May 2, 2012 @ 10:07 AM



  "In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt".

                                  ~Margaret Atwood


                                                                                                             No matter how well I plan, or how excited I am to get back into the garden, the first weeks in May roll around and I panic at all the work that needs to be done quickly. It always gets done--mostly, but the panic is anew each spring. it weird weather, or unexpected setbacks, always gets in the way of my ability ot focus solely on gardening, woodland walks or herbal medicine making and lectures, etc. This year, I have spent the last week looking for houses for one daughter who is suddenly moving back to the area (the time taken for which, I already informed her, must be repayed in garden/yard help!) and my youngest who became engaged two days ago! So, as I try to plant my garden, brighten my porches with window boxes, set up hummingbird feeders, mow, mind is racing ahead to wedding plans.

   Nature is pretty unforgiving when you miss your windows of opportunity of playing nicely with her. But....what does not get done on time or well, may and often does, open up some garden surprises or new ideas of  ways to do something. This year, I already have not gotten seedlings started early enough--so I decided to experiment by starting them when I can , buying some started seedlings and having another round of succession planting. I have been reading lately, that here in the NE, in spite of our short growing season, planting later actually produces pest free and as good of a harvest as doing so on our traditional plant time of Memorial Day.  I am always reluctant to change, but this year, I am forced to!! Also, I did not get into weed as early as I usually do, but in some previous years when that happened, I discovered great volunteer plants that would have been dug up. It looks like this gardening season is going to give me a lot of surprises. I still feel overwhelmed, but I know it will pass by mid-May and that soon enough, I'll be sitting on the porch, relaxing with some lemon balm ade, looking out over  (mostly) a well manicured least for  a few days... before the panic about the demands of weeding, daily harvest/preservation and composting take over......