Garden? Pretty please?

This is probably not a surprise to ANYONE at this point, but I’m really flipping tired of this winter-that-won’t-quite-die-and-now-is-dragging-into-what-SHOULD-be-spring.  We’ve had a few really nice days (high 60’s to mid 70’s) that are what this part of the country is normally averaging right now, but this weekend we’ve plunged back into the mid 50’s and rain again.  And as for sunshine?  I’m despairing of ever seeing blue skies again.  Yesterday morning LOOKED so pretty from my bedroom window that I was thinking of drinking my coffee on the back porch, but then I walked downstairs and looked at the thermometer – and then went to find a sweater.

In a normal year, we would have already started our big kitchen garden: tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, squash, jalapenos, green beans, lettuce, spinach, turnips, carrots, okra, basil, dill, parsley.  This year, we have a few seeds that just got put into starter trays.  It’s simply too cold to put anything into the ground, and there hasn’t been enough sun to get seeds going.  There is no hope for garden salads before July at the earliest.  Even the strawberry farm that puts a stand up at the corner next to our house hasn’t opened up, and normally we’re headed there mid-month to pick buckets of berries with the kids.  It’s looking like it’s going to be another crappy year for local produce.

My contingency plan is to hit up the local farmer’s markets that have sprung up over the last year or two.  There’s one on Thursdays downtown, and two on our side of town on Tuesdays and Saturdays in summer.  We decided against the CSA membership this summer (we’re STILL eating canned peaches and frozen squash from last summer) and figured we would just fill in from the markets instead.  Right now, I’m longing for the opening days to be announced.  Good, fresh vegetables would be a fantastic addition to my current rotation through cabbages and canned tomatoes and green beans.

I can’t say I’m impressed with the current flower selection either.  I went to Lowe’s yesterday to try to find fuschias for the front porch and to see if there were some specific mosquito-repellent plants (lemon balm, marigolds, citronella plants, peppermint, rosemary) to put together into planters at the back door and came up empty.  They had lots of ground covers, forced rose bushes, pansies, and frostbitten ferns.  Very disappointing, but not surprising.  It’s frustrating to know exactly what I want and not be able to find it, given how common most of these plants are and knowing when they usually hit the stores.

Last year was SO wet, and this year is SO cold.  I had hoped that the end of February would bring an end to some of my bad moods, but the calendar date hasn’t yet lined up with a change of seasons.  I can only look for a bright side and hope this means another mild summer, but it’s feeling pretty grey right now.

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