Normally we start planting by the 3rd week in March, but this March was very cold and snowy. Finally Sunday, April 2nd, we got into the garden at last. Woody planted spinach and plowed my first raised bed – the one nearest the house. I planted lettuce and cilantro plants from the greenhouse, another 6 kinds of lettuce in seeds, red and French breakfast radishes and shallot bulbs. Tuesday we had a rainstorm. Thursday we had another.
Friday we finally could get into the garden again. I cleared my raised herb bed of the heavy mulch on it. Three rosemarys and three lavender plants seemed to survive. The lovage is sticking its head up. I planted curly and Italian parsley then. After that, I planted calla lilies in a pot and three pots each holding a dahlia. The pots will all stay in the greenhouse for the rest of the month before they go out. Woody cleared mulch off the three tree peonies
This week I started the last of the spring seeds that get a head start in the greenhouse – yellow summer squash, patty pans, and several types of zucchini. Now I just have to keep on eye on everything in the greenhouse – just about every available surface has seedlings on it. It’s the smallest greenhouse you can build from a kit that’s big enough to walk into. Today I hope to plant arugula, garden cress, parsnips and move out the fennel plants, all into my farthest raised bed if I can persuade Woody to plow it.
Monday my assistant Penny and I worked on my haggadah. I add and subtract to it every year. For instance, this year instead of 10 plagues as every other year, there is an 11th plague – Trump. I added a new poem. Changed a few things. took out some extraneous passages. I had sent out the music to a bunch of participants last week. I have to practice the songs this afternoon. We pasted in the Hebrew and xeroxed and collated 20 copies.
Today we’re celebrfting Woody’s birthday. His primary present is a chair for his room, a very nice comfortable easy chair. He picked it out. But he has four other gifts he doesn’t know about that I’ll give him this afternoon. Tonight we’ll go out to eat at the P &B Bistro, a genuine French boulangerie, patisserie and informal restaurant. My assistant Penny gave us a gift certificate for a meal there.
I have been reading Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” and “American Gods.” I like his work and was glad to discover it. I intend to read more when I get a little time. But mext week, I need to start working on my presentation for the PEN panel I’m on on May 4th at the New School in NYC.
It feels as if every class in high school or college that uses poetry reads my poem written in 1971, “Barbie doll.” I’ve written over a thousand poems since then, many better than that one, but it’s in all the school anthologies and that’s the poem they use. The teachers and professors think it’s great to tell the kids to ask questions of the poet. I’ve had 14 queries this week. I try to answer them all but I resent it. It takes time I could be doing my own work.