Blue skies, temperatures in the 50′s – I even hear a lawn mower! No one can be expected to stay indoors on such a pleasant day. So, abandoning indoor responsibilities (what else is new) I head outdoors with my fist full of seed packets and a gleam in my eye. Gonna put those new cold frames to work.
As a kid I loved to build forts on the beach with my cousins. Carefully decorating the teetering assemblage of driftwood with strings of seaweed and flotsam, I would declare one area the “kitchen” and another the “living room”. To this day when I go out into the garden to complete a project I find myself adding bits of personal ephemera, rocks, glass, bottle caps and the occasional bowling ball to each composition – still creating my own private environment.
Today I was excited to come across my People’s Bank yardstick, a relic from a dear neighbor now passed. With only a slight modification it is the perfect finishing touch for my new cold frame, because really – a packet of seed and a patch of ground is like money in the bank. I thought this was very clever and marginally profound besides.
I transplanted mache to more regular spacing so I’ll get bigger heads. This is officially the toughest green in the garden. It’s mild, juicy almost grassy flavor is a sweet surprise; I alway expect winter greens to be, you know – earnest, hearty and pungent. These little seedlings, sown last fall have never even blinked in the face of 2 1/2 weeks of snow cover and temperatures in the low teens. Hope I don’t kill them by moving them now! I carefully teased their roots apart, tucked them into the cushy enriched soil of the cold frame and watered them in with a gentle rain from the watercan. If nothing else, it’s very satisfying to see my instant results.
Next I sowed arugula, mixed asian greens from Renee’s Garden and my favorite ornamental (and delicious) lettuce ‘Merlot’. I figure I’ll have fresh salads by this time next month for almost nothing. I love seeds – you could say I’m a collector. I always buy way more than I need but it feeds something in my gardeners optimism. A packet of seed for $2.95 – fresh salads, a beautiful afternoon in February, peace of mind and money saved. As they say “Priceless!”