Swing Time

It was 4 degrees and quiet when we woke at 6:30. Now at noon it’s up to 10 and blowing like a bandit, with merry tinkling of ice pellets against the windows and the occasional loud whoosh of something that would be granita if it had flavoring.

Inside, two harbingers of spring:


Iris reticulata is easy to force and unlike tulips, daffodils and I. versicolor (old-fashioned blue flag) it’s seldom sold by florists. This is Clairette, which is not like its picture both because it’s much more purple and because it’s much more fragrant. Catalogs seldom mention the perfume of these little charmers, but it’s definitely there and far easier to appreciate when the garden is on the tabletop.


The beans in the bag are Dr. Martin limas. !Delicious! Sweet and lima-beany and creamy, not mealy even at full huge size of over an inch wide. Didn’t used to be able to grow them in the Hudson Valley. Would cheerfully trade them for less global warming but let’s not forget the ill wind part … Seed is comparatively rare and well-worth saving; we got the original batch from Rohrer’s

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