11 reasons to smile: spuds, shoots, hellebores
span class=”drop_cap”>SPRING TEASED ME FOR A WEEK and then promptly vanished, but I’m keeping an optimistic outlook (and my woollies on). Feeling a little battered by your own turn of meteorological events, or just the length of the to-do list? I’m glad to share my rose-colored glasses: 11 reasons to put on a happy face (which were the subject of Sunday’s email newsletter, in case you are not on the list):
THE SHEER ENERGY of Narcissus foliage (above) pushing through the ground another inch a day is joy incarnate. A confession: I lie down on the damp grass and watch. (Having leaves but no bloom on your daffodils? Here’s the deal, along with other secrets to bulb success.)
I GOT A NEW SEED-STARTING RIG, a tabletop version. I’ll show it to you in a few days, once I get it fired up and my Brussels sprouts and parsley are in gear. Promise.
HEAVENLY HELLEBORES are opening by the dozens, like the one below I just grabbed a shot of a few days ago (above). More to come on that as they reach peak…or look at last year’s.
INCOMING SPUDS, ANY DAY NOW: It won’t be long before the “seed potatoes,” as the tubers sold for planting are called, are in the mail, so I’ve turned my attention to prepping that area of the garden. Here’s how to grow spuds.
ASPARAGUS SEASON AHEAD: I just topdressed my old row with all-natural organic fertilizer and homemade compost, but if I didn’t already have this perennial vegetable I’d order some starts now. Which kind of asparagus and how to plant it.
THE TRACTOR SONG (my 2009 theme) could make anybody laugh. OK, it helps if you have a slightly off sense of humor (or have been drinking). I fire it up regularly. Care to sing along?
PEAS, LETTUCE, UPLAND CRESS AND ARUGULA are in the ground. (Is that one reason to smile, or four?) Soon I’ll have a colander-full, like the one above. Need help with how to grow salad?
INTOXICATING DAPHNE: One of my oldest shrubs, Daphne mezereum, just put out the perfume that forms the first whiff of spring here. Heaven.
SUNSHINE ON A CLOUDY DAY: Cornus mas, a shrub I like a whole lot better than forsythia (and the birds agree), is showing off in solid gold right now.
COMING UP: A MONTHLY BOOK GIVEAWAY. Yup. The response to the first one was so amazing–516 entries–that I already shopped online for some of my favorite vintage and new books of all time to use as prizes, along with some more copies of of my old book. Can’t wait.
ANDRE’S CROP OF SEED DOODLES: Anytime I need a lift, I turn to The Andre Archives.
SO, DID I CONVINCE YOU? Are you smiling yet? Thanks for being here, and don’t be shy: come speak up about what you need in the comments, or shout out questions on the Forum anytime. I’m here. And I’m having fun, even in the chilling, pouring rain.