Out with the old

Spring is all in a rush this year, tripping over itself on the way in (and out) the door. We went away for ten days and my dark purple crocus have been and gone. We are going away again, and I fear that next I tread the brick path to the backyard, pear petals will brush my cheeks as they blow off their branches. I can't bear to miss the pear tree. I wait for it all year.

Spring's arrival always comes just when I least expect it. I am all settled into dark, silent mornings, wool blankets, and the seat of my cushy desk chair. This year my routine is even more broken. I have told my gardening clients I will complete spring cleanups for them - trim, divide, edge, tidy - and then I will be closing up shop as a professional gardener. My stomach gives a little lurch as I type that. To close a business that has been so good to me? To say no over and over, when a sensible person might be hiring an employee and taking on more clients?

But it's not what I want anymore. I want to travel with Matt, and move to the country. Wherever home is, I want to be there - in my own garden, not someone else's. And damn me, I've never been able to abide by something I don't want anymore. Pigheaded or dreamy or whatever I am, I'm off in a new direction, for better or worse.

On a lighter note, signs of summer are early: the exhaust fans are running in the bakery downstairs, Simon the cat has taken up post in the second floor window of the house in the back alley, and the Dancing Man - in all his glistening balletic beauty - is hard at work holding down the sidewalks of South Side with his untiring moves.


Ziar breadseed poppy

It's the time of year when avalanches happen in my pantry. In shoveling out the debris, I find some summer forgottens... We grew a short little row of these Ziar breadseed poppies (Papaver somniferum, or opium poppy), which are available from Fedco. This past week on my birthday, Matt put a few spoonfuls of our harvest into a batch of heavenly lemon-poppy-seed cream scones.