I feel like an old oak tree who has patiently sat, leafless and grey, waiting for winter to release it's hold. I feel the sun warming the ground, and I can feel the sap stirring deep inside, ready to push green out to every extremity. I'm ready to grow, add layers, and cover myself in my finest green cloak.
I'm also ready to garden again.
The intention was to set in a winter garden, grow some lettuce and...er...whatever grows well in winter. Snow peas. Things of that sort. Well, that plan got nixed as most good plans do, and the garden patch has sat untended for a handfull of months now. But, finally, with the coming of the rains and the sudden greening up of the countryside I find myself chafing at the bit to be out there, knee- and elbow-deep in the rich brown earth. And I've managed a few baby steps:
- I've set up a compost box.
Okay, so it's three pieces of tin nailed to posts but it's a uniform place to toss weeds, rose cane clippings, eggshells and waste neighbors in, and with luck in a while Nature will take her course and I'll be rewarded with a small pile of very black dirt which I can toss upon my large pile of very brown dirt.
- I bought a new tiller.
That was the high-point of my tax return. That and setting up a savings account, but that doesn't involve gardening. I stepped up from a borrowed 35cc two-stroke weed-eater-on-wheels to an honest-to-gawd small garden model, a 150cc jobbie with a 24" cut, lovely dark green fenders, and a four-stroke motor. I've also graduated to several more compressed disks in my spine--that joker is a going concern when it's on high. I learned the hard way that it's a lot easier on guys upwards of 6' tall to flip that handle upside down when assembling, thereby allowing one to stand upright while operating the machine, rather than dragging one's knuckles in the rich earth.
- I've acquired a Go Buggy.
Nothing quite as fanciful as a Kawasaki Mule or a Honda Recon four-wheeler. No, it's more along the lines of a 15 year old John Deere lawnmower with the deck unbolted and thrown awa...ahem...I mean, stored carefully. It's not the 25 hp beastie my lawn tractor is, but it's sure going to save me on wear and tear on said machine, as I can take it out into the field to do battle with the marauding army of thistle that is gathering against me without fear of tearing it up, since it's already about torn to pieces. I was thinking about painting it hot pink and welding on a bunch of spikes and armour, sort of Mad Max it out, but that's gotta wait until I can get some tire slime to stop it's perpetual front-tire flat.
- The seeds have been ordered.
It's officially On now. The seed-mills are busy packaging and shipping me all sorts of odds and ends, I've already tilled up a melon patch and have extensive plans for a large gourd arbour, and I've got a few flats of seeds started, too.
Step off, winter. Irrelephant's got his Wellies on and a handful of seeds needing sowing.