A Suburban Spring

The ol’ quote says, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.  I’m feeling that way about spring, and it’s refreshing arrival! After a long winter of cold temps that started here six months ago, I can’t wait to smell warm, dark, earth, and dig in the garden under the sun.  It’s a time in New England when the earth “wakes up”.  (Although with chilly, below-normal temps for April, I’m thinkin’ Mother Nature’s overslept)!  Not to worry…there’s plenty of signs of spring, so if it hasn’t arrived for you yet, it can’t be too far away!

Hooray for Spring!  Join me in celebrating the Earth!

Earth Day falls on April 22nd this year.  What started as a grass-roots idea is now an international event. There’s Earth Day celebrations, including one in my hometown, all concentrating on taking care of the planet and that good ol’ Farmgirl slogan of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”!  I became more aware of Earth Day the first year I joined the Farmgirl Sisterhood, and do things to honor it at home, as well.  I remember well the “Keep America Beautiful” public service announcements of the 1970’s. They featured the actor, “Iron Eyes Cody”, shedding a tear over litter and pollution, with the slogan, “People start pollution.  People can stop pollution”.  As a child, I got to meet “Iron Eyes Cody” at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.   My dad marched me up to shake Cody’s  hand.  Looking like he just stepped out of the television, I was awestruck by the towering man in his Native American clothing, who bent down on one knee to be eye to eye with me.  His commercials first aired on the second Earth Day.  Litter on the ground upsets me, too.  My daughter and I will take a walk and pick up litter in our neighborhood.  (We always wear disposable gloves and use caution before handling any suspicious-looking, liquid-filled bottles).

We’ve had a couple days with warm temperatures to tease us, and New Englanders took advantage – cleaning up and getting out!

Our neighborhood ice cream shop opened up for the season. We grabbed a cone on our first warm day , before chilly temps came back. Spring is here now if only Mother Nature would get the memo!

I got my raised beds raked out and prepared.  My daughter’s scout troop had a meeting at my house where I shared with the girls how to plant organic and heirloom seeds indoors in recycled containers, which the troop will be demonstrating on Earth Day.  Snow peas and lettuceare easy plants for kids to plant.  My snow peas have now gone into the ground, and the rest of my seedlings are doing well (except for a few that fell prey to a sneaky cat)!

Another fun activity to do with a child is to plant a tree.  For over twenty years, baby trees have been passed out to all the kids in our town’s schools, a practice started anonymously by a local benefactor.  I love the excitement my daughter and her friends have over their little baby trees each year!  (We have several that are still thriving, save for one that was the accidental victim of an over-zealous weed-whacker).

The garden’s first gifts are appearing, like the tiny beginnings of “Autumn Splendor”

Join me and  turn off the television, unplug, and do something “non-electric”!  My passion is knitting, especially with natural fibers.   I also love to take scraps of yarn and place them in a clean suet-cake cage for nesting birds.

We’ve heard geese honking overhead, and have seen more species of birds, deer and turkeys daily at our bird feeder.  Frogs are humming. We’ve also noticed the return of bugs and insects.  (Did you hear about the record-breaking numbers of Cicadas heading our way this summer?  I like to hear their buzzing…a sound of summer).

Spring‘s brought the return of turkeys…

and a few other creatures!

 I snapped this photo of the forsythia‘s yellow blooms against a pink sky frommy back deck. 

The first signs of green are popping up around us, and I’m looking forward to a relaxing, non-scheduled, “stay-cation” for  Spring Break!  Hope I’ve inspired you to do something special for Earth Day.Love the Earth, and it loves us back! It’s the only one we’ve got!

Cleaning out my cutting garden, I was surprised to find moss in a heart shape forming on a rcok!

I’m so glad you stopped by! Drop me a line and say hi, and share with me how you celebrate spring or honor Earth Day!

Until next time….

Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  1. Diane says:

    Hi Nicole –
    I too can’t wait for Spring and the warmer temps to arrive and stay for a while. I don’t have a green thumb, but I do have to get my yard in order. I loved your idea about the suet cage and extra yarn. I always toss mine and now I now exactly what to do with them. GREAT IDEA! Thanks for sharing that. Also, can you please tell me what those green plants are. They look like they would be great ground cover by my shrubs. Enjoy today! Temps are warming up a bit!

    Hi Diane!  I hear ya!  We’ve got way more clean up than usual due to the Superstorm Sandy and the snow that arrived last Halloween.  Our yard did not have its proper fall cleanup.

    The plant you are asking about is a great perennial, a succulent form of Sedum, "Autumn Joy", or "Stonecrop".  It looks just as pictured now, growing tall flowers that bloom in late August to November, when everything else is fading.  It’s low maintenance, and easy to divide. 

    Today was a very beautiful day, with temperatures up to 68 degrees!  Happy Spring and thank you for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Joan says:

    Hi Nicole,
    I too am waiting with great hope for Spring to come and stay a month or so, then have a nice Summer. We are in another blizzard 2nd one this week and supposed to come again over the weekend into next week. This time last year we were HOT n DRY so guess this is better than all the fires. I am very hopeful that when this is over that GREEN will pop up everywhere and I can do some planting of Autumn Joy and Stonecrop – did some reading about them this Winter and they seem to be what some of my areas need – your pictures are beautiful. God Bless

    Thanks, Joan!  Oh my – a blizzard! I just put my snow shovel away.  Last year this time, we were in a heatwave, but I do recall having snow in April at times, too.  Stay warm and I hope that warmer temps find their way to you soon!  Hugs, Nicole

  3. Heidi says:

    So glad your finally getting a little sunshine on your face. Let’s hear it for green leafy vegetables!

    Love the sun! Big hugs to you, farmgirl sister! Nicole

  4. Carol says:

    Spring is coming, but not sure when. I am still waiting for the fence to go back up around our recently expanded garden, then I will plant my snowpeas. Such a fun and easy crop.
    My older children now 30 and 31 attended the same elementary school as your daughter and their baby trees are now towering. Not knowing just how big they would grow they were planted way too close, but at least far from the house. Trees like children grow up.

    Hi Carol!  How neat to hear that your trees are still going strong and your children are in their thirties!  I will keep that in mind for sure, when we go to transplant ours.  The ones we have are still in pots.  Thanks for reading and commenting!  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  5. Meredith says:

    Hi Nicole! Even in Virginia it seems Spring is taking its sweet time! I wanted to tell you how much I love your idea of putting the yarn in the suet cage! Not only is it great for the birds but it is pretty too. Here on our farm we commonly see nests made out of tail hairs from the cows and horses, and from baling twine. This year my husband has purchased hot pink baling twine (I haven’t gotten to the bottom of that yet!) and I look forward to seeing pink nests next year!

    Hi Meredith!  I never thought about birds taking hair from the tails of cows and horses!  Love it.  I’ve been doing this a couple of years now, and it’s funny to see glimpses of yarn in nests, and what yarn the birds like best. One year we had a nest just under our deck, so we could peek between the slats and get a "bird’s eye view"!

    Happy Spring…hope it arrives soon! -Nicole

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