It’s here! It’s here! This week we shall see the exact moment that is most exciting in any given year: when the sequence of things blooming or otherwise demanding to be noticed gets so full, so overlapping, so abundant that I lose track. There are grape hyacinths coming up in the nursery bed (which year by year cedes more biodiversity to campanula glomerata — otherwise a rather well-behaved plant, it seems dangerously happy here); daffodils nearing peak by the driveway; crocuses fully gone by in front of the about-to-burst hyacinth. The forsythia has announced itself; the red maple casts its glorious, ineffable scent over the landscape. The columbine stands inches tall, fists of bright deep green unfurling into scallopy bunches. The lilac is pretending it hasn’t noticed all this warm weather, still grey and bony against the sky, but we know its little ways.
I’m in my annual emotional tug-of-war with the vegetable garden: I’ve waited too long, but it was cold and wet, so perhaps it’s okay…but why didn’t I use that time to add soil amendments? (There are answers, perfectly good ones, but that would defeat the purpose of this little conversation.) There are broccoli and cauliflower seedlings in, and brussels sprouts and teeny little Gonzalez cabbages. The garlic was in from last year, and now leeks, onions, and shallots are in there too. A little parsley (so much self-sows that I rarely start fresh), a little sorrel (less every year because I tire of its bullying), and too much tarragon (because really, who needs a cubic yard of it? But there it is, and I can’t give it away fast enough). But my spring greens! It’s almost too late! Thank god I got the peas in last weekend or I’d be out there in the dark now (like some people I know). Desperate times, desperate measures.
I discovered today the severed head of a broccoli seedling, next to some decent-sized holes with sad little pea seeds around their edges. I’m seriously contemplating asking neighbors with dogs to walk them around our lawn to discourage whatever hideous beast is eating things out there. I’ve never really had to contend with pests, and it now seems clear that’s because I always had large brown dogs wandering the property. And I can’t seem to stoop to repellents, because paying for canine urine after all those years of dog-ownership, well, it just seems odd. But I should take some steps before I lose my equanimity and become someone we’d all rather avoid.
And you? How is your garden this spring?