It’s been a busy week in the garden world. The weather has been completely in our favor. So much so, in fact, I believe we are a few weeks ahead of last year. The cool evenings have helped hold the forsythia in full bloom for weeks.

I picked the rest of my carrots. I had planted them in August and never got around to harvesting them in the fall. I tossed a few flakes of hay down the rows around Thanksgiving. My reward for this minimal effort was several meals of the sweetest carrots ever. Hopefully I’ll remember to repeat the process this coming year. The good thing about writing a garden column is checking on my own self. I’ve always meant to write things down for future consideration.

My tulips are absolutely stunning this spring. For once I put enough deer repellent around early on and seem to have thwarted the pests. Most years they come through on one evening and rip off every bud.

Last year I received a huge order of baby Leland cypress trees the second week in December. They should have arrived the previous month. I bullied my son, Reuben, into helping get every one into the ground before a hard freeze the next day. Not a one lived through the trying experience. The company needed to replace them, as they had misshipped them. Naturally they all arrived this week and need prompt attention along with blueberries, raspberries and asparagus roots. Oh! What I wouldn’t give for a couple of clones. Every morning upon awakening I completely overschedule my day so by the end of that day I’m exhausted and peeved with myself. Such is life! At least most of my character flaws amuse me!

We had our monthly Homegrown meeting last Sunday. As usual, we had several lively conversations going at once. We covered heirloom apples and peaches, fig trees, onion and leek planting, community school gardens, and the high school-Woodside garden cooperative. We talked about the gleaning project for this season. Lyn Weber passed around several varieties of tomato, eggplant and pepper plants for us all to share. I was able to unload quite a few onion seedlings. We plan to meet one more time on May 16 before we recess for summer.

For those of you still starting seeds, the most inexpressive labels for the flats are to be found at Shirley’s or Granite. I use Popsicle sticks, also known as craft sticks. The company that makes them is Waddle We Doo. How can you resist anything with that name? Also, use the Sharpie marker that says Rub-a-Dub. It won’t fade like the regular ones!

I have been following the volcanic eruption in Iceland. Apparently the high school Minnesingers were sent home from Logan airport instead of boarding their flight to Prague.

One of the news coverages told a remarkable story of a Captain Eric Moody who was piloting a British Airways jet from Jakarta, Indonesia to Perth, Australia. He flew through volcanic ash and lost all four of his engines.

His recorded announcement went like this: “Ladies and gentlemen, we seem to have lost all our engines and are trying to remedy the situation. I hope this does not cause you too much distress.” He then proceeded to glide down 25,000 feet and was able to get one engine back at 12,000 feet and safely landed all 247 passengers.

Speaking of volcanos, there is a great article in the most recent National Geographic about the recovery taking place at Mount St. Helens. It has been 30 years since that eruption. Prairie lupines and wild foxgloves are growing on her slopes once more. Nature is so forgiving.