Tired of waiting, tired of waiting, so tired of waiting…for Spring! It’s been two steps forward, one step back over and over again. I clear and tidy, and then wish I hadn’t because the temperature plummets again. Last year I’d planted all the early crops (snow peas, peas, shallots, bok choy, spinach, lettuces, kholrabi, etc.) in the potager by March 7th! Granted, that was record early, and in the previous three years we hadn’t even had a crocus by then. So, I was spoiled and was definitely hoping for a repeat. Yes, I know I should be happy with the bit of green provided by the autumn-planted garlic and the reliable clump of chives (bottom center)…..but…I’m…..not! So, since I couldn’t do much outside (the temperature is to drop to 16 and stay in that general area at night for the next week! grump, grump, grump…) I decided to make spring indoors. Why not begin at the entrance, so here’s the “spring” look, just inside the front door…..
The treadle sewing machine was my grandmother’s, and I still use it on occasion. Sadly, the daffodils are artificial, but hopefully soon they will be replaced with real ones from the gardens. I rummaged through my bookshelves for spring-looking covers, and found these favorites:
Left to right, the charming little “Betty Crocker’s Kitchen Garden” with illustrations by Tasha Tudor and a pretty olive-green cover. If you find a copy, grab it because it is filled with good, basic information on growing veggies and herbs and the illustrations of children gardening are adorable. Next, flagrant self-promotion, but justifiable because it’s a lovely spring green, my first herbal/gardening novel, “Herbal Beginnings,” which is filled with romance, mystery, garden info, herb lore and culture, and over 100 original recipes for herbal appetizers & herbal cocktails (the beginning course, of course!) Next, the book that changed my life, Adelma Simmons’ “Herb Gardens of Delight.” While feeling blue because I was living in the city and missing green space, I wandered into a small public library in Hartford, CT that happened to have a spring display of various gardening books. I picked this one up only because it looked cheerful. Her chapter on tea herbs opened up a whole new world. My first 3 herb plants came from her farm (orange mint, rose-scented geranium, lemon verbena) and that grew over the years to my own full-fledged herb farm with 21 acres of field production. Need I say more? Read her book and you could become addicted to herbs, too. Next, in another beautiful shade of green is “The Garden Tourist.” If you love visiting other people’s gardens, you need a good guidebook. And lastly, in cheery yellow, Beverly Nichols’ “Merry Hall.” If you haven’t read any of his books (mostly written in the 1950’s) and you love gardens and quirky characters, he really does know his plant material, and you should give him a go. Fun reading, but you’ll likely learn something as well. Two more little spring favorites:
This daffodil doily my cousin, Phyllis made for me decades ago. She obviously has much more patience than I. It sits under the vase of daffodils, but I pulled it out to show it off better. And, my favorite nutcracker looks ready to head to the garden. He sits on the pretty, hand-painted by my friend Margaret, herbal cabinet that resides on the wall opposite the sewing machine. Very garden-y!
I did a bit more “sprinkling spring” throughout the house, but that will wait for an April post, when it’s definitely more appropriate. Besides, the sun actually decided to show his face a bit today, so I’m off to do a walkabout to see what havoc the roaring winds and teen temps have wrought. And then I think I will make a pot of tea and re-read some of these old favorite books. Thinking spring, thinking spring, thinking spring…….