One of my readers suggested gardening posts again, and now there is a group of people asking for more. He laughs about that when he phones. "I started something."
I discuss gardening issues on Facebook too.
I am about to plant peas, which I always do as soon as I can get a shovel in the soil. That is one issue - soil temperature.
Peas tolerate cold soil and love cold weather. One legendary gardener used an electric drill to put holes in the soil to plant peas. I have not been that fanatical so far, but there is time to improve my devotion.
The sunny garden should get corn, but it is too crowded there. Other sun-lovers are tomatoes and sunflowers. I will put strawberries and raspberries there too. Potatoes will be in the straw bales and strawberries on top.
I am all for French intensive gardening. Crowd the growing area. Once more into the breach, or fill the breach with shredded mulch.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'
The really fun part of gardening is watching the plants come back to life. Right now the roses are dormant on 60 degree days. They know! Freezing nights will continue through February. but then planting vines and roses will begin in earnest and fall bulbs will be proving me right again (I hope).
The gardening companies, who love me, have started to write about when they will ship - March. I like that. Perhaps we will have a surprise blast of winter when we think the threat is over. But that is part of the gamble, to glare with slit eyes into the storm and promise a recovery.