The hellebores are budding despite all the chaos in the world.

“Adapting!” All around the world, people will find they must be adapting, and quickly, to many kinds of changes. The virus outbreak that began creeping, but is now sweeping around the globe will force us to adapt, even here in the rural areas of central Indiana.

Due to my husband’s prompting, my still-full pantry shelves and freezer, I had decided to convert some of the potager’s raised beds into flowers or green manure crops this season. I even ordered more flower seeds than usual. The potager’s beds were mapped out with more attention to balancing color and texture with the additional flowers. However, now with all the closures and coming restrictions of all sorts as well as all the unknowns in the immediate future, I’ve decided to make some changes. To adapt.

The first planting of early peas is IN!

Instead of more flowers, the potager will be pushed to produce even more food. We may not need it ourselves, but our neighbors might, or the food pantry, or the local churches that serve free meals. With travel restrictions, possible store and restaurants closing, or shortages, someone may be happy for fresh, organic veggies. The first early crops were sown earlier this week: “Strike peas” shown above, radishes, Chinese cabbage, pak choi, and lettuces. With lower temperatures and possible snow this weekend, other things will have to wait.

The second crop of peas went in as well.

“Green Arrow” are my favorite peas, but they take a little longer and require a fence to climb. Planting them at the same time as the early “Strike” peas will give a second crop coming on as the “Strike” finish. More succession plantings of Green Arrow will go in weekly.

The garlic rows are growing!

I’m not sure how it happened, but I neglected to plant some of the rows of garlic that I’d mapped out last fall. Interrupted by the rain, I suppose, and just forgot to go back to finish. At first I thought I’d plant a few rows now, since I have plenty of garlic left, even though the bulbs would probably be smaller than fall-planted garlic. However, now I’ve decided to simply plant cloves where there is a blank spot in the existing rows. (The squirrels always dig out a few while I’m away, and occasionally a clove doesn’t sprout, making a gap.) The space formerly designated for garlic will be more productive in other crops. While I had time, I decided to clean up the potager’s interior borders.

The messy potager interior border.

Of course, there will still be flowers in the potager. An initial clean-up had been done in all my borders and beds earlier last autumn, before I started traveling, and a bit more as bulbs were planted later, but some stalks were left purposely for hibernating insects and egg cases. Now that the spring bulbs are pushing through, it was time for a thorough clean-up. However the stalks didn’t go on the compost pile, partly because the compost is coming out of the bin and onto beds, but mostly because stacking the stalks against brush along the woods will still allow any beneficial hibernating insects and eggs to emerge undamaged.

Not all worms are welcome!

Amazingly, this lively cabbage worm was heading across a bed to the last remaining kale plant! I don’t think I’ve found a cabbage worm this early in the year before. I moved him to the woods as well, and if he survives the cold snap and possible snow, he will be a lucky worm.

All tidy so the dwarf iris can take the stage.

Here’s the NE section of the potager interior border pictured earlier. It is closest to the Lady Cottage and the seating area, so it will be filled with flowers, but the other five sections will have lots of vegetables added to the existing perennials rather than annual flowers, and there may be some veggies going into the existing flower beds beyond the potager and around the house.

This is my first decision to adapt. I’m sure there will be many, many more to come. What “adapting” are you planning, or already doing?


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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10 Responses to ADAPTING!

  1. Jo Shafer says:

    Because of a stiff neck and feeling woozy with the Rx prescribed for it, I’m not doing anything in the garden this week. We did clean out the front entry garden earlier to allow crocuses more leeway. Now other early spring bulbs are popping up to show their colors, but with another cold snap bearing down on us, they close up their petals as though closing up the shutters. I haven’t even been out to the herb garden yet, only glanced over it a couple of times. Rose canes slowly green up, so I know there’s life, but no early herbs. Usually the chives are first. I’ll keep watching!


    • carolee says:

      The chives are up 3″ now, and the anise hyssop has pushed through the soil. Happy to see a bit of green on all the rose bushes planted last spring. With such a wet winter, I was worried. Sorry about your neck. Hope it improves quickly so that you can truly enjoy the beautiful spring bulbs.


  2. Very good plans. My pantry is full, and I am well stocked with cat food for the kitties. We’ve begun social distancing will not be going to events until the virus has receded. I live in central Maine, in a rural area, but the virus has just reared its ugly head in the next county. Soon, it will be more widespread. Stay safe and be well.


    • carolee says:

      Do take care! I suspect we are in for a long period of social distancing, and that the virus will not recede quickly or quietly, but will keep reappearing. Unfortunately Americans are impatient people, and while they may find a week home a pleasant break, much more and they will be out and about as usual.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So true! And so scary. Be safe, be well.


      • P.S. Very worried about all the small businesses in our area. Lately there’s been a spark as businesses have come in to what was a somewhat depressed area. I’m afraid that spark will be stamped out by the Coronavirus.


      • carolee says:

        You have valid concerns. This could be the end of some local businesses that were already on shaky ground, and added revenues to on-line “stores.” All of the garden-related events in our area have been cancelled, which means garden clubs, plant vendors, Master Garden groups will have no income from their major spring event to get them through the year, or to support their “causes” such as scholarships, teaching gardens, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have begun, in my small way, supporting local businesses by buying gift cards for them to keep for me for when I don’t have to worry so much about social distancing. Just sent one to a local bookstore, and plan to send another to a gift shop that opened in town. It’s not much, but if a lot of people do it, it just might help.


  3. Chicken Librarian says:

    I haven’t even started with the garden yet. I’m working on a big plan for a mostly heirloom garden. We’ve been discussing the garden plot/chicken area and have had to adapt that plan slightly. But I’m hoping to get the garden mapped out this week and then get the seeds ordered! And the cabbage worm has been my only pest issue in the garden these past couple of years.


  4. Thank you for the like Carolee. You have a beautiful garden. Very orderly. I’m in awe!


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