Spring is almost here and the bluebirds and chickadees have moved into their nest boxes! Here and there azaleas are beginning to bloom, and it is time to put more effort into the garden. With the world on its ear right now, many events and opportunities have been canceled, but we can still garden and find respite in digging in the soil.

Your seeds should have arrived from your catalog orders and serious thought can be given to planning for planting outside or starting the tender herbs and veggies inside. Hopefully, you have also ordered some vegetable seeds to go with your herbs, tomatoes with basil! Consider areas that you have never cultivated before because they will make good spots since no diseases were introduced from prior years.

Lemon balm should be peeking out along with parsley. Both are wonderful herbs to use now. Take cuttings of the lemon balm for soothing tea made with fresh leaves. At my house parsley goes into innumerable dishes. You can divide some of these plantings a little later in the month to increase your bounty and to share with your neighbors. 

It is also time to trim perennials such as rosemary and sage as soon as you spot new growth, this way you will know where to cut. Lavender cuttings could also be used as ‘starters’ by placing them in a good rooting medium. Dipping the cut end in honey can hasten the process. 

We may not be able to meet with our gardening friends in large groups, but we can dedicate additional time to cultivating, maintaining, and beautifying our own little spot in the sun. We are planting things that will be useful to our families throughout this growing season. That will bring us some peace and joy!

~~ Reni Erskine

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