Most days I wake up wondering what has happened while I slept and what the weather will be that day. Will it allow me to dig, or should I sow? Is it a day for weeding, and have those morning glory seeds split open yet so I can plant them? Or will the chickens just eat them? Are moon flowers toxic to horses? And what the heck am I going to do about that weirdly thick rose bush our front? What did those salvia fail? Wait, it's a waning moon right now... what does that mean again? Is it already too late for cilantro? My gosh I miss the smell of basil. It's gonna be such a good year for squash. I hope someone will go fishing for me so I can get those fish heads for the corn. These are some of the three and a half million thoughts that swarm my brain every morning on my way downstairs for that first heavenly cup of steaming hot coffee.
The potagerie is on track so far. All four raised beds are sturdy and, dare I say, quite attractive. Three of them have been filled lasagna style with alternating layers of dried leaves, chicken litter, horse manure, and finally some beautiful top soil we had dumped here last week. Two of those filled beds have now been planted. And, unbelievably, the chickens are minding their manners. The only seedlings I have discovered kicked and scratched out of the earth are some zinnias up at the east flower bed, near the front door. Everything else has been left alone. This is reason for cautious celebration!
By the way, you guys, this is the first time in my life I have ever written a check for dirt. DIRT. I mean, we live on nine acres, so you might think I could drum up my own dirt. But most of our property is sandy, which is barely amenable to growing the stuff we really like to eat, with the exception of melons, berries, spinach, and fruit trees. Those thrive in sand. Anyway, the dirt purchase felt weird, but it should yield us some good edibles.
The gentleman who delivered this load of top soil tried three separate times to purchase Chanta, our large paint, for breeding purposes. He is one sexy horse. And he knows it.
I have been stealing time every day to work the soil and tuck into it little sprinkles of seeds. The first cucumber seeds germinated and sprouted in just THREE DAYS. I don't know about you, but in my book that is fast. That is crazy fast. When I discovered the little green leaf pairs and realized what they were, I started giggling uncontrollably.
Home Depot had some really good prices on perennials, shade flowers, and herbs...
... so yesterday I scooped up one 2001 Camaro hatchback full of said beauties and sank them right into their new homes. Can you imagine how good my car smelled, filled in the afternoon heat with rosemary, lavender, thyme, and tomatoes? Blissful.
Today while I was in Oklahoma City visiting with my girls I stopped at an all time favorite garden haunt.... Pam's near the old Farmer's Market. If you're local, you should treat yourself with a visit here. They never disappoint. I scooped up a full flat, in fact an overflowing flat, for just $24.50. That is almost thirty plants you guys! Big, healthy, vigorous seedlings, some of them already in flower or fruit! Those babies will be planted first thing in the morning.
Obviously you are now jealous of my mad photography skills.
Eggplant, another vegetable I am proud to say that Handsome has grown to enjoy.
Can you see the squash blossoms? I think we have six varieties now.
Peppers!! I bought so many different peppers. This is just a snapshot, but can you see the shiny green jalapeno already dangling form the vine? They are gonna love that full sun bed.
Also watermelon. This should be a perfect year for growing all kinds of melons, and if things go well we might even throw up a few grape vines. In all of our spare time, right?
The excitement of spring planting is universal among gardeners, I know. And I have experienced it myself about twenty distinct times so far. But this year it feels different. This year I crave something a little deeper and slower. I have a little more patience. And I have a lot more purpose.
The feeling is not unlike being packed and ready for a long, adventurous travel. A pilgrimage, though, not a vacation. I feel connected to nature and invited to witness secret miracles.
If you are tending a garden this year too, I wish you all the best. All the best growing conditions, the best inspiration, the best harvests of both food and joy! Come get some manure, we still have plenty.
I think someone gave me a chlorophyll transfusion.