His voice was low and sweet. Not the chip-chip of Mr. Cardinal calling to his mate, this was a long and beautiful melody celebrating the warmer weather.
“Watch out, birdie,” I thought, “Winter isn’t over yet.”
I couldn’t see him as he flit from tree to tree, but his voice never left me as I walked about the property. As my feet pounded the red dirt, I was filled with emotion. Excited at the idea spring is only a couple of months away. Gratitude for the weather which turned fair this week, although we have snow and ice again in the forecast. Yesterday and today are a respite from the cloudy skies which seem to close in day after day.
The birdsong was like a clarion call saying “It’s time.”
Time to plan the vegetable garden. Which seeds will you need? I bought and planted spinach seed in the fall. It should come up by itself this spring. Also, the lettuce and carrots grew throughout winter under their warm blankets. Still, I need peas, sugar snap and snow. Although my family doesn’t like beets, I do, so I’ll plant a row or two. Plus, turnips with a homegrown taste as sweet as sugar. My mouth longs for decent turnips to simmer with the ham hocks I bought from the Oklahoma Food Co-op. I’m going to the annual meeting on Saturday, and I’ll let you know what I discover.
Which lettuces should I place in my online shopping cart? I want to plant alternating blocks of red and of bright green. I may buy Devil’s Tongue from Territorial Seed. It’s as red as a tomato and would look great next to Black Seeded Simpson. How about a speckled row too? Have you seen the picture of Strawberry Cabbage lettuce in the Comstock Seeds catalog? A true beauty shot which made my mouth water. If you haven’t perused this catalog, send for one. Those lovely folks from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Jere and Emilie Gettle purchased Comstock Ferre last summer. The Baker Creek catalog is also absolutely beautiful and worth settling down with to enjoy while you have your morning coffee.
In years past, I’ve ordered from Seed Savers Exchange (apparently they’re in the midst of controversy), and I’m a huge fan of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange because their varieties perform in our horrendous heat. Both groups save the best and most unusual of heirloom seeds. From Seed Savers, I’ll buy small round carrots like Paris Market. These smaller carrots just perform better in my soil which has pockets of clay. I’ve noticed many catalogs are utilizing a similar format to Penzey’s Spices in that they are filled with gorgeous photographs, important information and recipes. This is both forward thinking and a throwback to latter days. I think in the very near future, once technology is cheaper for producers, we’ll see a similar format on the next generation of e-readers. We’ve already seen what the iPad can do for Martha Stewart magazine.
One day, I’ll cozy up to my color e-reader of choice and peruse my favorite catalogs making notes with the built-in highlighter as I go, and won’t that be efficient? We’ll probably even be able to order directly from the e-reader. However, in the meantime, I’ve got my print catalogs in hand, and I’m off to sit with a cup of tea enjoying them as they are.
As you know, I heard a bird sing today, so spring can’t be far away.
I missed the controversy about the Seed Savers Exchange. I stopped paying attention for a few weeks and look at what I am missing…
Ann, I didn’t realize there was a problem until I went to their site for links. Who knew?
the birds were out in full force in our garden this weekend. I believe they were celebrating the warm spell. I know I could not resist a song or two!!!
Jim, the birds are barely able to fly to the feeder this morning. All this snow and wind. Oh well, it won’t be long until spring.
Now I’m even more excited for spring!
Jenn, glad I could help you out. :))
If I do nothing else this weekend, I need to order my seeds. You’ve got me all excited for spring!
Me too Carol.
Love reading your blogs Dee! Our weather here in Kansas has been nice the past few days too and have enjoyed listening to the birds that I feed.
We plant three different kinds of lettuce seeds and mix it up to plant. We call it our Salad Bowl. 🙂
Enjoy the weekend!
Thank you so much Debbie. I hope your weather didn’t get too bad.
Dee, What a lovely post~ Here in Nashville, it was a beautiful day and I could hear the birds singing all over the garden~Our resident robin asked me to top off the bird bath. I finished planting tulips and cleaned up the native ex-asters. It was a treat to be out there after the winter we’ve had! gail
Thank you Gail. I’m sorry I think I sent our cold weather your way. Here’s to no ice for Nashville.
What a lovely post…photos and prose.
I’m so with you, Dee! I’ve got a bad case of premature spring fever for sure! Can’t wait to taste that first spring lettuce. Thanks for all of the lettuce suggestions.
Well, that snow put our spring fever back into hibernation didn’t it?
Ah honey, that birdie was serenading someone who appreciates it.
Love all the catalogs you mentioned. Have been knee deep in them this week.
Just planted 4 rhubarb (bare root) and had to dig to China to enclose them in wire baskets. Also planted an artichoke. Once they get going I am planning to underplant with lettuces. I get so excited!
Sending love across the miles and can’t wait to get back to Oklahoma for the Master Gardener’s Conference. Hurrah. Like minded souls.
Thanks so much Sharon. You always say such nice things. I’ve been thinking about all the catalogs and what to order. I have so many seeds already. I should be prudent and use those first huh?
Lisa at Greenbow
You are an inspiration. I don’t even grow veggies but this post makes me want to have at least a salad garden. THe birds have been coaxed into song a day or two here too.
Lisa, you are too good to me my friend. I just write what I feel. You should get a container and grow yourself a bit of salad greens. You’d love them.
Thanks for the sweet reminder, dear Dee, that it is time. I love the thought of the elusive cardinal singing gently. Warm days like these do turn our minds to spring, even though we know more winter is coming. I was just looking at my seed packets saved from last year and wondering if it was time to sow yet. Lettuce, peas and sweet peas are on the top of the pile. The Bayless garden in Chicago was certainly inspirational. Thanks for reminding me. 🙂
Frances, it’s nearly time. Of course, the snow from today will just blanket things until later in the month. Then, we’ll get cracking. Yes, I enjoyed Rick’s vegetable garden. That was interesting.
Hi Dee, We are thrilled in CT that such great seed people have purchased Comstock – it was in decline for quite a while and now seems to have a lot of excitement again. I loved your sweet prose about the bird’s song.
Cyndy, have you met them? They are really nice people and seem to understand the business which isn’t an easy one. Here’s to their great success. Thank you so much.
Mr. McGregor's Daughter
Color blocks of lettuce will be very pretty. I’m still partial to ‘Merlot’ lettuce, it’s such a gorgeous ruby.
MMD, Merlot is a good choice for sure.
BTW, I really like the new look of the RDR.
Thanks Susan. It does load faster doesn’t it? I think I like it.