The classic adage is proving true: Early spring showers are indeed bringing flowers as the seemingly-continual rain and milder temperatures have finally begun to kick-start the flower beds here at Bella Luna now that we have reached the month of April. As we are busy both indoors during drippy days and outdoors during the sun breaks, there are lots of developments to share:
Nestled amongst the sea of early daffodils and tulips, other flowers have also begun to bud, including the rhododendrons, hellebores, and primroses, as well as evergreen huckleberries and hot pink salmonberry flowers—a favorite snack of the girls, both feathered and furred. These spring blooms regularly find their way onto the farmhouse table bringing a delightful glimpse of the season inside on gray days.
In the orchard, a new resident is about to move in and join our budding fruit trees—the bees. Our friends Dave and Beth Richards of Woodinville’s Johnny Applebees LLC will install several of their specialized orchard mason bee houses in sunny, south-facing spots here at the farm to help with crop pollination. Mason orchard bees nest in reeds and natural holes, hence the design of their handmade cedar “houses” which are filled with natural reed tubes. These busy, non-stinging bees are considered nature’s ‘super’ pollinators and as such are a very welcome addition to the farm.
Spring is also in swing in the vegetable garden, where we have been both weeding and adding compost like mad, getting the first sweet peas, snap peas, favas, onion, leek and garlic starts into the ground, as well as early spring lettuces, Swiss chard, kale, beets, and carrots. The herbs continue to grow apace in the walled garden, kissing the air with the savory scent of thyme, parsley and chives. The team for our landscape design company, Parterre, is also bustling for our clients’ projects despite the drippy weather, installing pear and apple espaliers (they make amazing “living” fences!) and planting French lilacs to grace their gardens with incredible fragrance later this spring.
As it is the season for planting, we are especially excited about Snohomish High School’s upcoming plant sale, which kicks off this year on May 2nd. Produced by the Snohomish Agriscience students and the Snohomish Valley FFA Alumni Association (in which we participate), this sale will help you dig into spring—come stock up on herbs, vegetables, flowers, perennials and more all cultivated by the high school students. More information available here.
As always, we wish you the best this season and hope you too are enjoying a bountiful spring!