Today felt like the start of summer to me. Yes, I know it's only the end of April. But today the sun shone and the air felt warm on my bare white arms newly freed from their winter fleece. The birds sang, the bees buzzed, and I could practically hear the rustling as everything grew around me. It was a great day.
Today was also the day I officially declared my arthritis flare-up over and went back to work in the garden. A good thing, too, because Kim is now out of commission for three weeks as she recovers from an eight-month-old injury to her elbow that she is now getting treated for. It seems we are both learning about patience and human frailty this spring.
I overdid it a bit - typically - but tonight I'm feeling happy tired, not miserable tired, which is a good sign. I potted up a whole mess of growing seedlings, took out half the shelves in the greenhouse, transplanted about half the tomato plants into the greenhouse beds, transplanted all the summer and winter squash, the spinach, chard, and cabbages into the garden, seeded some new radishes, cilantro and basil, and found a way to keep the floating row cover from smothering my newly emerging carrot seedlings. (You may remember that one of my 2010 gardening resolutions was to grow better carrots - the floating row cover is keeping them safe from the carrot rust fly.) I spread compost on the bed where I'll seed beets in about a week, I found homes for the chamomile, calendula and nasturtiums I've been growing, I played a bit of B-A-L-L with Frankie, and arranged the potted sunflowers along the new orchard fence to help it look more like a cloister (that's the perfect word, Paula!) and less like a detention centre. I stacked empty trays and put away empty seedling pots, gave everything a good drink, and finished off the day by sitting on the verandah to enjoy the sunshine. Like I said, it was a great day.
When I was looking for places to put the herbs I've been growing, I decided to just place them, in their pots, in various nooks and crannies in the vegetable garden. I'll have to find more permanent homes for the perennials, like the thyme and chamomile. But I may just leave the calendula and nasturtiums in their pots - I like the idea of being able to move them around as the plants around them grow, and as other spots in the garden open up and need a bit of colour.
One of the best things was realizing how late the light is holding these days. This picture was taken at 7 this evening - gone are the days when Kim had to call me on the walkie-talkie from the workshop because it got dark so early she couldn't make her way back to the house.
It isn't just me who is enjoying the verandah these days - we have a family of birds nesting in a gap in the eaves. The parents have been swooping away every time we open the door, and a few days ago we began hearing the faint peeping of the newly hatched little ones. Now, three days later, that faint peeping has turned into lusty, insistent demands for food at every hour. Those parents must be run ragged.