Saturday, March 13, 2010


Spring has sprung all over, and I adore it. This is by far my favorite time of year. I could wax lyrical on it all day, but I'm certain there are plenty of bloggers out there doing the same. You know, stuff like, "...when the drowsy earth shuffles off the mantle of frost and awakens to a new year...." or "daisies pied and violets blue..." and there's some nonsense about a month coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb. Or something.

I like best how Twain put it: "It's spring fever.... You don't know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so."

What do you want for spring?

My wants have simplified drastically now that I'm old enough to wear red lipstick. I want a good husband. Check. I want a dog. Check. I want a home. Check. God is good to me. So I decided this year I wanted the best bang-up garden I've ever had. Complete with entirely too many plants for us to consume at their peak, thereby forcing my hand at canning and preservation.

And so it begins.

The above is hard proof that I am not Martha Stewart. She would firmly state that I am cheating out the wazoo by purchasing almost fully-grown plants, but to that I say nay nay. It's tax season, folks. If I were to attempt seedlings when this busy, I'd end up with tiny pots of dirt all over the utility room. That's not to say I've never done it before and won't do it again, but this year, I took the easy route. Sue me. The tomatoes will still taste just as good.

Along with tomatoes, you're looking at jalapenos, bell peppers, cilantro, basil, and mint. My new crops this year are variegated oregano (so pretty), lavender (might do some lavender-infused creme broulee), lemon thyme (perfect for salmon), banana peppers (sweet and saucy), yellow bell peppers (extra color and kick), and lettuce. What the hell am I going to do with lettuce? Did you know there is absolutely no way to preserve lettuce? And if the chipmunks don't get it (Kearney is on patrol) in 45 days I'll have 9 heads of the stuff. Salad, anyone?

But we aren't eating the whole yard.
The bulbs that I planted in memory of A3 are coming up.
I love the smell of hyacinth.

You can't just delve into an entire Saturday of planting without a good breakfast. And no, I didn't bake this one. Tax season is becoming such an easy excuse for picking stuff up at the Fresh Market. Hello, my name is Fran, and I am human.
Once I set out to get dirty, I noticed this little guy in a pot of leftover dirt from last year. Mike would call it a weed. I call it a sweetheart shamrock. Fitting that this Irish lass would find them all over the yard.

And a word about frost: I planted just this early last year. Yes, I am aware that we have not yet had the first day of spring. Mike is shaking his head at me in dismay and chagrin. Even the plant guy at the nursery said he would be happy to sell this stuff to me twice after it dies in the ground of cold. But every nerve in my body is saying to plant, plant, PLANT, and by golly, I'm listening to it.

After I weeded and raked the beds and turned the compost heap, I found that a pair of toads had been unearthed. With a little help, Dante spied one about the size of my fist. He was in the way, so I gently bumped him with a gloved hand to see what the dog would do. His reaction was priceless. The toad jumped. Dante jumped. The toad jumped. And so forth. Then Dante became a little more aggressive, at which point the toad puffed up. When some toads puff, they emit an enzyme that tastes very much bad. Lucky for the toad. Though I warned him against it, Dante licked the toad. I wish you could have seen his face. Lemon sour with a side of super ick. He quickly retreated to curl up in the pile of leaves and smack his mouth for the rest of the morning.

And I inadvertently learned a sure way to make Kearney come inside from the back yard: activate the sprinkler system. (tee hee)

So after a beautiful spring day of weeding and digging and gently unpotting and watering and fertilizing and toad discovery and wolf whistles from the Mexicans replacing the neighbor's roof (unless "AI MAMI!" is one of their names, which I doubt), everything is in the ground, I am a little sore, and a G&T is remarkably in order.

All my wants are fulfilled.


Jess said...

This is so exciting! I must find out your secrets to gardening soon. I have always wanted a little veggie garden but haven't been brave enough to plant...You are inspiring me to go for it!


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