I call it my Victory Garden because it represents victory over my near complete ignorance about gardening. This morning, I went out to remove the plastic sheets covering my lasagna beds. Now that we’ve had a couple of days of rain, I want the last downpours over the next day or so to give the beds a good soak before I cover them again. Every time I go out to the garden, I look to see if anything has sprouted in the one lasagna bed I’ve had exposed to the elements. I planted one fava bean, one borlotti bean, and — oh, lord, I’ve already forgotten what the other two seeds I planted were! Nothing has appeared until this morning. Suddenly, right there, where I swear nothing could be seen as recently as yesterday, appears a shoot of a fava bush bean! I nearly shouted for joy and jumped up and down — but I immedately started to worry. What if we have another frost? February is only half over! What should I do? Cover it at night?

The garden is a mess. Too much mud in an area where I suspect I’ve got an old unused, underground cistern. Later this spring I will have to confront that challenge. Meanwhile, I can’t resist putting more of the garden into action. Perhaps prematurely, I planted three small artichoke plants against the back fence. I’ll probably have to protect them, too, if we have another frost.

dsc04241But spring looks as though it has arrived. The luscious white camellia is coming into bloom. And, as you can see, the plum trees in the front of my house are in bloom. My neighbors say the magnolias, dogwood, camellias and other flowering trees and shrubs blooming around our neighborhood are too early. Maybe so. Still, when the sun is out, the pinks, whites, reds, and purples on branches make a canopy of delicate colors overhead. If only they had waited just until the end of the month to begin!

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