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Okay, it’s not sickness that’s keeping me from posting, it’s lack of time. For the past two weeks I’ve been working on a baby quilt for a shower on Sunday (it looks like I’m going to make it, too, if nothing serious comes up to prevent me from working on it at night), plus the usual routine, plus getting ready to sell the house. Bah. The garden itself isn’t getting neglected…or not extremely…just the posting.

So, an update. The tomatoes and peppers and eggplant and leeks are in the garden. The melons and squash and cucumbers are not. The basil and parsley and celery and chamomile and cilantro and savory are in the herb garden. The parsley disappeared the day after I planted it, so completely that I wondered if I had really planted it or just thought I did. But it was right by the chamomile and the chamomile’s still there. What would make parsley disappear? I don’t know. But I need to replant it. I also need to replant carrots; it’s getting awfully late but there are only two or three in what is now the parsnip bed, and carrots are important. And plant beans and corn. And weed, always weed.

I’ve also got a lot of empty space where I got rid of the lemon balm and wormwood (because the lemon balm drops baby balms all over the garden, and the wormwood exploded into five-foot-tall behemoths for flowering, which is a shame since it was so pretty and tame the first year). I think it’s time to take a trip to a nursery for some plants to fill in.

And last night a photographer from the Toledo Blade came by to take a picture of Chloe and me in the garden. I’m going to be part of a series on local gardeners, and I’m representing the “mom with young children” gardener demographic, so Chloe was my prop. Or maybe I was hers. She hasn’t been particularly cooperative with my camera, but she loved the photographer’s and was very cooperative, and of course extremely cute.

After the photographer left I went back to the garden to get some things for my first garden food of the year. This year it was komatsuna and chives. Chloe likes chives, it turns out. Definitely my daughter. I used them both in a noodle stirfry. The komatsuna is indeed a nice spinach replacement, except for being a favorite of the bugs, judging by their state when I picked them. I planted them where the kale is as a fill-in until the kale gets bigger, and that’s starting to happen, so they won’t last long in any case. If the bugs leave me enough they’ll not last long because I’ll eat them up.

My tomatoes are big and glorious and crowding the windowsill. My peppers aren’t looking bad (which is the best I’ve ever been able to say about home-seeded peppers). My cucurbits and flowers are coming up. And the ten-day forecast suggests that it probably won’t frost, which suggests I’m probably safe to plant, since our last-frost date is in just a little over ten days. (Besides, I have some plastic covers from the Christmas before last. Or birthday? They were a gift, anyway.)

So…I think it’s time to venture into warm-weather gardening. It would be nice if Eric would mow the lawn so I could get to the garden without feeling like I’m on a safari, but I’ll manage. (It’s not really his fault. He got horribly sick and there were several heavy rains while he was out of commission, so everything is overgrown–for one thing, my front bed has sprung into being full-formed, like Athena.)

I haven’t managed to weed, certainly not since all the parsnips started coming up, so that’s first. That and hardening off. And counting my poles to see if I’ve got enough to string up the tomatoes this year. Some break every year, but I’m planting fewer than in previous years, too. Also figuring out where I’m going to plant beans.

This year does seem more ad-lib than previous years. I’m liking it.

Flowers and even fruit are only the beginning. In the seed lies the life and the future.

Marion Zimmer Bradley

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