\”The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You\’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you\’re two months back in the middle of March.
A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight
And turns to the wind to unruffle a plume,
His song so pitched as not to excite
A single flower as yet to bloom…\”
(Robert Frost, Two Tramps In Mud Time)
I was out planting the cool-season seedlings yesterday–lettuce, broccoli, kale and arugula–and Frost got every single detail right. First, the sun that made me unzip my jacket; then, the cloud and the freezing wind that made me zip up again; and even the bluebird showed up. He was singing pretty loudly on top of his ash tree, but he didn\’t excite any flowers to bloom.
The buds on the apple trees are as dry and tight as they were in February, but the chamomile is sprouting between the slate slabs on the patio. And here is what makes me dizzy with joy: the garlic is up! Last fall I finally got brave and planted two 4\’x4\’ beds with nothing but garlic, and now it\’s sprouting and it\’s all I can do to keep from breaking off those turgid little scapes and munching on them.
You must understand, garlic is one of the things I like best in the world. Once in a restaurant, having first obtained my spouse\’s permission, I ordered a whole baked head of garlic as my meal, along with some bread. I loved every bite. Now it looks like I\’ll have all the garlic I could possibly want, right outside the back door.
A word of caution to local friends and neighbors: come garlic harvest time in mid-summer, you may want to keep a safe distance away from me.