What I Did Yesterday

Where I grew up, it was traditional to start seeds on St. Patrick’s Day. Which is what I did: tomatoes, peppers both hot and sweet, eggplant, basil — no such thing as too much basil — broad-leaf parsley, lemon grass, and a whack of “old-fashioned” annuals, zinnias, portulaca in neon colors, asters, nicotiana.

Trust me, there’s no better cure to whatever gripe or complaint or crappy week you might have than holding a tiny capsule of life between your fingers and pushing it into soil, knowing in four months or so, you’ll be eating tomato sandwiches till you’re sick. In a month where hope was scarce and evil stalked the earth (as usual, but more so), planting a seed is reassuring. “Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been,” said Thoreau, “I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”


  1. #1 by shrtstormtrooper on Friday 18 March 2011 - 1047

    That is by far the most excellent way to spend St Patty’s Day. May you never become sick of tomato sandwiches…

  2. #2 by Karin RN on Friday 18 March 2011 - 1429

    I have seeds somewhere in the garage or laundryroom, or in the refridgerator crisper still inside green peppers, etc. Haha…You make me want to get out there and plant some seeds. Hmm…

  3. #3 by Raquel on Saturday 19 March 2011 - 2144

    I hope your tomatoes are delicious! I love all of those annuals, especially zinnias. It always cheers me up to plant in my garden as well :)

  4. #4 by Kalanna on Sunday 20 March 2011 - 0822

    lemongrass grows as an annual up here? going to have to look that one up. i have a tall healthy plant back home in the southern US but haven’t seen lemongrass since i left. makes the best tea though. yummm.

  5. #5 by Carol on Sunday 20 March 2011 - 1019

    Even seeing seeds in the store cheers me up! We sow sugar snap peas in the ground on St. Patrick’s Day. The grandkids eat these like candy. Living in Ohio, we sow zinnias and other annuals in the ground on Memorial Day. One year my husband had the bright idea of spreading the zinnia seeds broadly. I don’t have to tell you, we could not tell a zinnia from a weed. Last year I convinced him to sow them in rows. I then thinned every one of those little plants. It was a glorious garden.

  6. #6 by Jenn Jilks on Monday 21 March 2011 - 0953

    I have to build a fence before I plant! Deer are voracious. Great post.

  7. #7 by Cartoon Characters on Friday 25 March 2011 - 1217

    Whatever you do, If you plant corn, just remember, don’t plant early corn next to late corn. They will cross-pollinate and you will end up with inedible corn all the way ’round. That’s all I have to offer.

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