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April showers bring May flowers! Or something like that. The last couple years we had Aprils that were relatively dry, but this year we’re finally getting a more typically wet April. I know it sounds odd to “normal” people (i.e. non-gardeners/ non-farmers) to want rain, but spring rains really are a crucial source of groundwater for plants, even well into summer. And climate change isn’t going to improve matters, at least not in these parts where even in the past ten years, summers have become noticeably drier (and possibly hotter).

Anyway, today I planted the onion sets. The peas I planted last week are probably germinating as I type. The lettuce and arugula have already started to sprout. I really need to sow the carrots soon. The brassica (‘Melissa’ Savoy cabbage and ‘Di Sicilia Violetta’ purple cauliflower), tomato (‘San Marzano’, ‘Black Krim’, ‘Black Beauty’ and ‘Hahms Gelbe Topftomate’) and lemon cucumber seedlings are well on their way. In fact, I ran out of room under the grow lights, so I started hardening off the brassica seedlings today – they tolerate cool temperatures better.

The bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) started blooming last week, as did the spicebush (Lindera benzoin). I’ve had the spicebush for three years now, and this is the first time it flowered…possibly because during its first winter here, the accursed demonspawn rabbits chewed it down. So this spring I’ve learned something new about it, which is that it produces masses of tiny yellow flowers first thing in spring, before it produces leaves, and that those flowers have a very pleasant, refreshing fragrance.

Everything else is going apace – the wood poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum) are just starting to bloom, and the yellow tulips will open within a week or two. The honeysuckle (Lonicerum tataricum), which I pruned three weeks ago, is well-leafed out and now starting to produce flower buds. The roses are unwrapped, unmounded and pruned, the hardy gladiolus (Gladiolus palustris) is finally sprouting, the camassias (Camassia quamash) are up, all the irises are well on their way, and I’m nearly done with spring garden cleanup. Right now the only worry is that I don’t see any sign of my Fritillaria persica showing yet.

I know it’s a month until our spring last-chance-of frost date, but right now everything looks set to be glorious.

…I’m not generally an optimistic person, so I’ve probably just jinxed myself.

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