Thursday, May 10, 2018


I have been splitting the month of May between home and the other side of the ocean for a long, long time. This year, of course, I'm staying put.

I'm here for my grandkids, sure, but also, I'm be here for the full period of bloom of the fruit trees and the lilacs. I'm here to leisurely sow flower seeds when the soil temperature is just right. We wont rush (or stall) the tomatoes: they'll go in when sound judgment tells us it's time. There is no deadline, there is no splitting myself between the two worlds, there is no hoping that the rains come here when I'm there. Because, well, I'm just here.

My gardening is very deliberate, but I get sidetracked. I bump into tiger lilies (aka ditch lilies) and vow to move them (Ed pleads with me not to just dig them out and "ditch" them). And more garlic mustard to pull out. And sprouting crab apples from the seeds pooped into the ground by the birds that routinely feast here.  Pull hard and toss.

You have to be a committed gardener to put in as much time into the effort as I do. When I was still working, I used to be miserable when the weather was perfect for outdoor work while I was stuck behind a desk. The feeling of wanting to be working the soil is visceral and it takes hold in spring and stays with you until the bugs and the dog days of summer chase you back inside.

But when you're digging, planting, surveying your past efforts and improving upon them, well then, it truly is a world of peace and calm that you inhabit.

This morning, we began with breakfast indoors. Ed sheepishly asked if we could stay away from the porch because of the truck noise (they're really going at it with grading all around us right now). At first I was incensed. Tune out the trucks! How often do we get good porch weather?! But in the end I agreed. After all, the front room windows look out over the front yard flower bed. I have put in so much work there and the only time we see it is when we are on the road, driving. (On the upside, you and every other stranger that drives by see it too!)

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Just one photo from the early morning, before I plunge into work outside...

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(And to the north and east and west of us, the trucks rumble by, carrying who knows what, for whatever reason.)

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Lunch break. Fallen flowers tucked into the vase, plucked asparagus steamed briefly in a pot...

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And in the afternoon, I pick up Snowdrop. I also pick up her mom and the three of us once again make our way to Kopke's Greenhouse. The young family wants to add another flower basket to their deck and I am looking to add something as well. The porch, at least on quieter days, is our oasis, our place of great magic. It deserves a summer season of blooms.

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(Snowdrop loves my newly acquired pink gardening gloves. I go through at least three pairs of gardening gloves each year.)

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The little one remembers to tend to the new flowers...

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... She then shows me how well she can ride her trike right now!

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And inside, she zips out her puzzles and puts them together without my assistance! When did that happen??

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It seems with little ones, we're always asking -- when did that happen? They do not stand still.

I suppose you could say this about chicks as well: when did they grow to be as silly and sweet as they appear to be now?

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In the evening, Ed and I walk the fields that are being ripped apart by construction machinery (you can see the trucks, diggers and rollers resting in a straight line formation at the edge of the field).

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Though I've requested (and received) the detailed plans for this development project, nothing on paper looks like what's happening here now, so I must be blind to subtle planning nuances.

Tomorrow we will have a quiet, truck free day. Cold rain will be passing through our region and I'm sure work will once again stall.

In the meantime, it's a beautiful evening, here at the farmette! I hope it's beautiful where you are as well...