Happy Spring, everybody! The weather outside is …weird. 40F one day, 70F the next. Last Friday I scarpered off to Iowa – no, NOT Iowa (we stayed on this side of the Mississippi) – um…Rock Island (home of the Arsenal and a lot of golden & bald eagles) – went to the Garden Show, went to another Garden Show, It’s That Time of Year. Gardening is all I think about. I am redesigning one of my kitchen gardens, to make it more efficient, less weedy and prettier. And…yes. The emphasis is on Prettier.
Prettier. Sigh. Blame Pinterest for nearly all that causes me to lose sleep this time of year – oh, all those cunningly angled and staged shots, the slightly-open garden gate (hellooo, rabbits!), the edge of the arch, covered in roses, blahblahblah. Yeah, I LUH it. And my kitchen garden looked Pinteresty – for the first three years. But maintaining the beds has always been a bit of a struggle, since it was claimed from sod and Creeping Charlie. Some years I just stick tomatoes and peppers in the beds and have done with it. But this once-charming space is now and sad and sorry excuse for a sad and sorry kitchen garden. And that makes me unhappy as hell. So. RIPPIN’ IT UP! and putting in more raised beds. Easier to maintain and omg. I am so getting older! So it’s easier on mah po-assed knees as well.
But – back to Making it Pretty, which brings me to the smell of Wet, Cold, muddy dirt. Oh, it is glorious. Along with the 890 borage seedlings that are poking their heads up (and 850 of them have to be taken out – have you seen how big Borage gets?) it’s that dank, hank, minty, wet…oooh! did I mention? My First Toad of the Season, too. He’s up and about (I may have hoiked him out of his space when I was hoeing up the creeping Charlie and borage). He has a weird, poopy-marine smell (yes, I picked him up and sniffed him Because how else could I tell you what he smelled like, right?). I put him right back down and he ambled off, giving me stinkeye all the way. It’s still pretty cold so he’s moving kinda slow. But he’s always safe in my kitchen garden, the toady-smellin’ thing..
Anyway, I got nothin’ but plants on my mind. Seeds. Poppy seeds, the fetid Danish Flag. Heirloom Sweet Alyssum (oh, so fragrant). Heirloom Sweet Peas to perfume the entire garden with those gorgeous pastels so perfect for early Spring. Bells of Ireland, for some Funky Vertical Love (they smell a bit like vanilla). More seeds. Composted horse manure – I am picking up a truckload of that next week which is almost as fabulous as picking up a Graff diamond. Lumber to redo the garden as raised beds. I always plant way too many veg – there are only two of us and I enjoy canning a few dozen jars of salsa but not 54. And I hate harvesting (I know, it’s a puzzlement. Luckily El O is big on taking the trug out and picking stuff). Every time I salivate over those 8×6 rows of perfectly planted lettuces I remember that 2 people can only eat so much lettuce (and everyone around here either gardens or doesn’t want veg) so I’m going to be doing a lot more companion planting, with an eye to incorporating some aromatics, which will also help amend the slightly exhausted soil. The borage will stay, as will the marigolds (marinating as we speak) but I will be reintroducing sage into this garden, as well as fernleaf dill and feverfew. I even overwintered (and rooted) several rosemary plants that will lose their minds in that composted manure!!! I spent the winter growing basil – I have enough for an entire raised bed of its own! Perhaps I will do a small center raised bed with herbalist plants, including Holy Basil. I’m definitely edging all the raised beds with hardy thyme – it smells heavenly when you walk on it and it’s nearly indestructible. I’ll bet that thyme will give ol’ Charlie a run for his money.
I’m excited to do this, though it’s been a lot of work already with the rippin’ and hoein’ and all – somewhere in this journey I’d forgotten that utility can also be beautiful – and smell good! (btw – this is not my garden (over there —>) – my garden is similar but smaller and not nearly as lovely. Not right now. I’ll keep you posted.
And because you all are so sweet about this – Every. Stinkin’. YEAR. I will do lots of giveaways. You know there is less than a snowball’s chance on a grill that I will be thinking a lot about perfume (though I am trying out a great new Aera home fragrance delivery system that is sleek and fabulous – more on that later). But you are always so nice about the coming months when I babble about flowers and veg and dirt and rain…so I will return the favor with fun stuff from the Messy Armoire.
So tell me what is going on in your Spring life right now (for you Equatorial Weirdos, that would be Winter, right? 😉 The Girl will stick out a muddy paw and pull a winner.
In the meantime, the two Winners from my last weirdo post are Michelle J Little and Tandaina. Gmail me at evilauntieanita and I’ll confirm and get some stuff out to you!