1 Under this billowy spring sky, you can see that the paddock grass is becoming greener and the weeping willow trees in the distance are turning a deep shade of yellow, as they begin to leaf out.
2 This patch of violet crocus naturalizing on the lawn has put on quite a display this year - so thick and lush!
3 This section of daffodils at the far end of the long border are the earliest to bloom.
4 A few days later this sweet dwarf variety blossomed.
5 As did this daffodil with the orange center
6 Lovely contrast of texture and color
7 The weeping cherry trees are ready to pop.
8 A closeup of those blossoms
9 This white magnolia is one of my first magnolia trees to bloom.
10 A closeup of this very pretty, waxy flower
11 This snow shovel and sidewalk sand didn't get used very much at all this past winter. At this time last year, we certainly had our fill of snow and crazy weather!
12 With such mild temperatures and with so many trees and shrubs leafing out, I instructed my farm crew to begin removing the burlap protective covers. Here, Phurba and Chhewang are unveiling a standard lilac.
13 While Gyurme unscrewed the wood framing holding the burlap wind barrier from around the apple espalier grove
14 It's so nice to see all of those trees again.
15 After removing the burlap, the pieces were rolled up and tied into bundles and labeled for reuse next year.
16 All those bundles were loaded onto the truck.
17 The Gravenstein apple espalier already has so much new growth.
18 There will be blossoms before long.
19 Uncovering the terrace gardens
20 The terrace gardens look so green and healthy.
21 Uncovering the new boxwood garden on the side of the house - Those shrubs also look good.
22 Moving onto the boxwood hedge surrounding the herbaceous peony bed
23 The peonies are reaching for the sky.
24 A shot from the corner of the peony bed
25 The Hi-Lo was used to help store the rolled up burlap.
26 Chhiring organized the burlap and bamboo supports in the loft of this storage barn.
27 Uncovering the long boxwood allee would be a job for another day.
28 The beehives were moved from their sheltered winter location back near the cutting garden. All are strong and happy.
29 Warm weather also means the outdoor furniture comes out of storage for a dust off and touchups.
30 Of course, the cheerful forsythia is in full bloom!
31 Meanwhile, the coldhouse, my four-seasons vegetable garden, has had many beds cleaned out and reseeded with crops like spinach, lettuce, carrots, and beets. It was a joy using and sharing the produce grown here all winter long.
32 In the main greenhouse, Ryan has been planting vegetable and flower seeds and is now in the process of transplanting the seedlings into larger pots. Here he is filling peat pots with growing mix.
33 This is a tray of artichokes newly transplanted.
34 He also laid out the many types of eggplant that he will start from seed. I enjoy having a great variety in the garden.
35 You may recall that with the mild winter, I had the gardeners double dig the vegetable garden, flipping the soil, top to bottom, to a depth of about 18-inches. Wilmer smoothed the whole thing out by roto-tilling.
36 Ryan and I are in the process of reconfiguring the beds for this growing season, as far as the layout and what will be planted where.
37 This end of the vegetable garden is the perennial end where the asparagus rows, rhubarb, and horseradish are permanently located. Those beds have all been cleaned out nicely and I wait with great anticipation.
38 Peas are always the first things to plant outdoors. We have a nice selection edible pods and shelling peas from Johnny's Selected Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, as well as seeds from France, Germany, and Japan. Whenever I travel, I like to shop for seeds, looking for unusual varieties.
39 Because many peas are trailing plants, meaning they climb, I decided they should all be planted on the inside of the garden's fencing. Here Ryan is preparing the perimeter for the seeds.
40 Now he's making a planting hole using a narrow dibble.
41 This wooden dibble is especially handy because it's calibrated for planting depth.
42 Peas are a fairly large seed.
43 Dropping them one-by-one into the holes
44 Pisello Nano - Piccolo Provenzale - These are a shelling pea, bearing tiny, incredibly sweet peas with 6-8 peas per pod. Sounds yummy!
45 Right near the vegetable garden and the berry patch is a little grove of hazelnut trees, also known as filberts. These nuts are excellent for eating and baking. Nutella, the popular spread, is made from hazelnuts.
46 These are the long flowers of the hazelnut.
47 Hazelnut trees are very productive nut producers. You just have to beat the squirrels to them!
48 Another variety of hazelnut bearing pink flowers. They look so beautiful in the gentle wind.
49 These are raspberry canes growing on wires stretched between granite posts.
50 The raspberries are beginning to leaf out.
51 This is the nicely pruned gooseberry patch.
52 The gooseberries have lots of new growth.
53 These beautiful blossoms are on apricot trees, located right outside the greenhouse.
54 The blueberry patch beneath the blueberry pergola
55 Those, too, are bursting with growth.
56 Another great contrast of colors with the vibrant green grass beneath the glowing weeping willows
57 There are many wild turkeys in the woods. This tom had his tail feathers in full display until he saw me coming.
58 Remember the skunk cabbage from last week's blog?
59 Well, it is very quickly unfurling its leaves, which, by the way, are poisonous to all mammals.
60 Apparently, this spider isn't concerned about that.