Thursday, December 18, 2014

Garden Gifts

Mountain Magic
Mid-summer we traded tomato shoots with a friend. He gave us a baby Roma, Juliet, we, a rooted Mountain Magic cherry. Jim took his home and put it in a pot. Ours went in the garden. Our Juliet did OK. Jim's Mountain Magic did great! When the days cooled, he brought it inside and it continued to bloom and bear fruit. Two days ago these vine ripened beauties were left on our porch. Rarely do we, in Southeastern NC, have tomatoes in our fresh salad but this week we did! Aside from being beautiful, they were delicious in our salad. Gifts from the garden are the best filling the tummy and warming the heart. It has been a good year that way.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Let It Grow...

December 2010

Fabric row covers are keeping the lettuce just warm enough to save them from freezing. This morning we had a hard frost, but there 'neath the covers, were brilliant green greens. Tonight's salad was harvested minutes before dinner. Lovely Amish lettuce on the menu with locally grown sweet potatoes.

I have read row covers can add up to 10 degrees in warmth. With ambient daytime temps near 60, the covers make cozy growing spaces! Neatly held down, the low tunnels I have made make snug mini-greenhouses for our lettuce and broccoli beds. Turnips and kale can take whatever Mother Nature dishes out and are doing just fine. I am a happy winter gardener today.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Nights have been really cold Down South. Temperatures in the 20-ties. I knew it! I just knew it would happen again. Gloom. Despair. Agony. Except. Last Spring I determined we would not have a blown up, blown out winter garden again. I broke down, bought a brand new, really big, long bolt of Agribon agricultural fabric from Johnny's Seeds. Capital was invested yo.
Fast forward through summer and a lovely, temperate, early fall. But! My Daddy, consummate cynic, taught me the ways of a doomsdayer. Weeks ahead I put in place all the metal row covers. I unfurled afore mentioned fabric and gently placed it over each bed making sure we had enough coverage. Then I hauled bricks to make sure we could snuggle it down tight.  And I waited. Boom! Just as I had predicted, cold arctic air pushed it's way South and (thanks to the Weather Channel) I was ready. I hoped. This morning I peeled back the Agribon, hope in my heart, and found this:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Salad days are here again, happy days are here again...

Rain paired with temps in the 80's have led to salad days. And, because the gods love us and want us to be happy, we even have late season, vine-ripened, tomatoes. "Great gravy!",as Nana Augenstein used to say! Here it is November down South and we are eating the All American salad! What next?

 Leaves are still on the trees, some only just beginning to turn. Our pin oak seems to know the calendar, shedding her leaves slowly, predictably, semi-deciduous beauty that she is. I've saved her from the saw more than once. Guessing, I'd say she is my age. A grand ole gal in my very own backyard. Standing alone, uncrowded, she has taken on a perfect form her canopy spanning fifty feet.  I'd say she is in her prime with many more years of service.
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Other garden news: 
Alliums are in. They are to be 30" tall. We'll see, Spring 2015. I had a most pleasurable morning digging, composting, chatting with neighbor Suzy while poking bulbs in the ground. This retirement business is working out just fine. It is really fun to be off the clock. Really. Fun. No more wistfully wishing I could be home on pretty days. 

All brassica's are on go. Garlic is up. Asparagus is dying back. Mustard is waning but we have had satisfying dinners with them. Potted beets are looking good and don't you know I'll be posting pictures if they make it. We've had the thinnings in salad. Yum. 

Note to self: 
Plant arugula. 
Transplant evergreen onion seedlings. 
Water something. We are headed into a dry spell. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cole days are coming...

What a lovely Fall day down South! Abundant sun shining down through a Carolina blue sky, perfect humidity, a gentle breeze, and 70 degrees following two days of rain. Wow. Money cannot buy this. This is great skipping school weather! I'd skip two in a row if I were still doing school.
In the spirit of enjoying the weather, yes I am a ram. Walked both dogs, chatted  with a neighbor along the way, took some pictures of...

my fairy garden,

and cooked up a mess of turnip greens.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Field peas are on tonight's dinner menu. With not enough sun or heat they had slowed down so much there is no point in going on so I picked them all and will cut off the tops leaving the roots to provided nitrogen for the lettuce I'll plant there.
Cool thing:
I am taking a class at the Ag Extension office on sustainable agriculture. Tuesday we were instructed on how to read our soil reports. I just checked online and mine report is not completed. I am so excited to know what our soil needs to produce optimally. My money is on lime and boron. 
Bad thing: 
Fire ants moved in under our wheat straw mulch and took over a corner of the broccoli, kale and cabbage patch. The quest for organic pesticides yielded a three prong approach. Boiling water, lawn mower on top of the mound, and two chemicals, spinosid and perethrins. A check of the nest this morning shows...NO ANTS! and that was with boiling water and lawn mower. 
Good thing: 
All cool weather crops are on go. Lettuce looks loverly. Cole crops look loverly. Mustard is loverly. I've brought out the wire to cover the beds for the frosty days ahead and have started another round of seedlings of Amish lettuce, Swiss Chard and Butternut. 
Next thing: 
Garlic of all varieties will go in when we have had a few more cool days and nights. Still in the 80's during the day. That's summer in some places. 
Crunchy Summer Crisp lettuce
Ciao for now. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Eighty percent of the time vegetable gardens are pretty. Twenty percent they are a hot mess. The sunflowers say it best. In the inverse relationship category, the garden requires tons of work to transition from summer to fall. Seed packets are all all around the computer in piles to indicate what will be sown. Seedlings cover the garden table and potting bench. I am preoccupied with watering them, moving  from shady to sunnier spots to acclimate for the open garden, and then transplanting. New mulch (wheat straw) has been bought waiting for plants to get a little bigger. We spent most of the day Sunday pulling out, weeding, digging, composting, putting in broccoli and resowing seed that fried in the hot, dry weeks we had. My cabbage seeds failed so I will cave and pay for hot house seedlings.

On the up side, we have Oakleaf, Romaine, Summer Crisp, Red Sails, and Waldmann's lettuce seedling. Kale, Russian and Ragged Jack, are getting true leaves. Curly mustard is ready for picking and eating. Turnips are small but healthy. Behold.

I see salad in our future...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Seeds. Gifts that keep on giving!

Okra, the new superfood. Do not try this in a smoothie. Let me do it first.  
The apples are ours. Organic is not grocery store pretty. Ice cold from the fridge they are a mighty sweet treat. Okra is spectacular. The daily take has been about fifteen. I cut it before the sun gets high is still hot and humid and dewpoint-y in the 70's which makes  our world a great big suana. This, I attribute to a small (all things relative) hurricane blowing it's way between NC and Bermuda on it's way outta here. Okra will bear fruit right up til frost. I will harvest the pods, shuck the seeds (both varieties are heirloom) and grow them again next year. Woo hoo! The green pods are Clemson Spineless. I've seed saved them for years. The purples, Abelmoschus esculentus, (marbles in my mouth, sounds like a skin condition) were a Christmas gift. I like them a lot. Did I mention they are great roasted at 425 tossed with oil, salt, and pepper?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hot and dry

Yep. It's been hot and dry this week. Not good for seedlings. Even the established plants get wilty late in the day. Use it or lose it. Water, that is. Watering is, hands down, my least favorite gardening task. But I hate losing plants more so I get up early to get it done before the heat and humidity crank up.

Tomatoes, okra and herbs are reliable now. We have a bowl of field peas ready for tomorrow and potatoes from early summer and a little zucchini in the freezer. Keeping things varied gets hard toward the end of every season. Hoping for green beans soon and field peas to follow. Spinach has germinated (yay). I look closely every morning for signs  lettuce is sprouting. Mustard looks good, turnips look good, beets are a bust. Broccoli and cabbage are on go for transplanting soon.

