January and February in a Nutshell

Some months feel like an eternity, but January and February were over as soon as they started. 

We received a record amount of rain and captured it in the gardens. The first flowers of the year bloomed – flowers we planted no less than five months ago – which brought with them warm feelings of hope, optimism, and delight as they are always greatly missed. We pruned the roses, and we weeded the gardens for what felt like the millionth time. Our seven-month-long bouquet subscription began on February 1st, and we took the first tenuous steps on a long-term CA native plant restoration project in our back alley. The tulips bloomed serendipitously for Valentine’s day; we raked away the many layers of mulch that had accumulated on the dahlias to coax them to bloom a little earlier this year.

There was the dispiriting job, and also joyful one, of harvesting flowers every single morning. Thankfully, I don’t have to cut flowers year-round in the early morning, every morning, but poppies and tulips must be picked, and so that is what I did. 7:30 am every single morning. (Poppies once they open are quickly discovered and consequently ravaged by hungry bees. Tulips mature very rapidly – growing even after they’re cut – and therefore must be harvested consistently, early on in the day.)

On the personal front, our family endured and survived an inordinate amount of winter sickness in January. I thrifted a great pair of jeans; two very large kitchen appliances stopped working. I ran a marathon with friends in Ventura, CA last Sunday! I got lost in four books of fiction, all enjoyable enough to warrant a recommendation. 

I think what I’ll actually remember from these past two months are the days I was stretched on the couch with my laptop while rain pounded on thirsty plants and crusted soil, the transformative hours I spent alone outside running, and the abundance from our gardens so early on in the year. Now, with early-spring in the rear view, spring on the farm has officially begun. Fellow beauty chasers: there’s a truckload of spring bounty hurrying this way.