Fanfare, please: I have been able to plant. That which should have been in by and on the last frost date -- from romanesco to watermelons to heirloom tomatoes to artichokes -- is in the ground.

Pepper patch. 8 varieties.

The seedlings are admittedly not much to look at, but if weather and fate cooperate, in a shockingly short time, the garden will go from mostly brown to entirely green.

[The below paragraph was written this afternoon, before I inspected the garden this evening. I wanted to illustrate that I am an optimistic lady, and that I was logically basing this year's plans on last year's success, and not continuing to be someone who assumes nothing will work out, which I sometimes do, sometimes, yes, but not usually. Anyway :] (that is not an emoticon. punctuation. a colon and then the bracket indicating "end ramble".)

I am trying a slightly different approach this year because of the wild success of last year. Last year I just planted as many plants as I could fit in the garden, assuming lots would die off from being eaten by every small mammal in the county, every insect in the hemisphere, and diseases as yet unknown to botanists. Of course, not a single plant I planted in the garden failed to produce (except for melons, which I have de-classified as "garden plants" and re-classified as "miraculously challenging, fickle aliens that will only grow 5% of the time for 5% of people, probably people who tithe/meditate/keep kosher." My self-esteem requires that at this point. Atheists and agnostics have to buy their melons.) and it ended up being too jungular for me to give any plant the attention it needed to really thrive, let alone to paw through all the overgrown foliage to find all the fruits. This year I am giving everybody more space, and (hopefully!!) more attention.

[Ah, such a good impulse. Unfortunately, this evening when I trounced out to water the plant babes, I noticed that TWO of my paste tomato plants had been EATEN TO THE GROUND by something HORRID. I do not know if being eaten to the ground kills tomato seedlings. Probably yes. However, my recent experiences with fruit tree pruning make me feel like no. Either way, I immediately did that thing I do where I panic and overcompensate, and instantly planted a vast amount of backup plants, now assuming that 25% of everything in the garden will die. Fingers crossed that it will end up similar to bringing an umbrella when rain is predicted, thereby ensuring a completely dry day.]

Anyway, all can heave a sigh of slight relief; the garden is underway. The peas that I thankfully slipped in in mid-April have flowers!! The endive, arugula and beets that I planted on Saturday are already sprouting!!! But work is never the related Gargantuan and Crazy Planting Projects category, this weekend I have to get the Three Sisters pasture experiment underway.

The piglets have been cleaning that spot out for me recently. They are doing a good job - tilling and weed killing and fertilizing.