Last year I got a big fat lecture from John the nurseryman about planting my tomatoes too early. He took me outside and pointed north.
“See that mountain? It has snow on it. You can’t plant anything in the ground until the snow on that mountain is gone.” Apparently this is local lore.
“What difference does it make, John? What’s the worst thing that can happen?
They freeze and I have to start over? My intuition says it’s not too early and it will be fine to put them in the ground now.”
So I did it anyway, and, as it turned out, I had really early tomatoes.
As you know I’ve been steeping myself in Celia Thaxter tales, and I can guarantee you that by this time of year back in New England her house was full of (get this) egg shells, all split in half, cradling seedlings which she put on a boat in spring and lugged ever so gently to her precious Appledore Island where she put them in the ground. And she would most certainly have been paying attention to whatever signals she had that allowed her to know it was Time.
I’d be interested to know what signals you all pay attention to that correspond to John’s planting clock, btw.
But, I am not a woman who particularly pays close attention to that sort of thing. I am a risk taker and I follow my own inner urges, for better or worse, and when you see the photos I took in the last few days, you will understand that the Planting Urge is coming up strong. And no wonder. Look at this!
Remember those daffodils in blossom just two weeks ago?
I mean what is a woman to do when she goes into her yard and sees this??
White voluptuous camelia, seducing me into thinking seeds, growing things, DIG-GING.
I’m not the only one. OMG, everyone in this town is carting around a shovel, a rake or pruning sheers. We are like ants, harkening to unbearable cabin fever and warm lovely SUN, and we are clearing, cleaning, building, pulling up, preparing for. It’s just astounding. It’s all around me.
In the midst of this the robins have descended. I don’t know where FROM. I’ve never seen them before in the two years I’ve been here. But they are coming in in droves and swooping about thirty, forty at a time. They probably ate a season’s worth of worms out of my back yard. I had mixed feelings about that, frankly, particularly when I discovered later it just doesn’t go IN. It comes out.
I was not familiar with how poopy robins are. Did you know?? My goodness.
Maybe it’s good fertilizer, though, who knows? They certainly had fun.
Speaking of fun in the back yard, Ruby is beside herself about being able to swim in her tub again. And for Ruby, swimming just goes hand in hand with mud. I don’t know where she made that particular connection because she came to me at age two. But that is her programming. Water. Mud. Once she’s wet (as in soaking) she wants to D-I-G. Here is the evidence of that little game:
But does she not look deliriously happy? And do her eyes not say, “Oh, Mommie,
I am having so much fun!!” So scolding is out of the question. I simply took her picture and said quietly, “I’m collecting evidence, Rube.”
More evidence that spring is nearly upon us is found in the quince in full blossom:
I will definitely try the recipe Loma sent earlier.
As if that were not enough, the first pink camelias are out.
Are they not just fabulously spectacular? Oh, my goodness. They are. Glorious!
And remember those little yellow crocuses I was saying good morning to every day when I walked the doggies in the rain? They are so here.
So you can see what I’m up against. Life is pushing its way forward on every front. It is lovely. It is light. It is love. Praise be!
Love and early spring blessings,
Posted on February 16th, 2008 by Kathryn
Filed under: Plants