Written and shared by member- Christin W. Kaiser
Spring has finally arrived here in the Lakes area of New Hampshire. It was a long time coming, and it did the now normal routine of throwing in a short heat wave a few weeks after the last snow drift under the evergreens melted.
Now I am blessed with sunny cool and breezy conditions, with just enough warmth to keep me removing a layer of clothing each time I exert more muscles digging in the garden. I know the mild weather can’t last, but I’m relishing it while I can.
Somewhere in the world there may be that utopia; with long sunny days that allow a gardener time to get things completed. The rain comes only after dark and the breeze is just strong enough to keep biting insects at bay, but not so strong as to cause goosebumps. In such a glorious place all the slugs and cutworms would develop a taste for the invasive bittersweet and Japanese knotweed and avoid freshly transplanted tender vegetables.
The soil would be friable, and stones migrate with winter frost heaves to the edges of planting areas. A native grass would grow only six inches and be a turf not bunch type, having a long growth period before going to seed in the early fall. Rank clovers would remain where livestock could utilize them and the pollinator plants would thrive where we plant them.
Water would behave itself; neither being too plentiful nor to scarce. Evening rains would be heavy enough to soak in deeply. It would encourage roots to grow into the subsoil; mining essential minerals and trace elements that help vegetables be most nutritious. The rain would commence every third or fourth evening as needed, leaving many evenings available for star gazing and counting fireflies.
Vernal pools would flourish deep in the forest providing habitats and breeding places for salamanders and tree frogs, as well as keeping mosquito larvae in a place for hungry tadpoles. No run-offs from hillsides; as the plants would absorb the excess. The streams would run clear without silt; encouraging alewives and other fish to breed and spawn, assuring future generations for multiple uses.
The ponds and lakes would be clear of invasive weeds and heavy loads of nutrients, as boaters and waterfront homeowners would all be educated in responsible water use and landscaping practices.
A rich tapestry of plants would grow along the shore with a few natural beaches for people to enjoy. Moose and muskrats, beavers and, otters would all entertain the lakeside observer. White tailed deer would keep to the woods and upper hillside meadows, leaving hostas and arborvitae to grow undisturbed. White footed deer mice would not be a host for ticks so deer and moose would be free of these debilitating blood-suckers. Humans and their pets would avoid tick borne illness.
I can see this ‘Land of Green Ginger’ in sharp relief to the landscape we need to navigate in reality. But on a sunny breezy Spring day like the one I’m enjoying right this minute I am almost there.