I sought signs of vernalis in my garden today. Figured it would be an appropriate thing to do on the vernal equinox, also known as the first day of spring.
Vernal literally means “of the spring,” from the Latin vernalis. And I’ve long been known to toss around Latin phrases just to show off. Carpe diem! Although anyone who tasks me with plant i.d. can quickly tell that my gardener’s Latin is suspect, to say the least. Caveat emptor.
But on the first day of spring, as the lengths of day and night are at their equinoctial point, is a good occasion, ipso facto, to assess vernalis.
In a walk after lunch (post meridiem) I found evidence in many facets of my edible garden, which should not have surprised me. Every spring that I have been alive, and to my knowledge every spring throughout eternity, sprouts have risen and buds have popped in flore as the earth rises again to life. Ad nauseum, ad infinitum.
And here, in images, is the documentum. Q.E.D.*
This cold frame is planted with bok choi (back) and tatsoi that I started indoors in January.
Corn salad (mache) growing wild in the mulch in front of my compost bin chopping block (which itself has been colonized quite nicely by volunteers).
Early Red Treviso radicchio overwintered in a cloche and is spicing up our spring salads while Viola tricolor (Johnny jump-up) kept it company.
Mustard greens, overwintered in a cloche, are exuberantly growing.
Buds on the pear tree promise sweet blossoms.
The fresh, silvery leaves of the globe artichoke cheer up a border bed.
This is probably a cabbage, sprouted up from a stray brassica seedling. I have no idea if it will make a head. if not, I’ll probably start eating the leaves.
This volunteer, clearly a Brassica but not clearly what type, popped up on the edge of a bed. Looks like a cross between collards and dinosaur kale. Also looks like good eating!
Red-veined garden sorrel sprouts back to life from a dense head.
Lettuce seedlings, begun indoors, gain strength under my Triangle Tunnel cloche.
The plant is healthy but our cool late winter weather has delayed the buds on the Purple Sprouting broccoli. But they are coming.
Lacinato (dinosaur) kale going to flower. It was planted too late last year to reach “full frame” before winter, but we’ll eat it soon and pull it up to make room for something new.
Garlic slices through the straw mulch behind a whimsical steel bike sculpture.
* Disclosure: I had to look up some of those phrases — okay, most of them — to make sure I was not misusing them too drastically.
Sculptures, fountains and water features blend gracefully in garden landscapes, and the Northwest Flower & Garden Show display gardens showcased inspiring combinations.
Massive square stones stacked into an imposing fountain, which is skirted by blooming daffodils, greet visitors to the show gardens.
These steel and wood sculptures pair nicely and seem about to take flight.
The “Good Times Great Food” garden features a varied patio landscaping with an assortment of stone pavers and groundcovers.
This bar-fountain-pool combination nicely edges a patio in a small garden.
An artistic water sculpture echoed by another shapely sculpture behind highlights one garden.
A stylish espaliered tree dresses up this shed wall.