April flew by this year and everything seems to be growing along quite well. I took a turn through the garden and my currant shrubs are just covered with berries. This is their second year in my garden and last year I didn’t get a single berry. I remember one bush in particular started getting overrun with ants in the early summer. I am hoping that won’t repeat this year.

Speaking of ants though, I noticed my autumn olive tree has several crawling all over it. Is this damaging, or will they just take residence and leave the health of the tree alone? I never had much beef with ants, but when they infest something it can get really yucky. They got to the swiss chard late in the summer last year – they were cultivating aphids. It grossed me out so much I just pulled them all out of the vegetable beds and chucked them. We were pretty sick of eating swiss chard by that time anyways.

Fava beans are trucking along, which is encouraging. I have never grown these before so I hope there is enough cool weather left in the season for them to produce some beans. If not, I have a few seeds left that I can plant over the winter instead.

Say goodbye to buying lettuce! We are doing very well on that front. I am growing three varieties of leaf lettuce, plus arugula (rocket), spinach and collards. That would make a fun little spring salad mix on it’s own. My lettuce made it through the summer last year without bolting, so I will be lucky to repeat that again this year. We just need to keep on picking it, even sharing it with the girls, to ensure it keeps growing and producing.

Last fall I planted eight million bulbs, which have been a joy to see pop up this spring. The daffodils have surrendered their delicate blooms for this year, and the tulips are starting to reach full maturity. But these alliums have me peeking out the window each morning with building anticipation. I absolutely love this huge purple, round blossoms and can’t wait to have some of my very own in my little plot.

Our trees are all woken. The persimmon and pears are leafing out. Even the fig tree has one little leaf opening up. I can’t believe we are rolling into May. I plan to spend more time plugging seeds in the ground and adding a new herb spiral to the front yard. So much to do and such short weekends…

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Written by Renee Wilkinson