A year ago at the start of the pandemic, which was also the start of the lockdown, we arranged to have our milk delivered. It came in glass bottles. This was delightful, but it meant no more empty milk cartons to start my seeds. So I ordered some peat pots, gathered leftover paper cups from picnics past, scrounged up a handful of unused peat pellets, and proceeded. Here they are at the sunny upstairs window, only a few days in and already a few sprouts. The lobelia seeds were so tiny and so determined to stay in the seed envelope, I couldn’t tell if I got any of them planted, or if they blew away with the house dust. But little green bits are coming up pretty thick in those blobby pellets at the back there, so either I managed to plant the lobelia, or something colonized the pellets as they sat all year in the garage. We will find out.
The sprouts in the blue cups, though, are basil. I recognize them. No surprise there. Basil’s very nice because when you thin out the seedlings, you can use the discards. They’re recognizably basil, in scent, in taste. Throwing them into the spaghetti sauce is way more fun than tossing every second tomato seedling in the compost pile, after going to all that trouble to start them.
Meanwhile on the other side of the window, the narcissus are far enough along that neighbors out walking their dogs stop to admire them. Last fall I put a lot of chionodoxa in among them – the small blue things. They were easy to interplant because they’re so small, I barely had to lift a little soil on the point of my shovel to slip them in. I’m hoping they will naturalize, that is, spread and thicken up. The lawn’s started to go green but is not growing yet. I’m keeping an eye on the relative progress of chionodoxa and grass. If the chionodoxa die back before the grass needs mowing, I’ll put a whole bunch of them into the lawn next fall. A blue lawn – even just a swath of blue lawn – will really give the dog walkers something to stop and look at.