From now on I am planning to make daily (or near daily) entries in this blog to chart both the progress of the seasons, but also the establishment of a new garden here at Leeland, next to the Confederate cemetary in Shepherdstown, WV.
Shepherdstown is on the banks of the Potomac River across from Sharpsburg / Antietam, MD, where the Shenandoah Valley becomes the Cumberland Valley and the Blue Ridge the Catoctins. This is an ancient power spot of sorts, where the Potomac takes on the Shenandoah as a tributary and breaks its way through the Blue Ridge to the Piedmont at Harpers Ferry. It is only part of West Virginia for this reason, as control of the confluence of these two regionally important rivers was militarily critical during the Civil War.
It's not really a new town, though. In fact my mother's family (the Shepherds) has been here something more than three hundred years. I left here after her death in 1968, and spent the next 35 years in Vermont (ironically, no farther from the Appalachian Trail than I am here) where the weather is, on average, about ten degrees colder and the growing season 3-4 weeks short both beginning and end. Now, 40 years later, I am back, and poignantly enough (at least to me) my new garden is going in within site of her grave. Anyway, enough of that!
It is my intention not only to learn the plants and seasons down here (that was of no particular interest to me at the time I left) but also -- using the benefit of the lower latitude -- to produce vegetables year round for the table. This blog will be the record of that atttempt.