There’s no place I’d rather be right now than in my garden.

As I’m writing this, I can hear a chorus of  birds (warblers, mockingbirds, wrens, and finches) tweeting their little hearts out. They apparently don’t want to be anywhere else either.

I can almost imagine what they’re saying: “Look! Over here! The loquats are getting ripe. And look down there at those fat little caterpillars on the chard and kale leaves. Quick, get ’em! And check out that fountain — it’s FULL of rain water. And that lady who’s always in our yard? She’s finally gone inside to work on her blog. Hurry. She never stays gone for long!”

And now that the big bad drought has taken a break, all the plants are singing too. The chard  is taller and bushier than I’ve seen it in two years, the larkspur are giants bursting into brilliant bloom, and the tomato plants are growing so fast and blooming so well that platters of sliced homegrown tomatoes are already dancing in my head. (Sigh) I know it’s too soon to tell exactly what late spring and summer will bring, but for now, I’m feeling nothing but gratitude for the present and hope for the future. And those feelings of renewal and growth are spilling into other parts of my life too. Funny how that happens.

Here are a few scenes from my spring 2012 garden:

Loads of loquats. Biggest crop I’ve ever gotten off this tree. Should be plenty for me and the birds. And even the squirrels.


Thanks to MS at Zanthan Gardens, who passed along Larkspur seed a few years ago, these lovely spring bloomers  have been reseeding every spring  and spreading all over my front yard and back yard gardens. I love the frilly greenery and the purple, blue and white flowers. I have only a dozen or so blooms now, but by next week I expect to have a hundred or more. (Too bad it’s not edible.)


Larkspur have grown up all around my winter and spring greens, which I don’t mind at all. I’ve decided larkspur looks lovely with vegetables as well as other perennials.

Here it is with red romaine lettuce, which, as you can see, is starting to bolt. As a matter of fact, it bolted  right onto my dinner plate last night.


When the larkspur start winding down next month, I should have a bunch of rudbeckia blooms to keep the show going. Every time I look at these young buds, I am filled with happy anticipation.


But here are some little buds that give me an even bigger thrill every time I look at them. Baby red table grapes. Last year’s crop was my first off this 5 yea-old vine, and it was so good and so sweet that I can hardly wait to see what this year’s harvest will bring.


Oh, and another thing. Be sure to check out my story about garden greens in today’s American-Statesman food section (and online at And look for more to come every month or so.

And finally, mark your calendar for Oct. 20 if you want to get an upclose look at my garden and other edible gardens in the Austin area.  The Travis County Master Gardeners’ annual Inside Austin Gardens Tour this year will put a spotlight on  gardens that combine edible and ornamental plants. More details to come. And probably lots of worrying and fussing from me as I try to make my oftentimes unruly garden (especially in October!) presentable enough for guests.

Happy spring! And happy gardening!