Spring is the best, isn’t it?
At least in the cold north it is! The world goes from brown, cold, and dead to full of life, freshness, and movement! It almost seems like magic is happening before my eyes, and I cherish every second of it.
Our first spring on the homestead was unique because we got to be surprised and delighted as things started to come up, and we got to see just what was all planted here.
Our second spring on the homestead was all about change: claiming back some of the yard that had been taken over by the woods, and referencing the photos we took the previous year in order to move perennials around and start shaping the land how we wanted it. We also added a ton of new plants and edibles (here’s a list of the edible perennials we have growing!).
This year is number three on the homestead, and I am enjoying it more than ever! Watching all my precious plants come back to life feels like getting together with old friends. I’ve been known to come running through the front door shouting things like, “the peonies have poked through!” and “the mulberries are blossoming!”
Here is a look at some of the things I’ve been enjoying this week!
It’s probably not significant to most people, but to us the dandelions popping up are a big relief because it means that we can worry a lot less about our honey bees. These are one of the first nectar sources for them, and as long as we don’t get a terribly cold freeze again, it should be smooth-sailing! PSA: Embrace the “weeds” and put away that herbicide, because every dandelion you don’t spray is a meal for a hungry honey bee!
I may have squealed with delight when I saw this coming up! I loved it so much I planted 6 of these Variegated Mint plants last summer… but by fall the variegation had faded and they were nearly all green. I thought they would come back as regular green mint, but much to my surprise they came back beautiful and variegated again! And they spread, as mint likes to do… so now my patch has quadrupled in size. I have this planted in some rocks by the coop, and sometimes the chickens will walk through it, filling the air with the smell of mint! I got my Variegated Mint at a local nursery, but you can find it online here!
Fall Gold Raspberries
Speaking of plants-gone-wild… our first spring on the homestead we planted two measly Fall Gold Raspberry plants (delicious, sweet, and very juicy!). The spring following that, those two plants spread and transformed into about a dozen plants. Well, now this year those dozen have multiplied exponentially again and we have a real raspberry conundrum. Seriously, they’ve taken over. And I’m perfectly happy with that! Fall Gold Raspberries are available online here.
I just adore chives– they are some of the first pops of green to come back in spring. Plus they are the first real edible plant we have here, so I start putting them on everything! Being able to walk outside and pick fresh herbs for dinner again gets me all kinds of excited for the season to come! My favorite garlic chive seeds are available here.
Another had-to-have find at one of my favorite greenhouses last year, I planted several plants in hopes that these Golden Oregano plants would spread and be a living, edible mulch and ground cover for an area by the back porch. The golden lime green color is gorgeous, and I am so happy to see these plants coming back- it appears they have each at least tripled in size! Find Golden Oregano plants here!
Another plant that I can’t get enough of, the Violets seem to be one of the first to say hello to the warmer weather. The leaves are almost heart-shaped and will hang around all summer long and into fall. These Violets line the entire sidewalk to our house, and I love how they overhang and spill on to the cement. We put Violets on salad, and I always dry a lot to have on hand for using as natural sprinkles! Tons of different colors and varieties of Violets are available here!
Happy spring, from our homestead to yours!
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