This is a bittersweet post for me. I have never seen my garden so eager to produce but everything I do these days is in preparation to leave it all behind. This is all good news for gardeners; we've had an early onset of heat along with an abundance of rain. Add the two together and it equals a a fertile situation. Absolutely everything has come out and bloomed early this year.
The irises were out by Easter and the rosebushes were literally heavy with roses. (Yes, we had an egg hunt in pajamas. It was kind of a crazy weekend.)
My peonies were breathtaking for two weeks but are already done blooming for the year. I remember them blooming for Mothers' Day, not Easter, last year.
The Arapaho blackberry bush looks prepared to work its black magic in a month's time.
For the past two weeks I'd also noticed that my strawberry plants were thriving and productive, but there was too much rain to do much about it. When I went out yesterday, I found more than 2 dozen strawberries that had gone bad from all the water. I had to throw them out! The Imp had followed me outside and was very puzzled to see me tossing strawberries into the yard. I had to show him the purplish, opaque splotches and the ants that had taken advantage of the fallen fruit. Then he thought it was lots of fun to pluck and toss strawberries. I had to catch him before he tossed any good ones!
See the fallen fruit?
There was a handful of good fruit left and there's more on the way. I think they're mostly All-Star with some Albion varities.
There's one more surprise: the grapes are beginning to fill out. This is the Caco grape.
I would feel so fulfilled and pleased any other year to see my garden so eager to give fruit. But this year, it doesn't feel like it's mine anymore. In fact, it's really not. We've already accepted an offer on the house and we are beyond pleased that it's going so well, but it no longer feels like our home. In reality, we are tackling a few last details (per the lovely inspector's report) for the next owners. I've met them and am grateful to say that they are really wonderful people.
So when I see all of this production and over-achievment, I do swell with gratitude for this last goodbye. Isn't it nice that you can always see the love someone has had for their home? I feel like I'm leaving much of that love in my garden. And, oh, I do love my little garden! Each plant almost feels like an individual that I've become acquainted with and have learned to care for. I didn't think leaving it behind would be this hard. But maybe with this early start, we'll even get to enjoy some blackberries before loading up the packed boxes.
I'm sure the rest of Oklahoma will be bursting at the seams with peaches and blackberries this year! It will be a great year for canning! Make sure to look up some good recipes I've used before here, here, and here. And this is the bittersweet part for me...to see all of this developing goodness and know that I'll be leaving right at the commencement of canning season, right when it will be falling off vines and trees. We're still finishing up the strawberries and peaches I canned last year and every can that we open up was so worth the work and hot stickiness!
The good news is that I think we'll be in Portland in time for the strawberry and raspberry seasons. That is a very exciting prospect!!