Starting Over

It was gray and miserable on Saturday morning with a forecast of rain in the afternoon. I reluctantly called Heidi to cancel my plans to go up there. My kickoff to the gardening year in Mamaroneck was postponed to Monday which the weatherman promised to be sunny and indeed it was. Our seedlings had all miraculously sprouted, clearly just leaving them on the window ledge in the potting shed works. Sadly, a spate of distractions- and there are many up there as the construction/refurbishment is into the final stages struck a sad unwatered blow to this surge in self sufficiency. "They're dead" she confessed on the phone. "I can't believe they actually sprouted" I said. "Next year" we both said.

I ran down to the farmers market before catching the train and picked up a few plants, when I got there we went straight to Tony's nursery and got some more. The seedlings weren't all dead - there were some seedlings that responded to the rescue waterings- some chinese cabbages, some beets,a few arugula and a couple of pots of basil. The Oregano had survived the winter as had the parsley but it didn't survive my misstep as I crushed the tender leaves underfoot. The chives were fatter than they were last year, as they always are and full of flower buds.

We usually just leave everything in the beds as is over winter a la Piet Oudolf so come this time every year, the day ends with a mountain of seed heads and dead stalks. I pulled up fat plump dandelions and seriously considered bringing them home to eat but the leaves wilted to an unappetizing mess so they got tossed onto the giant pile. I weeded, swept, dug, planted, watered. My hands, shoes, jeans got caked with dirt. I have a throbbing splinter at the base of my thumb. I froze waiting for the train with my plastic bag of garden swag- a bunch of chive flower buds, one peat pot with sprouting basil and one purchased oregano plant that wasn't needed.

What a fantastic day.

+ Occasional Oasis:Wild Eggs

All Posts: