Gardening in late winter, hope for spring

Tomato in winter.

About the time I’m thoroughly sick of winter, despite the brisk, clear weather or the blessed, blessed rain, I start to think of planting. I start thinking flowers and food. I’ve never really had a great winter garden. I plant garlic successfully every year (with one notable failure) and watch it in hopeful expectation in its winter greenness when it’s all of about three inches tall. It’s starting to grow now, with these few days of sun and suddenly, it’s six or eight inches tall and they are starting to look like real garlic plants.

However cold and rainy, though, I bought plants in February because the urge for renewal was strong. Two salvias that are already growing robustly from Annie’s Annuals in Oakland, and a six pack of Swiss chard and another of “little gem” Romaine-type lettuce from Mix Garden. I planted the chard a few weeks ago but didn’t get around to the second salvia or the lettuce until today.

And, I bought a tomato plant last week. Yeah, yeah, I know, “It’s too early to plant tomatoes.” Meanwhile, it’s gorgeous in a five-gallon pot and it makes me happy. It cost me a whopping $4.

The sun is shining and it’s actually warm in the yard. I saw the first butterfly yesterday, though I couldn’t identify it, and what was probably a common-checkered skipper, today. I wasn’t close enough to identify it, either, except that it was blue-ish. The most common butterfly in my yard that is blue is the checkered skipper.

And, so it begins on a warm day the first of March 2017. (Two-thousand seventeen! How did we arrive here so quickly…but that’s for another day.)

Count your blessings today and every day. Tomorrow is promised to no one.

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