Thursday, April 29, 2010

Can I plant yet? Can I plant yet? Can I plant yet?

I'm walking that fine line between spring hope and spring pragmatism. The warmer, sunnier days are more and more frequent, but the danger of frost is not yet gone from my Zone 4 garden, and won't be for a few more weeks. Still, I've got a porch full of winter sown seedlings that are giving me accusing looks from their containers, and I really would like to play in the dirt NOW. I guess I'll have to compromise, and plant out a few of the hardier things sooner (like alyssum, and snapdragons), and wait longer on the tender babies (zinnias, tomatoes).

It seems like it's been a very long week, and it's only Thursday. We have a busy weekend ahead, with kids' activities and getting the kitchen/dining/entry/mud room areas ready for new tile floors next week. We have to clean out the pantry and coat closet, and move a bunch of appliances, and take off the baseboard molding. But OH, to have a new ceramic tile floor to replace the cheap, badly installed, grayish vinyl that came with the house! I can't wait. The new tile looks like sandstone, warm and a bit casual, and we chose dirt-colored grout (to camouflage all the soil I track in year-round). It should warm up our home visually, and be a huge improvement. A smaller home improvement: I painted the picnic table today, so it looks fresh and clean.

I have some gorgeous sunset-orange tulips outside my front window, swaying in the stiff breeze we've had today and backlit by the afternoon sun. I love their warmth and unabashed joy - no shy little violets are these! It's fun to plant something bold and eye-catching, and even sometimes downright unusual or strange. I've been reading, "Exotic Planting for Adventurous Gardeners," by Christopher Lloyd and Friends. He reminds me of Ms. Frizzle, from The Magic School Bus series: "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!" Good advice for a gardener, don't you think?