The last few months in the garden have been a blur. It was a mild winter but we experienced the coldest day ever at -16 degrees. The quinces flowered around Xmas, went dormant, budded again in March, went dormant and are now attempting to make good on earlier promises. The daffodils shot up early creating the anticipation of a glorious display, were laid low by an ice storm and have come back as flowers appearing in their final phases of life than initial stages of emergence.
There were many other things that happened in the yard these past few months but I was unable and willing to take them in, to luxuriate in the smells and sights of my garden. Other things had precedence. Sporadic and frequent hospital visits, calls at 3 am in the morning, frantic trips by car and plane, hugs and long discussions, trips to lawyers and accountants.
And none of these things could wait, unlike the garden. The garden can always be put off. But there are consequences. Inattention permits trays of seedlings to damp off or shrivel of thirst because of excessive or miserly amounts of moisture. Seedlings that have been placed out too early without needed shelter die because they were not ready but I was. Peas were eaten as they germinated by greedy chipmunks that I could do nothing about.
I am sure many other things happened in my garden, but I was too busy to notice. My life has been like a think blanket of snow, covering everything in my garden, keeping it from view. But my diversions are waning and the garden has come back into view.
Four trays of flowers, greens and tomatoes are sitting on their hot little mats, turning toward the morning sun and more light from grow lamps. With little labels telling me their origins, they have just grown beyond their primary leaves and have started to put on their secondary ones. The moist, warm soil fills the solarium with a scent of life and tickles a memory of lunches with fresh slices of tomatoes on a plate and lovely flowers in a vase.
The chipmunks have finally given up on the peas so that with time and water during this unusually dry Spring they have sprouted and are sending delicate, curly green tendrils toward the fence. Charlotte has helped me lay in a few rows of seeds for greens, as earlier attempts have not taken. I have started two new beds of strawberries for Juana as my prior thinning and transplanting of the old bed did more harm than good. I am hoping that these new beds will more than make up for the berries that were lost in the past year to the greedy chipmunks.