for a new bed.)
So far all we’ve accomplished is irritating our neighbors when the cardboard blows into their yards. I have a feeling I will end up doing a lot of digging before I next post.
In the meantime, Remain in Light!