Garden work this month has been all about closing one phase of the yearly cycle, and opening another: harvesting the last winter crops, and preparing the soil for the coming warm season. It's great to be out there digging in the dirt again! Here's some of what I got up to:
- During the waning moon (I chose the right time more by accident than design!), I pruned the grapevines, olive trees, peach tree, perennials and herbs. It was a drastic pruning, as many of the trees and bushes had really suffered from the hard frosts. We only lost one plant over this harsh winter, our broom bush, which was a little sad, since it was the first plant I planted when we moved here, and had grown huge with beautiful bright-yellow flowers that signalled the arrival of Spring . . . but I would have been sad if any other plant had died too, because each tree and plant we've seen grow and gotten to know has become like an old friend, woven into our family history.
- I hoed, hoed, and hoed some more (once again trying not to feel too envious of fellow gardeners with rototillers, by telling myself that they're "spewing carcinogenic diesel fuel over their crops and soil," and not saving their backs - though I'm not entirely sure I convinced myself).
- I dug up, divided and replanted the unruly strawberry plants that had exploded and expanded in the last year couple of years and taken over the best spot in the garden, where I plan to grow zucchini this spring.
While I was preparing my garden for the new season, someone was working hard alongside me, giving her dolly a bath and a new fresh look for spring.