Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spring Planting

I won't even try to explain how this weird/sad/cute cat found its way into my yard. But that's a basket of cilantro in the back, and one of the year's first daffodils.

This weekend was so much fun because we started our spring vegetable planting! Saturday morning was chilly and dripping, but we didn’t let the uncomfortable weather stand in the way of an important bamboo-gathering mission. (We needed some free poles to make bean and pea teepees.) We headed to the big bamboo forest around the railroad tracks in the middle of Quincy and started cutting. Bamboo is a pretty bad invasive in these parts, so there are hideous bamboo forests almost everywhere you look. I hate them, but they do yield some pretty good teepee poles, I guess.

We stuffed our poor old Toyota Matrix with about a dozen enormous bamboo “trees,” still all feathery with leaves, and crawled home with a 10-foot bamboo tail sticking out the back window. Rob cut all the leaves off the bamboo and used the poles to construct some handsome teepees behind the “barn” (it’s really our garage). He also planted a nice row of Green Arrow peas.

Meanwhile, I was working in the bed around our pond, adding more plants. I planted five Piedmont azaleas and three hearts-a-bustin’, and then I stood around under the pindo palms, scheming and planning what else to plant, what to buy at the nursery next week. (More needle palms, definitely.) And I talked to Babs, who was following me around. Babs is so cute; she’s black with a little white locket, and her body is mule-shaped; she has saddlebags.

“Babs,” I said, “you haven’t taken a nap all day. You’re going to wear yourself out. You should go inside the nice dry garage and take a rest on your insulation roll.”

(We have a couch set up in the garage, with blankets, but Babs always sleeps on this stupid roll of fiberglass insulation material. It makes me kind of mad.)

But Babs kept playing and getting wetter and wetter.

“Aren’t your feet cold, Babs?” I asked. I kept trying to warm her toe pads up in my hands . . . and my efforts were kind of annoying her.

Rob planted 34 Red Pontiac potatoes in our main vegetable garden, and I mulched another big section of the bed around the pond. We planted 30 white Kennebec potatoes alongside the Little House, 25 purple spring onions in front of the Meiwa kumquat, 60 purple spring onions behind the barn, and Chantenay and Imperator carrots in the main vegetable garden.

Then I gathered a basket of fresh cilantro and made another batch of Spunky Red Bean Dip for lunch. It was so good; that recipe never fails. We had banana-strawberry-orange smoothies, too, and half-butted burritos.

While we ate, Rob came up with a great new nickname for our cat Francie; he started calling her Frankie, which totally captures her spunky, fun-loving spirit. I refuse to call her anything else now. As we ate, Frankie was playing with a little blue mouse under the table—and June Bee was trying to steal it from her. There was a lot of activity going on under the table.

After lunch we cleaned out the bed around the side of the barn; it was full of little oak and camphor seedlings. I weeded and Rob cut the heirloom roses way back, and Babs rolled around in the sopping leaf mulch. The weeding took forever. By the end of the day, I was so wet and cold that I couldn’t wait to put on my cat-fur-covered robe and slippers, pop some popcorn, and watch an old episode of Quantum Leap with Foxy and Josie and Becky and June Bee all piled up in my lap.


  1. you almost had me fooled- it really does look like spring. very pretty!

  2. Thank you. I was freezing. You can see how red my nose is.