I did, after my extended stay at O’Hare, finally arrive home over the weekend. I’d been gone for 12 days on what felt like the longest business trip of my life, including stops in Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
When I left Iowa, the snow had indeed begun to melt, but was still shoulder-high and causing trouble. I returned to a mostly snow-free landscape, although the disappearance of the white has left Iowa khaki-dreary—no blossoms, no green grass, no growth. This happens every year—there’s always a period of time between winter and spring (and by spring, I’m not talking about the post-equinox season, but the actual reappearance of color) when the landscape offers nothing to the eye other than wide swaths of blandness.
In my backyard, a small patch of snow survived in an area of the yard that’s shady most of the day. But the garden is, once again, uncovered, and what a mess it is, although it’s a mess that’s going to feed the garden nicely once the growing season starts up in earnest. Most of the bed is matted with leaves and decaying plants that I never pulled up before the snow brought any hope of that abruptly to an end, and I think I can probably just turn that stuff under so last year’s plants and leaves give this year’s plants a little bit of boost.
But on one end of the garden, garlic is already sprouting through the layer of mulch I put down when I planted it last fall, and when I crouched down to take a look, I noticed something particularly exciting. Not only is the garlic getting its grow on, but there are some baby spinach leaves coming up out of the ground.
I suspect my poor gardening practice of letting the spinach bolt and not dealing with it in a timely fashion has resulted in some inadvertent reseeding, and that means I’m all set up for fresh greens without any work on my part whatsoever.