A Vernal Celebration

Photo by Mehmet Kürşat Değer on Unsplash

Well we made it through another SF Bay Area winter. The late winter storms finally blessed us with a decent volume of moisture. It is warm out again. The sun hasn’t forgotten us. Everywhere little new leaves and teeny-tiny fruits are emerging from their winter homes inside branches and stems and bulbs and corms. It is a time for vernal celebration.

Here at Wild Willow we are enjoying the abundance of our spring garden – two types of radishes, arugula galore, colorful leaf lettuces and stalwart kale flashing bright purple stems. The first snow peas are almost big enough to devour. We thought the beets were going to bite the dust but they rallied after all.

My back is very pleased with our new raised veggie boxes. They aren’t anything fancy. Just hand-me-down redwood and good potting soil. But they are so productive. Since we have never seen any gophers, moles or voles around here we didn’t even bother with gopher wire. I guess it is possible we may regret that some day. For now, it is a joy to witness the edible abundance they hold. Read about my five favorite salad and cooking greens.

I’m already thinking ahead to our next wave of late spring veggies. It is too early in my opinion for hot season crops such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. There is enough time to sneak in another quick set of radishes, leaf lettuce and maybe even some more small beets.

I walk around the garden and note the 1-inch baby fig leaves. They look like minuscule green hands waving “Hello Sonoma.” I’m sure they have a good year ahead of them. Deep rich burgundy leaves are busting out of the dwarf Japanese maple. My new All-in-One almond tree inside the front courtyard hosts six fuzzy almonds. Who wouldn’t be excited about that? And the Asian pear and peach trees are loaded with pea-size balls. It seems a miracle that these hard spheres will grow into soft, delectable fruit. I can’t wait!

As always, the spring flowers entertain me greatly. I especially treasure the rich scent and the deep indigo of our native Ceanothus blossoms. I was crazy enough to sew ultra-prolific California poppies into my front yard a few years back. I am so in love with their shockingly orange blooms. Having a sad day? Look a California poppy in the face. You’ll be smiling soon. Click here to read and see my favorites!

I have spied ladybugs creeping about the foliage. Dark bumble bees hover among the ceanothus flowers. Even a few butterflies drift about. A pair of mourning doves are building a nest in the Southern magnolia tree. They a careful in choosing just the right stem or twig for their avian cradle.

I am grateful for all the great small pleasures my garden gives me. I hope you are celebrating this beautiful spring as well.

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