Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring has Sprung. Now ... what should I do first?

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Monday was the first day of spring. YAY!!

Okay, the winter wasn't that bad. (And they threatened us with the worst.) But spring bring with it places that are "seasonal" or are just seasonal to me.

I spend a lot of my summer at our family's summer cottage. I use it as a writing retreat. Usually it's just Fred (my Tuxedo) and me writing up a storm. I can see the bay from my office window. If the weather cooperates, I may be able to go on my first retreat as early as the end of April.

But spring means we can also go to come of our "summer" haunts.  The Halloway House reopens for the season  It's a historic old restaurant that cooks good, old-fashioned food. In fact, you can have Thanksgiving dinner whenever you want it. (We haven't tried that yet. for a set price, you get the whole shebang with enough food to feed six people. What a bargain.) And they make good drinks, too.  Every customer gets Sally Lunn bread (a cross between bread and cake) and orange sweet rolls. OMG -- I can't wait until it reopens (in 3 weeks) so that we can go there and enjoy it once again.

I'm really looking forward to getting out in the garden and attacking my rose bushes.  I bought a new bush last fall and asked the buy at the garden store when I should prune what I've already got. He said in the spring. That's kind of open-ened. I mean, spring is technically now, and runs through most of June. What part of spring?

The other day, I spent way too many hours watching gardening videos on Youtube.  I have never really pruned my old-fashioned rosebush and it's totally out of control. I got the answer to my big question above when  one guy said not to prune until the forsythia blooms--so that's my timeline. I've got pruning shears and loppers and when the time is right, I'm going to go to town. I saw at least 6 pruning videos, so I think I'm ready.

I also watched a bunch of videos on African violets, and learned I've been doing just about everything wrong. Oddly enough, I haven't killed any of mine. (I had 3 and inherited my mothers, so I've now got 6 or 8.). You're not supposed to get the leaves wet or they'll go brown.  Oops!  No wonder I have little brown spots on some of my leaves. In future, you can bet I'll be more careful when I water  them. The one my Mum had at the hospice home bloomed for 20 months straight. It's taking a break now, but I gave it a little fertilizer and hope I can coax it to bloom again soon.

I'm not sure if I'm going to try to grow veggies again. It's so labor intensive and we have a market two miles down the road that sells local produce really cheap, and all I have to do is wash it. No weeding, no watering, no critters stealing my crops and breaking my heart. Yup. I think I'm going to give up growing veggies.

So, what does spring have you hankering to do or go?