Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring is Finally Here

I don't know about where you live, but this past winter just seemed especially long here in northwest NJ. I really enjoy living in a part of the country that gets to experience the beauty and differences that each of the four seasons has to offer. Winter afforded us time to cuddle and bond as a family in front of a roaring fire, and I had fun preparing warm comfort foods for everyone. Despite the sometimes frigid outdoor temperatures, the snow and ice created some beautiful crystal scenes in our yard. However, I was ready to welcome the next season and all of the beauty spring has to offer. We had recently been getting some warmer and sunnier days, but today was a bit more cold, gray and dreary, and the skies opened up with some snow showers. It was 70 degrees yesterday, and there we were getting snow today! Luckily the flurries were very brief and didn't accumulate, but snow on April 23rd just doesn't seem fair. I know other parts of the country have been hit with much more late season snow, as we have a friend who recently moved from NJ to Colorado and she went snowboarding this past weekend. Therefore, I really have no right to complain about a brief passing snow squall. Still, I am ready to move onto the warmer weather and activities.

Today I am going to think positively and focus on the warm sunny weather we recently had, by sharing some garden updates and photos with you. It seems like a long time since I've done a garden post, so I think it's due. In the past we planted are vegetable garden with plants that we bought from local garden centers. However, for the past several years, my husband expanded his gardening hobby and began planting our vegetables from seed. This can be a bit of a challenge for us, as our house does not get a ton of natural light. We manage by moving the seedlings in front of our sunniest windows daily, and utilizing grow lights when the light is not at it's brightest. In mid March, Dave began planting our first round of seeds utilizing a supply of pea pellets.
Water was placed on the pellets and then once expanded, the seeds were planted.
Before long, the tiny seedlings began to grow.
Once the roots started to outgrow the pellets, he transplanted the seedlings to cups.
When we were experiencing the brief stretch of warmer weather we recently had, we would move the seedlings out onto our sunny deck during the day.
The vegetable seedlings weren't the only sign that spring was in the air. Some of our bulbs finally decided to bless our yard with some pretty color.

Since I am sharing some pretty spring photos with you as a way to help brighten this somewhat dreary day, I also want to show you some pictures my daughter took this past weekend. We are fortunate enough to live near parts of the Appalachian Trail  and my daughter and her boyfriend hiked on part of the trail that passes through our town. This section is known as 'stairway to heaven', and this is the amazing scenery they got to enjoy. Hopefully these help put you in the mood for spring and all the fun activities that the warmer weather has to offer.

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