Blueberry blossom cluster
These spring days are long, but short as far as crossing off items on the daily task list. I wonder, quite frankly, if this is the reason that spring isn’t my favorite time of year. It used to be, when I lived in Minnesota. I loved–and lived for–the first loud blooms of the season: I’d take a pair of garden clippers with me when walking the dog at night to “liberate” some neighbor’s blossoms of the alley-overhanging shrubs and trees. So many unappreciated blossoms! And every morning, that pilfered bouquet would shed onto the top of the polished dining room table, clouding the finish with that pollen, those petals. Cleaning up after them was one of the only things I had to do.
And maybe that’s it: the hurry-blurry life of spring on a farm: so much happening, so much needing immediate attention, so much yet to be done. It’s an effort to slow down and appreciate how quickly the world is changing around us. Looking north from the kitchen window just this morning, I marveled at the sheer number of shades of green I could see. This view looks toward the wooded end of the property. I was slightly envious of the insects and other animals who can see more of the color spectrum than we can: all I saw was lots of lime greens and chartreuses of new deciduous leaves, new coniferous growth, new meadow. New. And very variegatedly green.
It helps to slow down and look. Soon enough, that view will melt into the dark green of summer.
I had to weep a little at that picture, El. My blueberry bushes are new in the ground this spring. I didn’t expect any blossoms, but when they showed up, I had to dutifully pinch them off. I’m told I should do the same next year as well. We’ll see how my resolve holds up. I’m pleased they’re doing well enough this year to think about fruit. I’m fighting a battle to get the pH low enough to suit them.
As for the overall message: yeah, spring’s not my favorite season either. Too busy! But one of these years it’s going to be different. I just know it!
I’m glad you took the time to enjoy the pageantry of green that is spring. You describe it beautifully. Thank you.
hi there…how have you been?
I think I am doing more of the “smelling the rose” kinda deal. I get nothing done! Absolute gardern’s ADD this year : )
Kate, you are a better woman than me! I can’t, won’t! pull off those blossoms. I know, I know. But it’s just me and those first tiny fruits, an intimate first tasting of future strawberries (or raspberries). Maybe they’d do better if I bucked up and did the right thing, but I have decided not to.
I planted some ‘marais du bois’ strawberries this spring and it’s been touch and go, but one or two are starting a flower. I will let them be.
One of the things I was thinking this weekend was just how many shades of green there are out in the world today. More than in the garden (though there are plenty there!) even just driving down the road or the highway, each kind of green thing has a slightly different tint or hue or texture. Amazing.
Your picture – my blueberry bush is not doing as well – the unusual cold snaps we’ve had lately haven’t helped I’m afraid. I had some lovely blooms, but they are long gone. On the other hand, all the while the strawberries are doing wonderfully for some reason…. should I pinch off *all* of the blooms? Or just some? Its my first time with these plants….
Kate, I tell myself that all the time too (that THIS year will be different) but what it means is that it’s just a different kind of busy! Yipes. Are you guys coffee drinkers? I have heard that the grounds will lower the pH. And I haven’t heard that you need to nip the blossoms but that does make sense. We’re quite literally surrounded by fields of blueberries so I guess that means the situation is quite right for them here, so I have never nipped my new bushes. Does this mean you have to wait 3 years, like asparagus?
Anita, why thanks. It’s just so painfully pretty, all that greenery.
WF, you’ve been distracted!! I am so sorry your gander is such a meanie. I stuck our baby in with his parents the same day he was hatched, and I really worried about him because Mama was sitting on 10 eggs (due in another week or two) and I thought the gander would be mean too. I didn’t need to worry: he’s a great dad, and boy is that baby FAT following him around all day! And then he gets tired and sleeps on Mom’s back.
Petunia, I am with you. I just got about 20 big strawberry plants (alpine and everbearing) from a friend and I do intend to harvest them this year! No delayed gratification, thanks. But raspberries? They’re pretty darned tough so I’d think you could harvest them the same year they’re planted.
MC, isn’t the greenery great? Kind of like fall but in one color only. But I really don’t know what to tell you about the pinching; I’ve got more experience with annual veggies. Maybe Kate can help us out here.
And after the dark green (my favorite color) of summer comes the riotous explosion of fall colors, then (for me) the bleak, stark, bare and COLD of winter. Shudder! I do wish I could make the seasons slow down so I could enjoy spring more. Like you, my “to-do” list never ends…in fact, I think for every one thing I cross off, I end up adding at least two or three more vital tasks that simply must be done NOW. It’s interesting that you wrote about this subject…several days ago I was thinking to myself that I needed to write in my blog about this very thing. You beat me to it! 🙂 I even took photos of my blueberry blossoms while this was on my mind. Great minds and all, ya know….
El, we’re tea drinkers actually. And tea is acidic and quite rich in tannins, which the berries love. So that’s where my leaves and bags now go. Our few bits of citrus for cocktails too. (I know. Not local or seasonal = indulgence.) Really, between the chickens, the worms and the blueberries, I hardly put anything in my designated compost box anymore!
Mango, I was told to pinch off all the blossoms on the blueberries in their second year of growth. The implication was that they wouldn’t bloom at all this year. Two of my four bushes set a few blossoms this year. So maybe now I can consider next year their *third* year, and let those blossoms go on to set fruit. We’ll see! I pinched off the blossoms really because they are quite small bushes and I want to build them up. Also, because I haven’t set up the netting that I bought to keep the birds off of them. With everything else this spring, I figured I wouldn’t get the netting up in time anyway. The netting is a project for next spring, or later this year if I’m really on top of things this fall.