I’m speaking about Mother Nature and Spring, although with good weather I’m catching up a bit as well. Just a few days ago, we were 3 weeks behind “normal” and suddenly it feels like summer has arrived! Things are changing at breakneck speed. The daffodils opened by the dozens. There are many varieties in the gardens. The “earlies” are already finished, and the “mids” are fading, so now it is the “lates” turn to shine. Of this group my favorites are “British Gamble” which began blooming 4/21/18 (4/2/17); Congress 4/25/18 (4/7/17) and Kedron (left) opened 4/24/18 (4/6/16, 4/6/17!) The first hyacinth appeared 4/25/18 (4/9/17) but it’s already gone. Finally, there are hellebores here and there in the Fairy Garden. I think I need to move them to a spot that gets sunlight earlier in the year. And the first tulip opened, “Apricot Beauty” 4/21/18 (4/9/17) to be quickly joined so that all of them are in color at once. Not exactly according to plan, but I’ll take it. The strawberries, gooseberries, white lilac and pear tree that just began flowering yesterday (May 3) bloomed April 15 last year, but at this point I’m delighted to just have any decent weather! As you can see above, the potager’s rows are becoming apparent, especially those baby radish seedlings emerging above. Last year the first radish was HARVESTED 4/26, so that won’t be happening this year. However, those Royal Burgundy beans I gambled on by planting mid-April are springing to life! We’ve already harvested our first spinach for a tasty frittata as well as a variety of herbs on several occasions. The first potato broke ground in its pot and is suddenly 8″ tall! The peas are emerging, as you can see here. The French Tarragon made it through the winter and is growing quickly. I need to take some cuttings, as I’ve learned over the years that these first 2-3″ of brand new growth will root much quicker and easier than later cuttings.Thankfully, the potager is beginning its season of productivity. There’s still plenty to do. In 2016, all the gardens were cleaned, edged and mulched by March 24. Last year they were all done by the mid-April. Although it’s been warmer (finally!) it’s also been raining. In my younger days I’d work despite the rain, but now I choose not to get soaked and miserable. However, on pretty days I’ve worked hard, so that as of today the Front Garden, Front Island, Potager exterior and interior borders, North Island and most of the Deck Garden are cleaned and mulched. Deadheading has already started to take more time, as well as mowing, so no edging has even been begun! There is still half a row of berries to clean. All of the Cutting Garden and Fairy Garden needs cleaning and mulching, and the Addition Garden has been cleaned, but not mulched. Hmmm! I think I’d better get outdoors while it’s not raining. There’s still LOTS of catching up to do!