Three things I love about spring.

In honour of the sunshine, I’m cramming a whole bunch of things I’ve been thinking about lately under one heading. Things I love about spring:

1) Worms! Over the past few weeks I’ve been turning beds and planting seeds in my raised boxes and beds out back – and I am proud to note that I have a very healthy worm colony happening – indicating healthy soil! Honestly, I have never seen worms as big as some of the suckers turning up on the end of my shovel, and all the little babies in their worm pockets are an indication of a continuing trend. (Unfortunately, this also means it’s slug and snail season – this year looking particularly active).

2) Alley-snooping: This is when you get to see the real bones of people’s yards, and there is nothing better than peering through and over fences to see the new spring plans on the block. This picture is from a block and a half down and clearly indicates some nice raised-bed veggie action with trellises and seating areas. Now that’s a nice refresher! While poking around on Sunday as I headed towards the Drive, I came across a carport greenhouse, replete with a lemon tree growing actual lemons!

As much as I get inspired by reading books and looking on the Internet, it’s actual examples in my neighbourhood that show me what’s really possible in the very specific growing conditions of East Vancouver. My yard is merely a collection of ideas that come from the gardeners who surround me – and I am so grateful to live in a ‘hood that is full of such creative growers.

3) Yard planning! No matter how full the backyard gets, I have new plans each year…. and this year we’re going for the front yard as well. I made up new yard diagrams last night and present them here for info purposes in case you are making your own yard plans right now. Essentially, I make a drawing using photoshop (earlier ones were made by hand) and then print multiple copies off for writing on. That way – both B. and I can scribble all over the place while working out different ideas without worrying about it too much. This year I splurged and went with colour layouts which are also a way of helping me define how much of my yard is active carbon-sink, and how much is not (like the gazebo and the studio). I include extra blank copies in my gardening binder so that I can use them throughout the growing season to determine changes or make notes of ideas. Best thing of all? The white space in the frontyard diagram is all blank canvas….. Nothing more inspiring than seeing that warming in the morning spring sun, just waiting for us to go at it on our return from holidays.

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