April 4, 2006

The Germans have a word for what we are experiencing. Scheissewetter. I think most people out there can puzzle that out just fine. The weather has made for a difficult time, in terms of any kind of real preparations usual to this time of year. The tomato seedlings look really great….on my dining room table. The flower starts look great…..on my dining room table. I still have dozens of vegetables to start. Where to put them? Well, only so much can fit….on my dining room table. We really, really hope that this year is the last one in which we will have to face starting our plants without a greenhouse. This last Sunday I created an artificial crisis of potato planting because I didn't read the instructions for the seed potatoes carefully enough. We did our Irish ancestors proud, out there in the rain planting those taters. While I prefer not having rain to contend with, there is something just great about planting. Take up big scoops of perfectly tilled earth. Plunk in the potato, cut side down, with the little budding eyes staring back at you. Place some soil in the hole. Place a fistful of gourmet compost (better than the last donation from Drew, if possible) on top of that. Move on to the next hole. Repeat two to three hundred times. Run out of room and realize there are STILL MORE POTATOES to plant. I have concluded that garden planning is not my strong point. I'm a lot like the rototiller. Throttle up, and run amok down the rows of soil. I blame some of this on having too many "pots to stir" and not enough time to do an entirely proper job of it. Still, experience is a great teacher, and each year works out better than the last. The yard is beginning to show its colors. About half the tulips are up, and ditto on the daffodils and narcissus. The ranunculus are rapidly turning out to be the best $20 I ever spent. The colors are vivid and the flowers are long lasting and extremely showy. Soon the sweet peas will begin their monthslong display. The first rose bloomed this week, we added 5 or 6 this year. I believe we are nearing at least the 50 rose mark. Can anyone ever have enough roses?

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