Planting Parsley, Harvesting Asparagus, it’s May

It’s everythingallatonceyesterday time: Plant lilies of the valley bought at church sale, trying not to be envious of neighbor’s huge, established yard full of same. Prune roses, weed, smell viburnum. Mow grass, repair fence, map bulbs in the viburnum bed, inhaling deeply. Put out more suet so poor little woodpeckers have a chance against the everlasting grackles. Wish for rain. Wander over toward the viburnum; two or three more days and that’ll be it until next year.

Also, it’s high time to get the parsley in. Younger is better when it comes to seedlings – old ones often bolt – and as far as seeds are concerned, the old saying has it right: parsley must go to the devil and back 7 times before it comes up.

While waiting, harvest asparagus, always cutting below ground level so there are no stubs left to feed asparagus beetles. Leave a heavy stainless steel knife in the garden, so you don’t dull your good kitchen knives against small stones in the soil. And if you don’t HAVE an asparagus patch – drop all other tasks and get going! Like peonies and rhubarb, asparagus takes a few years to pay off , but once it takes hold it needs little care – and it keeps on giving for decades. Beautiful, too, so you can use it as an ornamental if you’re short on garden space.

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