Monday, March 27, 2017

Signs of Life

With Winter in the the past pages of the calendar, Spring can now proudly show off her inviting signs of life. Walk around the Garden Spot with me to see what returned for another year.

We will begin the tour in the vegetable garden. The Head Gardener has it all tiled and ready to plant. The pea fences have been installed where we will plant the peas--soon. The potatoes are planted in the rows next to the corral fence.

The rows have been cultivated and ditched. The watering system has been put in place, waiting for the HOA irrigation wells to be turned on April 1. The hens beg to roam free, and my photos show off the sign that Jennifer and Grant made for us for the chicken house.

The garlic planted late last fall has sprouted and grows nicely, needing water now since it has been so dry. We anxiously await rain which may show up tonight. Fingers crossed. The apricot trees are in bloom, hopefully they will avoid any killing freeze that might be in our future. Look, too, the asparagus has sprouted. It grows so quickly that I must make sure to check it every day. It seems the more I cut it, the more it grows. I like that.

I planted two clematis. The one by the chicken house on the left was planted two seasons ago and it should be really full and pretty this year. The second one went in last year, so I am thankful that it survived the winter.

Another success, the Eastern Red Bud. If you remember last year I celebrated it's return. We are learning that some of our newly planted shrubs and trees need a good drink mid winter and late winter if they are to survive, for it is not necessarily the cold temperatures that kill newly planted plant material, rather our very dry winter conditions. 

There is still a lot of brown in the garden beds and this center garden still needs its spring cleaning. I cleaned the back flower beds last week. We added more daffodils last fall. They bring a smile.

More daffodils. These were planted when the soil was so dry that it clumped into big clods, making us worry that either the daffodil bulbs wouldn't be covered enough to live and sprout or the rabbits would find them or both. But no: 100% success.

These photo show the extreme conditions under which the bulbs were planted last year.

Really, who can resist such beauty?

The arrival of the daffodils indicate other signs of life emerging in late March. It seems that perhaps some of these plants are early, but maybe it is just me. 

I have one final note; I'd like to share a heart warming story that demonstrates the courage, capabilities, and fortitude of one young woman whom I love and admire, Sheyanne. If you have followed me over the years, you may vaguely remember me writing about Shey. She came to live with us in the fall of 2009, the year that we moved here to the Garden Spot. She was enrolled at the University of Northern Colorado and lived with us while she did her undergraduate work at UNC, where she majored in English. There were obstacles in her life that could have curtailed her college career, challenges that others might not have overcome. But Shey is strong and determined and she persevered. An only child of a single mom, Shey left the security of her home and family to come over from the Western Slope to the Front Range to begin a new life. She had a campus job as a work study and worked most of her undergraduate years at a Walmart pharmacy. She took a detour one year when she transferred to the University of Wyoming. That year she lost her mother to cancer. She returned to her quiet room in our basement and continued on, sad and lonely for her mother. We celebrated when she finally graduated with her BA in English and cheered her on with her decision to go to graduate school. At the very last minute before classes were to begin she was accepted and received a position as a teaching assistant. 

Last week with great pride and honor, I attended her presentation and defense of her English Master's thesis project and waited with her afterwords as the faculty decided whether or not to accept her project. And they did. Graduation will be May 5th and the Head Gardener and I will join her family  to cheer her on as her Masters in English will be conferred . Her grandmother and I are life long friends, seriously since before birth. So Congratulation, Shey. We are so very honored to be part of your journey.

Today she works as a substitute teacher for a local school district, tutors at the local community college, and serves as the director of ballet for a non-profit dance group. The world is hers. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. I have not been keeping up very well with the blog. I am spending a lot of time on the dollhouse. I should update that blog to share my progress. Enjoy spring and I'll be looking for your signs of life.


  1. I sure wish our property looked neat and cleaned up like yours - this is all ahead of me. First on the list will be to pick up after our dog - ugh. It's exciting to see growth poking through the soil and my garlic is sprouting too.
    A proud moment for Sheyanne, it's a long and hard road to achieve a Master's degree - both our daughters are on the same journey. Our oldest has had her thesis approved and the youngest in her first year.
    It felt like spring today and we have rain in the forecast this week and part of next.
    Have a good week Ann.

  2. So good to see you post, Ann. The fruits of your planting efforts are definitely sprouting! I used to have a little was so time consuming to get to the weeds, thin plants and then I harvested more than I could use. I'm sad. I wish I could raised beds, I know I wouldn't have this invasive sort of weed that led me to give it all up. I have no one to make them so I've given up the idea. Container planting is for me. The watering is never-ending even although I use plastic.

    Your story of Sheyanne is beautiful. I thought at first you had taken in a foreign exchange student. Still not sure how it came about, but I am so in awe of her drive and accomplishments, and you and your family for your generosity.



  3. My goodness you've been busy out in your garden, I'm very impressed by the straight rows just waiting for the water to be turned on. Love the Rasmussen's Roost sign on the hen house.
    Sheyanne's story is heartwarming and your part in her journey so far has been wonderful, thank you for telling us about her. I wish her all the very best for the future.

  4. Hello Ann, your property and spring growth is looking great. Love the daffies. Is Rasmussen the name of one of your chickens? The Shey story is lovely, she is a hard working girl. She will do well! Thanks for sharing, I wish her all the best. Enjoy your day and the week ahead!

  5. Hello Ann
    I really enjoyed reading about the preparation for your Spring/Summer garden!
    Our climate in New Zealand is much milder - in the North where I live we don't even get snow!
    The soil looks well tilled and ready for planting.
    What a bonus having room for chooks. I had a stray for a few years when the children were young. We backed on to a farm and she 'found' us!
    We called her Henrietta and she very kindly gave us an egg a day!
    Congratulations to Sheyanne! Reading between the lines I'm sure you attributed to her success in academia so well done both of you!

  6. What wonderful mentors you have been for Shey, and obviously, your advice and guidance really STUCK. Best of luck to her!