This year, Punxsutawney Bill peered out his hole, didn’t see his shadow and scurried into the ground, forecasting an early spring. I’m so glad his prediction has proven to be correct thus far.
The world smells of spring. (Actually, it smells of wet dirt, worms, molded leaves, and warmer breezes.) Daffodil buds are swelling at the ends of green stalks. Most of the Canadian geese are deserting their winter residence, and I hear different bird calls outside my window.
Another sure sign of spring is my Christmas cactus. It’s blooming. I’m think the cactus is a non-conformist that stubbornly celebrates the true birthday of Christ, which was probably in the spring, instead of December.
I am restless for spring. I must be patient, waiting for the proper time to start my seeds. Last year, I started my seeds indoors too soon and then optimistically transplanted the maturing plants weeks before the no-frost date. As a result, I spent many weeks in April and May carefully watching the weather and dashing outside to cover the garden with a tarp whenever frost loomed.
I’m so eager for spring that I spent last night plotting my garden rather than sleeping. This morning I woke up cranky due to exhaustion and don’t want to dig in the dirt.
Next week, I will start my seeds and till the earth. Here’s a list of vegetables I hope to plant:
- Sugar snap peas
- Loose leaf lettuce
- Swiss chard (lots of this!)
- Bush beans (a bunch of these too)
- Peppers – both hot and sweet
- Eggplant (just one)
- Melon (just one again)
- Ground cherries — These grow like tomatoes and taste like cherries.
- Possibly beets and radishes
- Lots of random herbs — I love herbs. They transform eggs, soups, salads, anything.
I need to exercise restraint this time of year. My dreams are likely to overtake me, and I will want to plant more vegetables than I can care for. Last year, I ran out of space for my tomatoes and ended up planting them too close together. Tomatoes are finicky and desire personal space in order to produce. While I had lots of plants, I had a poor harvest.
Hope, dreams, restraint, patience. The necessary virtues of spring.