It is almost over. No more icicles and ice dams. Red noses and blue lips. Decisions whether to use sand on the walk and scratch a floor or don’t use it and crack a bone. No more driving 20 miles in search of a hot cup of coffee. The sun will shine down on evening commuters, and cars will stay clean for more than a day.
Spring is in the air.
This is the time of year when seed catalogs beckon, and I begin to plan this year’s garden. I can picture my “knock-out” roses being really knock-outs and my peony bushes full of blossoms. I will order a wisteria vine to put at the front door, autumn clematis to climb up the light post, and somewhere I will find a place to plant a swath of heathers. I will make a carpet of lily-of-the-valley like my grandmother had around her cellar door, and maybe plant a hollyhock or two. However, after I added up the cost of my dream, it came to more than $300. I turn to the seed section.
However, I have never had much success turning tiny seeds to healthy plants. A year ago I started two flats of herbs and ended with one pot of parsley. This year I started kits of basil and parsley in January. I used the correct growing medium, kept the pots warm and watered, and thinned out the weaker seedlings. Thus far only one stalk has developed true leaves.
Perhaps I would have more luck attracting birds. I will lure a bluebird, or at least a Baltimore oriole. I have neighbors that attract flocks of orioles and tell me that the secret is to put out orange slices. When I put them out, the raccoons eat them. I am told that the favorite food for bluebirds is live worms. If this is the only option, I may be satisfied with the chickadees.
One advantage of worms would be that they will not attract squirrels. Normally I don’t discourage them at my feeder. I don’t understand the point of spending hundreds of dollars on squirrel baffles. The squirrel will always win because they don’t have anything else to think about. Humans have to worry about unemployment, bank failures, and global warming. The little creatures can spend 24/7 figuring how to outwit the latest expensive squirrel-proof feeder. I believe in laissez faire, except for the time that a chipmunk gnawed his way through the window screen and landed on my desk. Fortunately, he was as startled as I was, and swiftly left the same way he came in.
Nevertheless, in the late afternoon when the sun is still high in the sky, I can still dream of visions of vibrant flowers in the garden, big pots of lush herbs at the back door and flocks of bluebirds coming to my feeder.
I am sure this will all happen. If only the snow will melt.