Garden notes, March 25

It’s garden season again! Finally! By which I mean, the highs are still in the low 50s, but it’s not raining *all* day every day. Since we’re up on a ridge, we’re a little behind the lowlands. The roses are just starting to leaf out, and I saw the first cherry blossoms just beginning to pop open today. I think the plum tree in back is starting to bloom, and the grape hyacinths under the one blueberry bush are edging into bloom too. After yesterday’s epic trip to Furney’s and last week’s fantastic edible berry lecture at same, it was high time to do a little planting. (I don’t carry my dSLR while gardening because I’d like to keep it not-filthy, so these photos are shining examples of the limitations of the Galaxy S7’s camera. Once everything’s all pretty, I’ll take some higher-quality shots.)

Transplanted one of the rosemary bushes elsewhere and filled that pot with ranunculus and saxifraga ‘Purple Robe.’ Cleaned out last year’s decaying snapdragons from the front two pots and planted ranunculus in the wooden planter between the creeping thymes. Got rid of last year’s leaves and whatnot from the strawberries and discovered several strawberry babies growing IN the cracks of the deck. You can see them in the photo. I can’t get them out without destroying them, so run free, little plants. (The terra cotta thingies in the pots are “as seen on TV” slow-release watering things the previous homeowners left behind. I think they’re supposed to have an adapter so you can stick an upside-down water bottle on top, but I just dump water in the terra cotta. Not that I need to right now, given that it rained three times while I was gardening today.)

Ranunculus are beautiful. How have I never planted these before? They’re like a cross between a rose and a carnation. Lesson learned, though: The stems are really fragile. I accidentally snapped one off while planting, so it’s now in a vase.

Have I mentioned how in love I am with the ranunculus? Also planted some beautiful saxifrage here (the ‘Purple Robe’).

More new ranunculus, in the pot with the chives we inherited and do not actually like and more strawberries (all the strawberries are inherited as well). These strawberries are sad and tiny and bore like two fruit last year; not enough sun, probably. Maybe I should move the whole pot.

Not expecting rosemary to survive, since it never did for me in Virginia, I bought two last year and now we have two enormous plants. This one’s looking pretty shabby now, though. Maybe I should prune it back, or move it into the ground? I’ll have to research. The sage grew really nicely till late summer last year, then keeled over and died. Turned out it was only a flesh wound, as one teeny little branch survived the winter. I cut the rest off and we’ll see what happens.

This is a weird shot, so it’s hard to tell the scale, but this planter is the same side as the other wooden one in this album. The irises and primroses were inherited from the previous owners, along with an annoying population of milkweeds that keep. taking. over. this planter and driving me nuts. Ripped out the remains of last year’s offenders and this year’s early growth. Was going to plant something in the bare space, but when I dug down I found more iris shoots, so I left it alone.

Finished up today’s efforts with ripping out a hundred stupid little runner-y weeds and replanting the rosemary. After I rip out two thousand more stupid little runner-y weeds I’m going to plant strawberries at left and basil at right, and see how it all goes. This is such a weird little spot. At some point many years ago, someone must have put a grill or something here, because under a couple inches of soil there’s a layer of mixed lava rock and random gravel. It’s annoying to dig through, though not as annoying as the almost solid web of inch-thick tree roots under the rocky layer. Since there are no trees near this other than the little blue spruce, I got nothin’, but planting here always involves negotiating to get enough space between the roots for whatever I’m trying to plant. Which is what nixed my idea to put a thorn-free rose here, because even with a shovel I’m not strong enough to chop through roots and I’ve got other places to rose it up anyhow. (The pink flags are to hopefully prevent the mulchers from covering up last year’s pansies, which are coming up again nicely. Right now the property looks like the world’s weirdest flower garden because there are neon pink flags everywhere. The wrinkly black thing is a flexible hose, bought because the water spigot nearby is too low to the deck for a regular hose coupling.) Edit: Duh. They’re from the tree that’s now a stump.

Hi there! I'm Lindley (she/her, pronounced LIN-lee). I create artwork that celebrates the unique beauty of bodies that fall outside conventional "beauty" standards at Body Liberation Photography. I'm also the creator of Body Liberation Stock, which provides body-positive stock photos for commercial use, and the Body Love Shop, a curated central resource for body-friendly artwork and products. Find all my work at