A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

The Garden: Winter Surprises

A rather magical part of our new home is that it was clearly once a well kept, well loved place with nurtured gardens. The overgrown brambles and fallen trees add some to the mystique as spring bulbs nod through. Grape hyacinth lines a path along the creek, and new clusters of its thin leaves promise more to come.

I had seen a small patch of this bulb above emerging in January and wondered if it might be irises or lilies. On this trip, more than 100 square feet of the angular green leaves lined the top edge of the creek bank, and a neighbor gave me the exciting news that they are all tiger lilies– thousands of them!

Daffodils opened on both sides of the driveway at the end of the bridge, one cluster beside a budding rhododendron and another shrouded in weeds and brambles. I spent an hour cutting out the latter group, pushing the blackberries back to the slope toward the creek. In their wake, I discovered many more lilies, more daffodils, lamb’s ear, and other plants just appearing.

In addition to the delightful surprise of long-forgotten bulbs, I was thrilled to see my own small garden taking shape as the garlic and shallots continued to push through the mulch.

While the spring will be a time of transition and continued trips up as the move stretches out over months of packing and hauling, and as the weeks in which I’d like to be starting seed and planting peas pass,  I’m satisfied to know that already a garden is thriving at our new home.

Similar posts
  • Three Months On The Homestead With autumn peeking around the corner of September, with my daughter’s second birthday days away, with cool afternoons finally settling in, we’re looking back on our first three months here. Life is feeling lush, productive, and happy. The guestroom bed is covered with jars– canned blackberry jam, blueberry jam, applesauce, preserved lemons. The kitchen table [...]
  • Lessons From a First-Year Garden This year has reportedly been a tough one for many. I remind myself that we’ve only been living on our new property for two-and-a-half months. Planting was late; spring prep was minimal. The land was raw and clayey. Oh, and I’m gardening with a toddler. All of those excuses aside, our garden has not been [...]
  • Anticipation of Fall In the midst of summer, under July heat and between berry-picking and trips to the lake, my mind always begins to move to fall. On chilly mornings, or when a breeze picks up and thrashes the plants out front, I feel it coming, though its arrival is still months off yet. It’s always been at this [...]
  • Summertime Summer is not my favorite season by any stretch, yet in spite of unprecedented weeks of heat here in the Pacific Northwest, this summer has been filled with charm and simple luxuries. The creek is at what neighbors say is a record low for this time of year, and I believe it. But it still offers [...]
  • The Incredible Benefits of Mulch When we began our incremental move back in December, we had a few days each visit to accomplish what we could. My number-one priority was gathering leaves from beneath the maple trees to mulch an area for the garden. My husband and I raked 10 heaping trailer loads and spread an 8-inch layer over 1,800 [...]

Welcome!

I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

Follow Along

Never miss a post! Receive updates by email.

Popular Posts