My back hurts a little from my first real garden-related exercise of the year. I dragged Eric outside this evening to help me plant things–“You can just write down what I’m planting where,” I told him, which would honestly have been a help since taking the gloves (I’m not supposed to actually touch the soil for fear of toxoplasmosis, which can cross the placental barrier, though I expect that if it’s in the soil here I’ve already gotten it) on and off to manipulate the paper and pencil is a pain. I brought seeds and trowel and kneeling pad out to the garden and Eric said, “Look at all the branches on that tree over there! They need to come off,” and marched off to get the pruners. I never did get his help. However, he got rid of all the dead branches from the tree and tore down a bunch of Virginia Creeper and last year’s bindweed (which he persists in calling morning glory) and trimmed the branches from the neighbor’s annoying forsythia bushes that intrude into the garden, so I call it fair.

I planted Bernie’s Red and Rossa di Milano onion seeds and Danvers 126 and Big Top carrot seeds and the garlic bulbils and walking onions and broccoli (which aren’t going to do well at all, I predict) and one large Big Top carrot I saved for seed. I noticed to my delight that the parsnips I left in the ground are coming up; I dug one up to try eating (man, those things get huge!) and left the other three. I noticed to my horror that the back corner of the garden has been sprinkled with grass seed. Did I mention that the neighbors have been absolved of blame in the tree-mangling incident? Apparently the city demanded access to their backyard to put in a new sewer line to help with the flooding that had been going on in everybody’s basements. They apologized to me about the fence and railed about how the city people had imperiled their lovely willow (it’s doing fine now). I guess the grass seed was a neighborly gesture as well, but all I could think when I saw it was “I wonder if I can vacuum that up before it rains.” I’ve spent the last two years trying to get grass out of that part of the yard, damn it. I heard the rain start, so I suppose it’s too late. I hope they will not think me too rude if I try to get rid of it and plant sunflowers instead. Luckily I’m capable of weeding in the spring and despite the backache I really enjoyed myself today, so when it stops raining in a week or so I’ll go out and see what I can do.