After three and one-half weeks without a drop of rain from late March to mid-April, spring rains finally came, much to everyone’s relief.  (While not all Nelson County folks are directly engaged in agriculture, all understand the importance of rain.)  The following weekend we had a delightful visit from my cousin Fred Brack, whom I hadn’t seen in 30 or so years, his wife Kathy, and Kathy’s seeing-eye dog, Wilda.  Our next get-together will happen sooner.  Below: Fred, Kathy and Wilda at Crabtree Falls, and with Monika at a local winery.

  

Due to the mild winter and warm spring, flowers continue to bloom several weeks earlier than normal.  Especially striking this spring have been the roses Monika planted two years ago in front and back of our house, and the three different clematis which were already in the front when we bought the place.  Monika’s inspiration also led us to reconfigure the pond area in the back with two little “zen” rock gardens.

  

Despite the dry spell which slowed things down for a while, we’re reaping the benefits of early spring plantings: lettuce, chard, spinach and turnips are ready to eat, and snap peas are now a good three feet up their trellis and blooming.  And we have plenty of basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, and thyme.  Potato plants are ready for hilling.  I put out a dozen varieties of heirloom tomatoes, which I’d started under grow lights in March, in the last week of April.  Still planting various types of beans, squash and, for the first time: peanuts! (a mild addiction of mine)

   

click here for more flower and veggie garden pictures

Our various projects have kept us pretty busy around our home, but I did bike the rails-to-trails route along the Piney and Tye Rivers, which has recently been extended, making for a 14 mile round trip.  A lovely path, with lots of spring wildflowers in bloom.