I’m a big fan of time. It’s what keeps things from happening all at once. This spring, now that it has finally arrived in earnest, is progressing at an alarming rate. Honestly, everything is popping out of the ground. Powers of identification and a stellar memory are necessary right now. Pay attention to tiny annual seedlings germinating all over the place.
I have some opium poppies, bachelor buttons and nigella coming up in the vegetable garden. If I did not know them, they would get raked up with the debris and weeds.
The magnolias are in bloom — both the star and Soulangeana. Usually the star is a week or so ahead but I’ve noticed both in my daily runabout!
There are two perfectly pruned forsythias on the right going up State Road just before the Edgartown Road. They are light and airy. Every year I laugh when I think about a typographical error in this column several years ago. My editor is completely faultless. Anyone reading my handwriting would make a similar mistake. I had written “For Pete’s Sake, resist the temptation to prune forsythia into a globe.” It printed glove. I would pay good money to see such a thing.
Last fall I transplanted some baby red Russian kale into a long bed and tucked them into mulch with a row cover. They wintered over perfectly. The row cover was buried in snow several times. I’ve been eating kale raw in salads for weeks now. It is still tender and delicious, not to mention bug-free for now.
I’ve been pulling some garlic and eating the greens chopped like scallions into stir frys.
I’ve also been busy transplanting some cold weather crops such as kohlrabi, early Jersey Wakefield cabbage, Brussels sprouts and snowball cauliflower. I’m hoping for the best, what with the bunnies who seem to be living inside my garden fence.
It is difficult to be a good sport with rabbits and deer. Just days before, I was thinking about hauling out the sprayer and Babex, but the deer beat me to it! They ate most of the tulips to the ground. Oddly, they took the center out of every English hyacinth. I’ve never had them go after that spring bulb before.
Speaking of sprayers, I shall try not to exaggerate (as is my custom). I must have nine or 10 of them. Do you think even one works? Is it planned obsolescence? They are not cheap, either. I tried inserting a safety pin into the tiny holes with no luck. Oh well, such is life. I went around at dusk sloshing the Babex directly from the container and managed to wear most of it.
I ordered some cotton seed. I’ve never attempted to grow it before but thought it would be fun to try. It germinated in less than a week inside the greenhouse in flats. Some of the seed looked like miniature cotton balls or pussy willow buds. I will keep you posted.
It is worth a trip to Lambert’s Cove Road to see the huge variety of daffodils along the stone wall across from the Stanwoods.
I have a few clumps of the very old-fashioned double daffys. They are so beautiful with some lime-green stripes in some of the flowers. Tina Fisher gave them to me years ago. They are not for sale anywhere. Believe me, I’ve looked!
Don’t be shy about pruning your overgrown buddleia. It blooms on new growth so can be cut within an inch of its life. I’ve cut them down to under a foot tall with success. They are actually pretty “weedy” and will throw babies here and there, so pay attention tromping around.
I have been following the story this week of the 13 Sherpas from Nepal who died in an avalanche on Mount Everest. Mostly Westerners pay between $25,000 and $50,000 to secure a permit to climb the world’s highest peak. Sherpas are hired, at great risk to themselves, to haul gear between camps, secure ropes and ladders and generally do all the heavy lifting for the rich mountaineers. The pay is considerably better than for any other job in the area. Now friends and families of the deceased have joined with striking guides to demand better benefits for this life-threatening work. The Nepalese government is paying a mere $415 to each family for funeral expenses.
I’ve never been much of a thrill seeker. I actually have disdain for people who risk death for some sort of egomaniacal venture. Other people then have to risk their own lives to save them when they invariably get into trouble.
Where I am going with this is a mystery. It’s just so sad and stupid!