What a beautiful week! Today’s Signs of Spring episode explores the buds and blossoms that Nichole and Laura both found in our neighborhoods this week. Our featured plants today include a tree, a shrub, a “yard weed”, and an ornamental flower that grows from a bulb. We’ve noticed that gardening and farming have made us more attentive to the seasons, and what is blooming and when. Doesn’t it feel sometimes like each season arrives bit by bit until suddenly it’s finally, really here? Paying regular attention to what’s in bloom can help us track the changes in our landscape during a single season of the year.
Paying attention to the seasons is particularly important for gardening, of course, because not all vegetables are planted at the same time of the year! Some vegetable plants like peas and spinach love the cool weather of early spring; other vegetables like tomatoes and peppers grow during the summer. You can find this kind of planting information in seed catalogs, on the back of seed packets, or by using a garden planner. However, simply paying attention to other plants that are in bloom around us can ALSO give us clues about what time of year it is, and what we might want to be planting right now. For example, when the forsythia bushes start blooming, I know spring is coming! And that means it’s time to start planning my garden!
Folk sayings have helped pass this farming knowledge down through the generations. These sayings give instructions about when to plant your vegetables based on the ongoing life cycles of native trees and flowers. One example is, “Plant your carrots and beets when the dandelions are blooming.” Another is, “Plant your corn when the oak leaves are the size of a mouse’s ear.” This is not how we plan our farming schedule at Project GROWS, but it’s fun to recognize the signs of spring as each flower and shrub and tree takes its turn to bud, bloom, and leaf out.
Download the Episode 3 Video Guide in English so that you can follow along with us as we find our plants of the week and learn about the life cycles of these plants!