Seed saving. Just do it. These are Celia's seed progeny from the 1940's. Hell yes! If I can do it you can too.  Do. It. 
And that's the news from Biggie's Garden where all the women are strong (in one way or another), the children are smart and interesting, and the man is indispensable.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Within a week of sowing beet and turnip seed, we had a gully washer. No other way to say it, the beets took a beating and the turnips floated away-yay-yay. Mustard took a hit when Buffy-The-Vampire-Slayer took a walk through. Today I replanted.Whoever wrote Butternut Squash are impervious to squash borers, lied. They. do. too. I pulled them out in disgust and sowed spinach. Spinach is a crapshoot. Maybe we'll get lucky again. Lettuce goes in next. Happy, happy, joy, joy! We love lettuce, all kinds. Broccoli and cabbage seedlings are healthy. They'll get transplanted soon. Yellow french beans, can't call them green beans, are flowering. Scott's mom always grew the yellow variety so we do it too. Soon, very soon, we'll have beans on our dinner plates again. I love them-easy to grow, easy to pick, easy to prep, easy to cook. Pick them up and eat them with your fingers like french fries, folks, and they become the ultimate fun food. C'est bon.
The leaves of yellow beans have a yellow hue, fear not, they are well.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


We are now in wait mode. Tomatoes are regrouping for another blush of red. Just pulled out lima beans and replaced with mustard, one of my favorite greens. Our next harvest of field peas is a week away, I'm guessing. Okra and banana peppers are cut daily, the current steady date. Tonight we'll have them as a fry-up with grilled chicken. Last night we had Joy's eggs, baked with tomato and basil, and toast with homemade apple jam. A locavore's feast!  Should have taken pictures but, hungry I was. I divided chives this morning. Mother Earth's "What To Plant Now" for the southeast is also recommending outdoor sowing of kale, summer squash, spinach, chard and collards to name a few. But who has room? I've been advocating for a raised bed in the front yard but am getting serious push back from Scott. Done right it would look good 80% of the time. Smile. This is the time of year when vegetable gardens look a mess. Stay calm and carry on gardening...
Field peas are most lovely plants.

Ode to Joy and egg.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Winter Gardeners! Start your engines!

2012 Easter carrots
Yes, it is that time, again. I am please to announce purple-top turnip seeds sowed this week were up in two days. Detroit beets, the same, though they took a beating in last night's rain. Nantes carrots took a few more days but they are just darling. God and family know I just love the sound of carrots being pulled from the ground. There is nothing like it, absolutely nothing. Makes my heart happy.

Rounding out the summer season is a new crop of field peas and green beans. Sunflowers are coming on great-guns and parsley is ab-fab. Okra is just before overwhelming us which suits me just fine. Cannot wait to grill it on the barbie. Yesterday I transplanted broccoli and cabbage to bigger pots. Golden Grimes apples are ripening one a day and I am eating them right off the ground. Lovely! Fig jam is made and canned for winter. Today, friends, I am a satisfied gardener.

Friday, August 1, 2014


And pretty maids all in a row. 

This summer we have sliced tomatoes with every meal. It is wonderful! The Mountain Magic's are working for us with more ripening on the bushes every day. That's right. We are letting them ripen on the plants. There's Buffy-(The -Vampire-Slayer) our newest dog and a scarecrow that scares even me holding a balloon, to deter squirrels. To date it is working.

Okra. It's huge. It's healthy. It isn't making pods. Is that the area of the garden where we spread Joy's  chicken fertilizer? May be. Maybe we overdid it. Time will tell.

This week I:
1. Sowed beet seed. They are up.
2. Sowed yellow snap beans (Scott really likes them.) They are up.
3. Sowed carrots. They are not up.
4. Found aphids on field peas. What?! Sprayed with garden hose and smushed in hand to bug combat.       Argh! A win/lose deal. Icky bug juice on fingers. Yuk.
5. Sowed broccoli and cabbage seed. They are up.
6. Did not join the fitness center because digging the garden is workout enough for me.

Ooooo! And I ordered seed potato for fall planting from Burpee's. This will be my experiment for the year. Will it work? Mother Earth News says it will.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's perfect!

Weather is everything in gardening down South. We have had a perfect balance of rain, sun, hot and moderate days. A blooming miracle for which I am most grateful. It's been cool and cloudy enough to work outside most mornings, rainy enough, with sunny days and afternoon showers in between.

I started gardening during a drought cycle that dried up the South. Atlanta's water supply was down to 30 days and our own little Lumber up here in NC got so low there were sandbars you could walk across. It was a regional drought. In my mind it was epic. I watered ever single day and gave up on flower pots for years after. It wasn't just dry, it was very hot as well. Take away: we are still at the mercy of the elements. Wind, sun, rain, the ever lovin' tilt of the earth and what we've done to it, rule.
Treasure Falls, Colorado

Hot, hot, hot potato

NC Cooperative Extension agents advise that replanting of squash in late summer is a likely fail. They are still right. Frustrated and defeated I pulled up some beautiful, bugged-out zucchini, dug the soil for a new planting of beans, and found more potatoes. This a a happy thing. I found enough for two more meals. Cool.

