Gardens are thriving at Leafhopper Farm! The spring growth is in full swing, and the first fruits of the season are already being enjoyed. Strawberries ring the herb spiral with little red sweet treats. The lavender is budding out and will soon be decked in purple splendor. Mint and lemon balm are already being enjoyed in fresh teas, while cat nip flowers to attract bumble bees.
Our Frost Peach tree is putting on many little fruits. I pulled off the smaller ones to give more energy to each peach in hopes of having the largest harvest yet later this summer. Sage, oregano, and French Parsley (Chervil) are all being trimmed for the dehydrator for the pantry. Garlic will soon be sending up scapes, the buds that would bloom if left untrimmed. Hopefully I’ll be back from travels in time to nip them off to encourage bulb growth.
Back in the herb gardens, lavender thrives with sage and wormwood. My only surviving peas are trellised up nicely. More strawberries line each bed, offering a sweet snack to anyone weeding or watering. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is soon to bloom, and I look forward to enjoying the large white umbels of this highly medicinal plant. Some of the foxglove (digitalis) has already flowered, with more still to come. The wildflower mixes are offering subtle color and diversity to the garden’s edge and I look forward to spending more time later this summer identifying the new flora.
In the front garden, hops dominate, and their trellis awaits expanding vines. The LHF Red Lettuce has begun to bolt, a natural part of it’s life-cycle after a good 2 seasons of leaf production for salads last winter into this spring. I look forward to gathering a second year of seed from this plant, as it thrives quite well in the cold frame. There should be a nice potato crop this year too, as I have again banked my three main plantings with mulch to encourage more rooting. This is the first year I’ve maintained potatoes with any real intention, and the crop looks good.
Gardening is a lot of work, but the cultivation is most rewarding. I love seeing more and more perennials establish as I develop the beds with the intention to have all the food thriving together with good spacing and excellent ground cover to prevent weeds and store water more efficiently. This front garden is in it’s third year of growth and already it has surprise us with morels, roses, an iris this year, lovely lettuces, and front porch viewing. A pair of robins are raising a clutch of 4 babes right off the deck with great success. Though we lost our honey bees, the mason’s and bumbles are thriving among flowers and trees.