It’s too warm for a jacket, dark glasses on again, off again in the intermittent sunshine, winds so strong they’re tossing the crabapple trees from aide to side like they’re saplings. The birds are quiet. Maybe they’re hiding out from an oncoming storm. Oddly enough, but I can hear the teacher’s announcements over the PA system and the bell ringing at Sharon Public School down the street.
The chives and mint that had been over-running their borders have all disappeared. I’ve learned my lesson though – from now on, I plant them in pots on the deck. Easy to reach and easy to control. The mortality rate is about the same as in the garden beds, but I don’t have to bend and curse to keep them under control.
My garden chores are late this year, in part because I keep finding so many tasks inside to do and partly because the weather hasn’t been all that great. It’s almost June and I still have to prune the grape vines. After a third winter of brutal sub-zero weather for weeks at a time, they grow thin and spindly, with reluctant leaves and almost no fruit buds. Maybe it’s time to just yank them out.
Being outdoors always reminds me of my Dad. He was such a farmer, happiest when he was ‘mucking about’ as he called it. I’m convinced he could grow plants from seeds of stone.
Thinking about my dad makes me think about how I’m getting older and damn, I have to update my will and what can I plant to leave a legacy for when I’m turned into compost. Maybe I’ll plant asparagus. No, the season is too short and the Farmers’ Market always has them at a good price. Strawberries, then? Damned birds and rabbits will get to the first. Oh, and I haven’t done the final edits on my novel but I’m sort of thinking about it. But really, is there enough sunlight back here to grow tomatoes? I’ll have to mount a chicken-wire fence to keep out the rabbits. And so on, and so on.
I linger under the trees and take in lungfuls of fragrant air. Yes, the oxygen they produce is important, but watching those dancing blossoms is healthy, too. Clip a few more dead branches, rip out another patch of stinking weeds, then it’s time for lunch. Hub and I lounge under the umbrella on the deck eating our lunch and reading the morning papers. It’s a beautiful day still.