Okra is the big deal right now. It loves heat so it is huge and beautiful. Best I can tell, only aphids like okra and they can be blasted off with the hose.  You have to keep and eye out for them. They love to suck at the new top growth. So far, so good. No aphids.

Grilled okra. Yes, please! 
I went ku-razy and planted twice as many plants this year which had me looking for hot, okra pickle recipes today.  The internet is a lovely thing. Should we have an over-abundance, pickles will be every neighbor's Christmas box. Think of it, a six pack of locally brewed ale and hot, spicey pickled okra at Duncan's outdoor kitchen, round an open fire pit. Very satisfying thought, it is. Cool nights, cool friends, cold beer. Very nice day-dreamy-thingy on this hot, hot day.

Two days ago I planted broccoli and cabbage seed and they are up! Surprised me. I dug weeds and watered for a carrot bed this morning and will plant the seed tomorrow. Our fall garden is in the making. Looking forward. One foot firmly planted in the present, the other on a banana peel.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Most of what we grow gets eaten straight away. Our garden is not large enough for old time canning and freezing-which is good. Who's got time for that? Lord preserve us,  and protect us, not me! There is the fig clause, however, stating that there will be no wastin' of the figs. Our's is most prolific. Big. Huge. Gigantic. Tree. Fifteen feet tall, fifteen feet wide, every, single, year it is loaded with fruit. I could start a small jam operation. Scott uses a step ladder to harvest his reach. We ceed the top fruit to the birds. I make fig jam, so does neighbor Ann, and we keep a list of fig friends. But hold up! I have found a new preservation technique! Alcohol! Brilliant! Currently soaking are peaches, blackberries, next, I'll throw in figs. Did I invent this thing of beauty? Nope. Germans call it rumtopf. No secret that it includes rum, right? A measure of sugar, add any summer fruit, glug in the rum, and you're off. This is not instant gratification food. It takes months. Is it good? Let's think for a minute of fruity, alcoholic drinks...
Bonus: If the polar vortex strike again, we be ready, mates.
She, decked out to capture Winter's light

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Out with the old, in with the new.

     The life cycle of summer vegetables is mere weeks down South. Heat, iffy rain, stifling humidity settle in. Productivity stalls. Then something has to happen. In military speak (I learned a lot working in Fayetteville, NC) it is euphemistically called "Doing the hard, right, thing." In plain American it is, "You will now die." Continuing, military-style, I chopped off green beans at ground level leaving the nitrogen bearing roots in the ground to fertilize the next round of plantings. Dig, compost, dig, plant. In went more Mountain Magic tomatoes. Repeat but with different plants. Sweet potatoes and squash replaced the potatoes. Okra went in where garlic had grown. More beans went in the carrots patch. Waltham's butternut squash is where the kale grew and lima beans are about to bloom where the early peas were.
     Thomas Jefferson, gardening books, blogs, how-to shows and know-it-alls,  all recommend planning rotations and sequential plantings but I am so not there, yet. I have just worked up the courage to snuff out the sad-looking things taking up space, time and water. Knowing when to let go, then doing it. I learning and growing with the garden.

...becomes this. And a cobbler. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

They're ba-ack...

Squash borers. If you see one, there are hoards. I won a battle, it's true. I, Fearless Gardener,  prevented them from invading the stem directly, but revenge is sweet. Here's how it went down, literally:

 Thwarted at the ground level the soft, oozy caterpillars gathered at dusk in the canopy of the defenseless, fruiting Zucca Maxima, in the prime of her bloom. There, they hatched a plan to invade from the air. Oooo, this would be fun! They would bore holes at the junction of the leaf and leaf stem on the underside knowing that I, Fearless Gardener, their opponent, would be watching down on the garden floor below.
The point of entry.
     In a stunning, mass assault they each chose their individual leaves for cover, waited until dark of night, signaled silently using pheromones and started chewing. It was hard work for a time, but they had time, and darkness of night, on their side for the Fearless Gardener would need respite. 
Fearless Gardner, weapon at hand. 

