Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring at last (or at least dandelions and earthworms)

by June

For months now, it’s been me by the fire with only the consolation of my favorite garden-erotica, a.k.a. the Fedco seed catalog. No matter how deep the snow is outside, it’s hard to feel too miserable when you’re tucked up with a catalog that replaces colorful photos with colorful writing. For example, see hybrid carrot YaYa’s entry: “You might say we almost got caught with our Nantes down when we lost Nantes Fancy, long one of our five most popular varieties. Instead, we’ve found a new, albeit more expensive, way to get our ya-yas out.”

Now, with spring officially here, my garden is still a foot under snow. But Fedco has come through for me again. My seeds arrived in a hefty little box spilling over with promise. I sat in the sun on the back porch and explored the bounty. Nothing stirs the soul of a winter-sore gardener like shaking a packet and hearing the rattle or shush-shush-shush of seeds: these are the very maracas of spring.

Lucky me, the raised-bed flower garden by the porch was first to emerge from its frozen mantle. It showed all the neglect from last fall when I was busy canning the harvest and let the dandelions run wild. So I levered up long roots and greeted the earthworms returning to the warm surface of the earth. I touched the little frills of delphinium and hairy fans of hollyhocks. This week, I'll scatter some poppy seeds, which can take the spring snow squalls, and soon enough...

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