I can’t tell you how many people I have heard gushing about the amazingly sunny spring we are enjoying in Portland… How much they love being outside again… How it’s so overdue after a gray winter… Meanwhile, I’m the curmudgeon wishing for showers in the forecast!

Arugula flowers make a nice spicy addition to a salad

Arugula flowers make a nice spicy addition to a salad

It has turned out to be one of the driest Oregon springs in state history, which is bad news on a few fronts. Less rainfall means increased reliance on irrigating crops and unpredictable harvests for farmers. It might also mean increased wildfires, low stream water levels effecting fish populations and general drought conditions this summer.

Flowering alliums developing seeds

Flowering alliums developing seeds

As a gardener, I am already feeling the effects of the dry spell. My arugula has bolted, making tasty flowers for salad toppings but the leaves are now far too bitter to eat. The celery has already gone to seed, turning the stalks tough and bitter. My gorgeous flowering alliums that light up the garden with their purple globes are already making seed pods and fading.

Spring veggie bed: kale, beets and celery

Spring veggie bed: kale, beets and celery

All the spring veggies at this point need to be pulled out, becoming chicken feed. I’m not ready to say goodbye to them all – beets, chard, onions, and salad greens. My summer starts are waiting in the wings to replace them – tomatoes, peppers, squash, beans and more heat-tolerant greens.

Perhaps it’s equal parts dry weather and my unwillingness to move onto the next season already. Spring just passed me by in a blink this year!

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