Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Though it isn't technically Spring yet, I'm loving it. The weather has been beautiful, the birds are chirping and my tulips are sprouting. I love when everything turns green again, and I love to watch the changes. Spring is a good time to clean out the closets, to scrub the floors and wash the windows. A fresh start, a new beginning.

Late in the winter, the plant catalogs start coming in the mail. Flower porn, I call them. Everything in there is beautiful and unattainable. They do provide some motivation and inspiration, even if it is unrealistic for me to think I could ever grow anything that well.

It's far too early to plant anything here unless you are a trained expert like my neighbor, the envy of the block, the botanist. For the rest of us, planting generally has to wait until after Mother's Day. Since the growing season is so short here, I have vowed for the last couple of years to seed start some flowers so they would be ready to transfer in May, and would actually have a chance to grow. This year I finally did it. I have sweet peas, morning glory, sunflowers and golden poppies nesting in their little peat moss homes, protected in the tiny little greenhouse indoors.

Each of the flowers I am attempting to grow this year I chose for a reason. I love sunflowers because they are so easy to grow. They are hardy, and it's pretty hard to kill them. We get along. I picked the poppies because they remind me of home. Oh, how I miss driving up the coast to Santa Barbara, smelling the ocean and watching the wildflowers swaying in the breeze. The sweet peas were chosen by Ally, which is quite a coincidence. She can't yet read, but one of my nicknames for her is Sweet Pea. Out of hundreds of flower seed packets, she picked that one. And the last, the morning glories, are one of my most favorite flowers. Our backyard in San Diego was a constant work in progress. When we finally got the planter done on the North side of the yard, I planted it with morning glories and absolutely fell in love with them. In California, they can grow all year. Here, I only get a few magic months of them.

I hope that this little greenhouse works. Last year, out of all the seeds we put in the ground, the only ones that actually grew to maturity were the morning glory. Hopefully this year, they will have a better chance. We'll just have to wait and see.

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