Waverly Fitzgerald at the wonderfully esoteric School of the Seasons believes that January is “a blank month, best spent dreaming about what you want to do during the next year.”
I’d like to believe that’s the reason my brain is so sluggish today, dragging out even simple art assignments… like the lab pup character design (above) that would normally take up only an hour or two. Instead, it has taken most of the day to get paws and ears to come out right, tails to curve properly and faces to express that happy-go-lucky lab puppy smile.
But I can’t blame January. It’s actually more likely that the slow-as-sorghum trickle of my creative juices is the result of our relentlessly muggy weather. The thermometer on our back fence has been stuck in the mid 70s for more than a week now, a fact I try not to mention to our shivering friends up north. But the unseasonably balmy weather, almost 20 degrees above average, is causing its own problems in the garden.
Utterly confused, the entire broccoli crop burst into bloom overnight and was lost. We salvaged 10 heads, but the flavor and texture is poor. I replanted a third of the patch (18 transplants) but another mass of warm Gulf air came ashore and they are showing signs of bolting, too. The lettuce rapidly gave up the ghost, convinced that May was here.
The forecast is for cooler temperatures by early next week, so I’ll compost all the casualties and sow an interim crop of spinach and peas. Meanwhile, we’re getting ready to start some flats of herbs and heirloom vegetables for spring planting and the downtown Growers’ Market. The Perfect Man has been rising early to garden before work, mulching around his fruit trees and digging a new bed for his growing collection of bulbs. Garden life marches on.