By Lynne Irons>

Thank you so much — you know who you are — to all the callers willing to give me information about locating peanut seeds. Honestly, it is humbling to think you are all out there reading this. What I don’t know about gardening is a lot. I do make up for it in enthusiasm and love of the subject.

About a month ago I seeded up a bunch of perennials and biennials — Shasta daisies, Sweet William, hollyhocks, foxgloves, and oriental poppies. These were seeds I had kicking around in questionably labeled containers for years, really. After several weeks on the propagating mats with no success, I reseeded all the flats with American flag leeks. As luck would have it, everything germinated, but, naturally, I had thrown away all the labels from the first batch, so this will be a test of recognition skills as the seedlings are growing intertwined. Oh, and did I mention I remixed the soil? Oops! I know myself. I will carefully separate them all some Sunday afternoon, listening to Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley. I would not want their little lives to be lived in vain.

Last Friday and Saturday could not have been nicer. It must have climbed into the upper 40s. I whiled away several hours on a stool in the sun trying to make sense of my sorely neglected perennial bed. I actually weeded. It is remarkable how many weeds have greened up and are beginning to grow. I am blessed with a good memory as far as my own garden is concerned and was able to identify tiny monarda, phlox, helenium and hollyhocks emerging. Tulips and crocus were located under piles of stalks and leaves. I came across a blooming snowdrop, for Pete’s sake. I found an astonishing number of snails which I promptly fed to the hens. No wonder my hostas are always peppered with tiny holes.

My bees seem to have met their maker over the long winter. They would have come out during one of the warm days to do a bit of housekeeping. Sadly, there was no activity. I ordered a few new hives to arrive sometime in May. I love having them about the place to pollinate the fruits and vegetables. I do not care if I even get their honey. Their very presence pleases me.

The forsythia twigs I brought indoors have bloomed. What a happy sight! I am encouraged to cut some quince, peaches and cherries. They will all force nicely. By the way, pussywillows last longer if they are not placed in water. The water causes them to open up and leaf out.

I wrote the previous paragraphs last Saturday afternoon after weeding my garden in the sun. Here it is Sunday morning, and I just finished shoveling my sidewalk. That’s the thing about New England weather: it changes dramatically overnight. Time to back up from nearly spring to the middle of winter once more. It is like the seasons are at war. The good news — the winner is imminent.

Was I on glue in the 1980s? I remember Ronald Reagan’s presidency much differently than my Republican counterparts and some members of the mass media community. His philosophy (in my opinion) about deregulation, small government, and “trickle down” economics was the forerunner of our current financial crisis. For Bobby Jindal to spout the same worn-out, unsuccessful policies the other evening in his response to the president’s speech to the joint session of Congress was, at best, sad and out of touch. How about the principled “courageous” stand he, Hallie Barber of Mississippi, and Mark Sanford of South Carolina have taken? They are refusing parts of the stimulus package that would bolster Medicaid and extend unemployment compensation benefits. That is real “courage” with poor people’s money. How they continue to sell their false bill of goods to the working poor is beyond me. Who caught Rush Limbaugh’s speech to the CPAC last weekend? Is he actually the spokesman for the Grand Old Party? Have mercy!

And now the rest of the story — rest in peace Paul Harvey!