[6/52]: 11 February 2011

February 11, 2011

Dear Reader,

So many exciting things to tell you. It’s been a good week.

1. Our new toy is another tandem bicycle. You may be asking, why another tandem bicycle when we have a reasonably nice one. Well, this one is “foldable” (more like lego-blocks-able) and packable, making it easier for us to take it anywhere.

Two nice features about it: it’s red (how appropriate for February) and it’s about as old as our relationship (again, how disgustingly appropriate 🙂

Other nicer, more practical features: it’s light, it’s fun, and it is considerably smaller to maneuver, so it is an ideal bike for in-town riding. We haven’t tested it for long-distance riding (awaiting new tire tubes), but so far not much of problems. If all goes well, it would be nice to take this bike on Amtrak and take a small trip.

2. After pouting at other people’s pictures of early spring flowers (there are daffodils in London and croci in Scotland) and not finding any hellebores blooming in our garden, I was overjoyed to see tiny croci and snowdrops in our neighborhood. And a small patch of green grass with dandelions all over. All this after a tiny layer (0.5″) of snow in the morning.

I guess while it is still cold, no one can resist the allure of increasing daylight. Spring is coming, no matter what.

3. We had a huge amount of compost delivered today. Guess what we’ll be doing this weekend…last weekend, we cleaned up the garden and it felt so, so good. Part of it was the scented herbs we have– lemon balm and oregano. They had dried or desiccated due to the cold, and cutting them was pure aromatherapy. We haven’t pruned our rosemary or lavender yet, and I am looking forward to it.

4. I love that soldiers are being trained to be farmers. We do need more farmers.

5. This interview with Piet Ouldolf, an amazing garden designer. I especially love what he says about gardening:

“If you make a four-season garden you have to learn to accept decay and see the beauty of it. It’s about the texture and shape, the seed heads and the skeletons. So instead of using the scissors you use your eyes.”


“Experience starts the moment you start to like gardening. You can’t do it right the first time. You can’t even do it right in a few years. You always see the next step you have to do. Start simply, putting good combinations of plants together, and work from there. You have to go through all the steps. You cannot skip any lessons. That is honest. It’s hard work. But you get something back, that’s the good thing. It’s like raising children. You try to do your best.”

(Although I disagree with raising children part- it’s not like children bloom all summer and then die back in the winter- but he’s right about the rest. )

More about Piet Oudolf here.

6. New books! In particular, Kevin Brockmeier’s new book, Margaret Roach’s memoir, and Lee Calhoun’s re-issue of Old Southern Apples (I would love to visit his orchard of heirloom apples in the spring. Can you image the smell and the blossoms?)

7. For the 14th: Happy Interplanetary Be Who You Are Day! And remember to love yourself, too.

Til next time,

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