New Starts

I love gardening in such a mild climate. I love that at the end of autumn, when most of my outdoor work involves pruning and yanking out old plants to throw in the compost pile, there are still a few things to bring that “seedling happiness” to my little dirt-under-the-fingernails heart.

There’s the garlic, for starters — one and three quarters beds full of both hardneck…

…and softneck…

…because, as everyone knows, there is simply no such thing as too much garlic. (Actually I’ve been wondering if I shouldn’t have planted more.)

Then there are the brussel sprouts. This year the only sprouts I’ve gotten came from the one plant I overwintered, and so all of my plants will be overwintered for next year. Ryan helped me plant these (or “tuck them in” as he likes to term it), and other than having very specific opinions about where to put them, which were inevitably different from my own, he made an excellent helper. He likes to point that out, too. “I’m a helper!” he says, jabbing the trowel into the dirt six feet away from where I’d carefully laid out my plants. “Yes, you are,” I tell him, handing him a recently unearthed weed to plant there.

Last but not at all least — the pea plants are coming up. Tiny little shoots of snap peas and shelling peas, they don’t look like much at the moment. But if previous years are any guide, they’ll grow slowly over the winter and then take off next spring in a mad, sprawling attempt to dominate the garden. This time I planted sixteen feet of shelling peas. That ought to keep Nathan happy.

And now to wait until spring…

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