     Simultaneously,  they began their chewing through the fibrous stem they found waiting undefended a cool, wet, natural waterside. All together, with elation at their victory, they slid down their curvy, watery stem-slides. Ity-bity voices cheering joyously, "Weeee!" and "Waaa-hoo!" Exhausted but victorious, and just a tad hungry, they snacked their way into the luscious, mother-stem bringing Zucca Maxima down much as a dragon brought down by arrows.
Now you will die! I will squash you!

     It is a sad day, gentle gardeners, in Grande Oak Garden. A sad, sad, day. Really. I am in mourning.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The large and small of it...

Ta-da! I was right. Again. Elephant garlic is a biennial.

Here's how it works:
Year one: Plant the hard brown pips that are attached to the mother garlic in late September/early October. It will sprout green leaves that look remarkably like leeks. Wait about 10 months. It will not flower and you, dear gardener will leave it in the ground. 
Year two: Wait some more. It will sprout again and grow all winter but...this spring it will send up a flower shoot which you, gentle gardener, as soon as you notice,  will pinch off as soon as you notice. This will allow your Elephant garlic to get bigger. Wait for the leaves to turn brown, pull it from the ground and you will have a milder version of the garlic we all know and love.

Does it kill vampires? Haven't tried it yet but I know they are out there. The new millennium term is Republican.
Elephant garlic with clove and pips and the regular stuff

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Harvest Time

Potatoes, cabbage, beets (yep, I did it) turnips and green beans galore are all coming out this week. It is deadly hot and dry, dry, dry-so out they come. No point in going on, or as Freakonomics my favorite drive-to-work podcast would suggest, failure can be a good. Give a listen and, if you have ever failed, you may feel better about conceding to your opponent(s).

In the winner's corner: I have given cabbage to neighbors, hope to have potatoes for a fall harvest, and have been eating steamed green beans with my fingers, like french fries, for weeks.  Grill roasted potatoes, turnips and beets have graced my dinner plate. Okra is up and looking pretty darned good. Field peas are thriving and by some miracle of fate the squash borers haven't attacked before I got some squash. Now that's something to talk about!  Life is good when the garden is giving. Food foraging for blueberries and blackberries at River Lumber, I am reminded of my place in food history. Dudes. It's hours of picking to come up with enough ity, bity blueberries for a cobbler. I do not exaggerate.
Red okra. A Christmas gift. 

Monday, April 28, 2014


I did cover the tomatoes and even managed to remember to uncover before work so they did not boil under glass. They are Mountain Magic, recommended by Bill Lord of Almanac Gardener. Aren't they sweet?

It did get cold at night. The beans looked sad until the warm days and nights perked them up. I thought I was going to have a redo for about a week there.

I am now covering the lettuce from the sun with an old beach umbrella. Afternoon sun is too hot for these tender Buttercrunch babies. Looking snappy casual in the back yard on these hot days.

Planted a bell pepper in a jute bag this morning. It worked before. Growing sweet peppers are not my superpower. Banana peppers always do best here, go figure.

Ollas are covered by the potatoes now. During dry spells I push back the plates and fill the clay pots with water. Osmosis does the work. Sure were ugly when I first put them in though. Looked like random dishes tossed out in the garden.

Marigolds, zinnias, shallots, dill and parsley seeds were planted this weekend. Now we wait.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What to plant, when.

Spring is time of choice. Straddling two seasons one can plant cool weather crops knowing that as soon as it heats up down South they'll be goners, and, looking forward to warm, sunny days, plant beans, squash, and tomatoes.  I have room to do both. Chugging along in the shadiest area of our yard/garden are late winter broccoli, cabbage and mustard. Our hope is that the weather will be moderate enough for them to not bolt. Gardening is a gamble. If we win this game we, and our neighbors, will be living large, in the vegetable category. Natures lottery.
Our current inventory of eats are all things green. Salads every meal. Amish, Summer Crisp, Red Sails, Savoy Spinach, baby turnip and mustard greens. And yes, kale in our morning smoothie.
Because our temps are going to drop to below 40 at night this week, out come the covers for our tomatoes. Checking Felder Rushing on the beans, they will be OK. If it doesn't freeze.
In the category of amazing recoveries is the garlic. It looked awful all winter. I despaired and planted a late winter crop (not doing well at all) sure that our Fall crop was going to fail. And...drum roll please, we have these strappy Elephant garlics growing. I think I've figured them out. Two years, they take. I think.
                                           Spinach. It's been years. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Flu bug

One year ago...

