Last weekend’s cold snap was a rude reminder that it still was March. I had ice in water buckets all day last Saturday. Happily, the greenhouse did not freeze. I put the pepper seedlings on the propagating mat and covered them with bubble-wrap because I knew they would hate even the 40 degree temperatures. The cold frames did have a bit of frost inside but the snapdragons came through beautifully. I have had them winter-over in the flower beds so figured I could get an early start with the babies. They take forever to get some decent size and do need a bit of a pinch to make them bushy.

I started the peas in # 25 plug trays. I always start inside to thwart the crows. They will pull up every single sprout if planted outside without Reemay or some other form of protection. It really doesn’t matter when peas get in. They come ripe around July 4, no matter what.

I transplanted tons of lavender and thyme seedlings. They were so tiny I needed reading glasses to separate them. I have noticed that both of these herbs outlive their usefulness after a few years. They are relatively easy to grow from seed and certainly cost-effective. A mature lavender plant can fetch $15 at the local nurseries. It pays to grow your own. I like to put in a row of thyme so I can simply hack off a plant or two at a time. I am not fond of the old, woody specimens.

My potato order arrived from Pine Tree Gardens. I cut them into golf-ball-sized pieces allowing two or three eyes for each piece. They are forming a scab on the cut edge spread out on newspaper on every horizontal surface in my kitchen. I purchased several varieties — late season Russet Burbank and Katahdin and early Irish Cobblers and Dark Red Norlands. New to me this year are the Adirondacks, both red and blue. They are really pretty. In my perfect world I plan to get them out in a week. We’ll see how that works out for me.

The other evening I went out at dusk to close the henhouse and found a deer munching on my newly emerged tulip leaves. I was so irritated that I went into my usual rant concerning the injustice of it all. My granddaughter, Violet, remarked, “Mame, they are just doing what deer do. It’s not their fault.” Mouths of babes! Nevertheless, I hauled out the sprayer to apply deer repellent. Naturally, I had neglected to empty and rinse it last fall so it took quite a small nail to unclog the works. Honestly, wouldn’t you think a relatively intelligent person would learn by this stage in life? Oh, well!

I pulled a few radishes that I planted about a month ago in some big tubs in the cold frame. They were miniscule — about the size of lentils. They looked so appealing, I rinsed them in my watering can and ate them, roots and leaves and all. The leaves were hairy but I didn’t mind. I think they will actually be ready next week! I was thinking about our New England ancestors with no well-stocked markets and how welcome anything green must have been for them. I’m sure they appreciated dandelions. Those greens have been up and ready for a week or so.

I have no problem with disagreement with the government, marches on Washington, civil disobedience, or even an occasional effigy burning. I have always been fond of a well-thought-out conspiracy theory. However, the series of death threats and vandalism perpetrated on our Congressional representatives in the past few weeks is seriously disturbing. The President has the questionable luxury of secret service protection but our congressmen and senators do not. It is becoming downright frightening that heated political rhetoric is leading to violence. I have lived through 12 presidents, resided in Washington during the Vietnam war protests, and have always been interested in politics but do not remember this much discord in the country. House minority leader John Boehner equating passage of health care legislation with Armageddon was comical at best. Perhaps he’s worried that the new law won’t cover tanning salons?

Nevertheless, I plan to fully enjoy Easter and the rebirth of another gardening year.