When we moved in to this house last year, it was at the very tail end of fruit season, and we knew there was a lot of work to be done. Now that winter is pretty solidly shaken off, we’re getting the chance to really dig in and see what’s going on.
And what we’ve found is – a lot more than we expected. There are a couple of groves of chokecherries that have grown up and around behind the shop and garage. Cherry tree saplings have popped up just about everywhere, many of them in and around fences, other trees, and buildings. We’ve been doing a lot of cutting down, clearing out, and trimming back. It’s a lot of destruction during a season of what would usually be bursting at the seams with growth.
At the same time, it’s all creative destruction. In addressing the huge overgrowth of honeysuckle and chokecherries, we discovered a grape vine that is much, much, much older and larger than we first thought. In plowing up the vegetable garden bed, we discovered a raspberry patch that’s thriving, healthy, and spreading like crazy. A single puff-tail rabbit seems to want to call our yard home, and we’ve planted extra leaf lettuce near where we see him in an effort to keep him away from the rest of the vegetables.
The quince bush that appeared thorny and dead is now covered in blooms that have attracted droves of hummingbirds. There are even about 150 snap pea plants poking up out of the soil; we expected the old seeds to germinate at a much lower rate, but this just means we’ll have plenty of peas.
And, like a promise of that soon-to-be summer, the rhubarb is showing dark, curly green leaves and bright red stalks. The stringy, fruity vegetable is incredible to dip directly into a cup of sugar. Sitting on the porch while the setting sun shafts through the trees, reading a familiar book and relaxing with friends, makes all the work worth it. The acid from the rhubarb tastes sharp, bright, almost overwhelming on my tongue… just like the beautiful, creative destruction of spring.