Hmmm. The shot helps but flu is still some powerful mojo, bad juju, icky poo. Didn't care if my garden lived or died. I thought about it but I couldn't act on it. To the rescue, doo-doo-di-doo!!! Scott! He covered everything with Johnny's Seeds handy-dandy garden fabric and saved the day. Now we need a nice soaking rain. Not his superpower.

In the not much to report category: Scott harvested our first and only (so far) asparagus spear this weekend. We wait. For warmer days and nights paired with ample sun and rain. Then we will have beautiful salads, sweet peas and broccoli, brilliant beets and carrots, and tangy greens. The good life couldn't be gooder for anyone, anywhere, when there are just picked vegetables on your dinner plate.

In the crossed fingers category are the apple trees. This is it. Either we start getting apples this year or, I fear, the gig is up. They have all three set buds that are swelling and my hopes are high. Please, please, please. I so want to win this one. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Forth!

Pronounced oy-yah. 

Check out our tater bed. It is a beautiful thing. Tilled finely by A1 shoveler Scott, enriched with Joy's composted chicken manure, designed by me.  Lovin' those estate sale pots repurposed as ollas,  I'm going to pull up a chair and take it in while the birds twitter, dogs at my feet, on this fine sunny day. Nothing like the satisfaction of a garden task completed.
Ciao for now!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Garden fabric

Couple weeks ago I ordered garden fabric for next year. This weekend we used it to cover or current winter veggies. Winter is so not done with us Southerners just yet.

Here is what I've learned about the gauzy fabric: It works if the wind doesn't blow it loose.

Ya know those caricatures of winter? The blue and white, cloud-face blowing curls of wind? That Winter blew off and tore  my garden fabric. I keep going out in the frigid cold and tucking it back in because that's what gardeners do; perseverate; persevere.

It has crossed my mind that we might get lucky on the back side of this winter and have a cool, rainy summer. Wouldn't that be nice? Yes it would. For example, like last July 4th.
Reminds me of Uncle Tom's home movies of crops in the 1950's  :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Growing snow

Whoa hoss! Even the Deep South is in a Deep Freeze. Great gravy! (taking a quote from Nana B). Nothing to do but sit and watch the snow on the ground. It's 9:00 on this fine winter day 27F, 6 inches of snow on the ground and another sweep of winter mix headed our way. Scary. A similar scenario 50 years ago in L'ton shut down the power for a week. It was a long, boring, week. That was my take away as a twelve year old.

There are gardening things to do indoors. Today I organize seeds resolved to throw out the old ones.
Figgy bottle tree

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Michael Bublé - "Feeling Good" [Official Music Video]

Hi Ho Happy Gardners

Nature vs Nurture and it's tabula rosa! I have long been knowing I am not in charge. That's right, we are at the mercy of fate, the stars, our genes and just plain ole stupid on the part of others. Life has dished up ample evidence in my case. But, let it not be said I just laid down for it. Oooh no. Does this make me a looser? Yes, sort of. Despite my best efforts the Artic Vortex (AV)  flattened my winter garden; mulch, garden fabric and prayers aside. Not being my first rodeo, I spent the days before  AV picking everything pickable. Nature, fate, The Gods, Mother Nature beat me again but...

It's a clean slate, people! I seeded lettuce, cabbage, kale and broccoli this weekend. There they are green tips, peeping out, just up through the soil, in pots on my kitchen counter four days later. We ripped out all evidence of AV's passing and have nice neat little beds ready for seedlings in mid-February.  Sunday, just for one day, it felt Spring was just around the corner. A sunny, warm winter day birds chittering in the background we busied ourselves outdoors.  

Birds flyin' high, you know how I feel. Sun in the sky, you know how I feel. Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel. It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life...and I'm feelin' good.
Leslie Bricusse, 1964