This past weekend I had a booth at the Kentuckiana Spring Herb Symposium, which was great fun until I was pounded by a hailstorm while loading out, followed by getting soaked in a pouring rain. That was definitely not fun. And then the snowstorm that was a bit further north closed Interstate 65, so I couldn’t have driven home even if I’d had the energy. What kept me going was the weather forecast, which for the next ten days was actually above freezing. My mind kept singing, “When I get home, I can plant, plant, plant!” Visions of placing rows of shallots, peas, onion sets, onion plants and sprinkling seeds of various salad greens in tidy, patterned rows carried me through any unpleasantness. Eventually, I was home again and delighted to see that the ground was mostly bare of snow except for very shaded areas. The snowfall was much greater south of us. There were lots of new purple crocuses joining the “Cream Beauty” ones in the Front Garden, and I finally found some daffodil buds, but no blooms, which tells me that the ground temperature is still too cold to plant peas. And even the raised beds in the potager were still very soggy. Darn! So, instead of planting I spent the day unloading the truck and organizing the storage unit for packing the next show (the Central Indiana Spring Herb Symposium in mid-April) and watching the last two NCAA basketball games to determine the Final Four. “Tomorrow I will plant! Tomorrow I will plant!” I went to bed with visions of the diagonal rows of shallots that will form the framework of the basic potager design this season, joining the diagonal garlic rows that are already emerging. The seed box and my agonized-over-all-winter graph paper map of this year’s first plantings sat on the kitchen table next to my special gardener’s cup from Harrod’s and the Easter bunny tea pot, along with the potager journal to record everything accomplished. I would hit the ground running soon after sunrise.
Morning arrived, the sun was shining, the birds were singing. I actually spotted the first robin of the year out the bedroom window as I donned my oldest, favorite gardening apparel and comfy gardening shoes. I made my pot of tea and thumbed through the seed packets that would be planted first, barely listening to the morning news in the background. And then the weatherman’s voice penetrated my ecstatic anticipation. “Heavy rain the next four days…blah, blah, blah…followed by falling temperatures and then another arctic blast that will bring…SNOW… next Tuesday, along with night-time temperatures of 22 degrees F.”