You think the title is ironic, right? You think that I did something stupid in the garden and now I have a disaster on my hands. Au contraire. The gardening gods have richly rewarded me for one of my dumbest moves ever.
Where the quasi-tropical character of my garden micro-climate is concerned, my hubris knows no bounds. As soon as April arrives, in snow or mud I set out in search of cool season transplants–broccoli, cauliflower, salad greens and kale. This takes some doing, because few stores are foolish enough to order plants that early. This year, after a long search, I finally found my transplants in a back room at Walmart (sorry).
The minute I got home I went to put them into the garden beds, but when I tried to dig the first hole my trowel hit something hard, which turned out to be ice. What to do? I had changed into gardening clothes and was wearing rubber boots, thick gloves and my barn coat; I had the tools and the transplants right there. I decided to just keep going. I gouged holes into the icy compost, bunged in the little plants, and wished them luck.
The next day they were all dead. Not only had their roots frozen, but since they hadn\’t been hardened off before I bought them the sun had burned their tops to a crisp.
Taking a closer look, I noticed that deep in the center of some of the plants there was a barely visible smudge of green that might hold a slight hope of resurrection. Then it started sleeting, so I went inside and put the garden out of my mind.
Today, just over a month later, I harvested three quarts of broccoli, which is remarkably early for this area. We\’ve been eating lettuce and arugula for weeks, and the kale is so lush it is literally bursting out of its bed. Turns out the little plants weren\’t dead after all.
But the garden gods are fickle, and just because they haven\’t punished me with the spring crops doesn\’t mean they won\’t rain scourges–drought, tomato wilt, and the abominable squash bugs–on the summer veggies. Do garden gods like propitiatory offerings, and if so, what kind?
In other news, the evergreens that the deer ate during the winter are convalescing; we have three frogs; and last week I saw two salamanders mate in the murky water of the pond.