Words and pictures from the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Hope Springs Eternal
Yesterday was the sort of day that makes one believe anything is possible -- that this will be the year the yard and the garden attain such heights of horticultural splendor that gardening magazines will be lining up to immortalize every perfect flower and ideal vegetable. Sober experience, of course, suggests that this won't happen. The balmy temperatures will give way to hot days and a Darwinian struggle of weed versus cultivated plant will rage through the flower beds and garden tiers. The masses of stately delphiniums I'd envisioned in March will subside to a sickly straggling few and once again I'll be thankful for the humble, indestructible daylily.
But when I came home yesterday from a morning that included reading Marvin K. Mooney to a charming group of second graders at our library's Seuss Day Celebration, to find that the manure fairy had spread a load of brown gold on our little entry lawn and that the first daffodil had opened, I shed my town-going garments and got into my grubbies to start work on that dream.
In the field above the orchard, my husband was on his tractor, turning under the newly green grass in preparation for a potato patch. The smell of the dark brown earth was intoxicating and it was cheering to think that this, at least, will be a crop with every liklihood of success.
"Taters is easy made," said our mentor, Clifford Freeman, helping us to plant our first potatoes back in the spring of '76. He knew better than to fool with delphiniums.
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