While I Was Out

The past two days were just too beautiful to do anything but go for long walks in the sunshine on Plum Island:

I don't think it's possible to overstate what an incredible gift this week has been. I guess if you live below the Mason Dixon line it might be hard to understand, but an 80-degree day in March in northeastern Massachusetts is nothing short of miraculous.

Anyway, while I was dipping my toes in the ocean with my kids, stuff happened while I wasn't really looking, including the following:

Our granite steps finally arrived! We never got around to ordering them when we finished all the bricks, but now that they are in place, it looks like they've always been there. Kirk muscled them into position while I was at the beach, so that was a doubly nice surprise.  

Along with the delivery of our back steps came another giant pile of dirt from Landscaper's Depot. This is another mixture of half loam and half compost, and we need it to fill the remaining quadrant of raised beds. This is not as much as before, and hopefully we will continue to have decent weather so we can pick away at moving it into the beds. I will definitely be glad when the earthworks are finished.

Broccoli and cabbage seedlings are catching some warm breezes in the open window. This will ever-so-gently introduce them to the hardening off process that we have to start in earnest next week so that they will be ready to plant outside in April. Also, I'm pretty sure they are noticeably bigger every day.

Tomatillos finally sprouted! They look great despite my impatience (and my mild concern about the age of the seeds). I'm sure the warm weather helped these sun-lovers open up. As of today, one even has its adult leaves coming through already.

The tree peony is budding out. It looks like an alien life form.

The heirloom apple (whatever part had those first buds, anyway — not the whole tree, which has four different varieties grafted to it) has leafed out, and flower buds are waiting to open (the dark pink part at the tips). I must say, this makes me nervous, because no other apples in sight are this far along.

The apricot tree has gone a step further and has blossomed outright. This might not end well for the fruit, but it is very pretty, and it smells divine.

Last but not least, several daffodils have opened up. These are supposedly Fortissimo, and therefore should be yellow with orange centers. In the blazing afternoon sun, they don't look that way in the photo at all. Truth be told, in real life they aren't very orange. They are more like a dark golden yellow in the center with regular yellow on the outside. While this photo washes them out, I am mildly disappointed that they aren't more orange, but I do like them. I think I'd like just about any daffodil, though. This picture does give a bit of an idea of the color theme I was trying for: yellow and orange(ish) contrasting with the blue. 

So as you can see, a lot of gardening happens while you aren't looking, and there's a whole lot that happens out of your control. That's sometimes heartbreaking (as might be the case with our eager-to-blossom fruit trees, if and when we have freezing temps at night), but it can be really great, too. It's nice to know that not every inch of this enormous undertaking requires work. We can stand back and enjoy letting a lot of it just happen the way it's meant to.


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