Tired of Waiting!

Potager March

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…..

Entry spring compressed  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:

Spring books compressed  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:

Daffodil doily compressed  Gardener nutcracker compressed  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.  Herb cabinet compressed   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…….


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
This entry was posted in garden books, gardening, kitchen gardens, Potager, seasonal decor, Spring, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Tired of Waiting!

  1. Sparrow says:

    What a lovely post!

    I am looking at filling up my very small back yard with raised beds. I don’t use it for anything, so I may as well fill it up with gardens!!


  2. Rita Rosol Shields says:

    Thank you for sharing that, Carolee. I, too, LOVE Tasha Tudor and I have many of her books, icluding her Night Before Christmas which she signed! And I have all your herbal novels 😃and the Adelma Simmons book, which I bought after reading about it in Herbal Beginnings! I will try to find the Berry Crocker book too. I adore books and reading and I have learned so much from your writings. You are a gift!


    • Carolee says:

      My little copy of Betty Crocker’s Kitchen Gardens is signed, too. I met Tasha at an herb event once. She was a hoot! One of my favorite books is “Tasha Tudor’s Gardens”…if mine could only look like hers! Thank you for all the kind words. It is high praise.


  3. Janet Poore says:

    Looks nice, so ready to plant!


    • carolee says:

      Not quite ready…I must haul compost from the bins to top off each bed before I plant. The soil has settled over the winter, and I want them filled to the top so the plants have plenty of root room….plus it looks nicer! I’ll do that over these next few days while it’s still too cold to plant. It’s been too wet to do it before this. But I enjoy the fact that it always looks tidy.


  4. sicelidas says:

    Envious still that you can mingle text & pictures, something I haven’t figured out how to do: meanwhile heart warmed by treadle sewing machine (Singer?) & the painted cupboard & raised beds. A bullet we ought to bite. Too snowy & cold this weekend even to go to garden: must prune & spray soon.


    • Carolee says:

      I don’t know that there is any skill involved. I just put the photos in and keep typing. Sometimes, I have to reword a sentence in order to get the photo in a decent position….sometimes I just let it go. Yes, it’s a Singer. Isn’t it a wonder that as hard as they were used (and this one was/is!….if I had a $ for every mile of thread…..) they still work without any trouble. I just worry I won’t be able to get replacement needles some day….still have some of Gma’s originals.


  5. I love the picture of your raised beds!! We have only 5, but I love them! Our weather here is really becoming nice and this week I plan to do some planting. I can’t wait to see what you put in.


    • carolee says:

      We have a few more frigid nights, and then I will begin planting. 5 is a great start. At the farm, I started with 4 and after I found out how much I loved them, kept adding as I had time and lumber (most were built with scrap wood) You can see photos if you go to my website http://www.caroleesherbfarm.com and click on the Gardens bar, scroll down to Cook’s Garden. When I sold the farm, I knew I was going all raised beds for the potager. Started sketching out beds and filling them with what I needed/wanted to grow. Ended up with 72! Knew that was beyond my limit time & muscle wise, so I manage with 40 (plus the interior borders) by using lots of succession planting.


  6. Planting for us is over two months away yet. But I’m definitely feeling the itch.
    I love your planter boxes.


  7. Carolee says:

    Me, too! I’m really happy with the raised beds after one season. In years to come, I may want to make some of them taller, but for now they’re perfect! I’m not sure I could last two more months. I really, REALLY miss having heated commercial greenhouses that I could play and grow in all winter!


  8. Pingback: Wishing for Spring… | herbalblessingsblog

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