Northwest NEWS

May 27, 2002

Home & Garden

The Back Yard Gardener

by Swend Trefethen
   Special to the Weekly
   The eggs all hatched in the wren's nest and on Thursday (three weeks after they hatched) all five of them were huddled in the nest when I peeked into the fertilizer box. It was obvious that they had been taught to keep quiet if a stranger came around. I was going to say that they were taught to "not make a peep," but that would be too corny. When I looked in again on Saturday, the nest was empty not a sign of them other than an empty nest and lots of fur. What a wonder of nature.
   Spring in the garden
   My progress in the garden is as slow as spring has been in getting here. I don't even have my garden space plowed up yet. I hope that will happen in the next few days, the good Lord willing and the rain stays away.
   I was talking with some old friends in Minnestoa a few days ago and they said if you get things in the gound by Memorial day you'll still get a crop. Easy for them to say they have 80-degree nights with lots of humidity. This is the second year in a row that my rhubarb has bloomed and gone to seed. Huge blossoms full of hundreds of seeds. I've never tried to cultivate them and see what comes of the seed; I just cut the stalks off and harvest the stalks with leaves for sauce.
   My wisteria vine is opening its blooms and should be in full bloom in a few days. What a joy to have that perfume drift in through the windows a wonderful spring reward. I've followed Ciscoe's (Ciscoe Morris, Northwest gardening expert) advice and spread alfalfa meal on all the roses. I've never done that before, so we will see if it is as good as he says.
   May your thumbs all be green.