I have dirty windows, dishes in the sink, smears on the furniture and a mostly empty refrigerator - but the garden is planted!
This sunny weather is such a gift, I just have to spend every available moment outside, and the shopping and cleaning will just have to wait.
I left the vegetable garden in a mess in the fall. Even with the help of a lot of friends who were there while I was off my feet after surgery in late summer, things were left undone, and with the rain and cold in early spring, it seemed there would never be time to catch up.
But here I am, with the planting done and everything tidied for the moment.
Of course, things do not stay that way. The weeds keep on growing and there will be a summer's work to be gone through, but the hardest part is over and it is wonderful to sit outside and see how everything has come together.
My garden is divided into small plots with pavers between, and there are always difficult decisions to be made. I ordered seed for all possibilities, and some of them will have to stay in their packets until next year.
The raspberries and asparagus are the only perennials back there. Both are doing well. I cannot believe how many spears of asparagus I have picked from just 12 plants, and it tasted so good.
This was the third year since I planted those roots, and it has been worth the wait.
I wish I had more space to let the raspberries spread instead of having to cut back the new canes that are cropping up, but there are always enough for a few pies as well as a handful to pick at on every garden visit. The children in the family always know where to go for their "fruit snacks."
My first planting of potatoes went in right after St. Patrick's Day, as tradition dictates, and so did the peas. The peas survived the cold, wet days and are doing well, but I watched for the potatoes in vain.
When I dug up part of a row, I found they had rotted.
I had used proper seed potatoes, some fingerlings and Yukon Gold, but the replanting specimens were plain old Idaho potatoes that were sprouting in the kitchen bin, and are popping up already. I am sure they will be just as good.
I mixed together several packets of mesclun and spring greens, with some leftover spinach from last year mixed in, so I will have a good variety of lettuce, and a row of French Breakfast radishes is already up. One plot is filled with Swiss chard. I love the Bright Lights crop with stems of yellow, red and orange as well as the traditional green. It tastes very much like spinach, but does not bolt and will keep producing until frost.
My friend, Josh, made a great trellis for the pole beans this year, with a metal frame and hand knotting, and I have planted purple pod beans on one side and scarlet runners on the other. The rest of that space is filled with Trofeo bush beans.
And I will try to find a spot for a tepee for Kentucky Wonders.
Two of the biggest beds are filled with Gotta Have It corn and the heirloom tomatoes I grew from seed; onions and garlic fill another, and I have pepper plants in another. I grew these from a packet of mixed hybrid seeds, so I won't know what I have until the fruits form.
So that left just one more space to fill, and I have sowed beets and turnips there.
The summer squash will have to wait until the peas are finished in a few weeks, and then will have to play catch-up.
Two very large containers that used to be waterpots for my waterlilies and goldfish hold ornamental peppers, chives and a lone honeydew melon I was given.
Cherry tomatoes are in old pans and a coal scuttle on the back steps.
So there it is, a garden chock full of hope and possibilities. In the meanwhile the flower beds are doing well, but that's for a later column.