Wildflower anticipation.

The youngest picked a packet at the shop last we went. A mix of wild promises of blossom and burst.

This variety has sprouted in a few spots we sprinkled. Each pair of leaves with a match pair of nibbles. Such consistency that I first thought it a pattern of growth… but it’s instead a habitual snacker.

It’ll be a lovely wait and good surprise to see what these grow into, if they make it to maturity.

Behind.

I think I’ve felt behind on this every year since the first year.

Tomatoes and peppers of varieties that the nursery will have no backups for. These sprout and thrive or we don’t have them.

An early eager helper turned bored companion quickly yesterday. It’s tricky to enjoy this winter ritual when being harped upon to play something more fun. This is play for me, but work for her.

And then a nap ended and out emerged a bewildered boy. An eager helper beside me once more, who found Papa’s favored pepper seeds that I had overlooked. Peace, for a moment or twelve.

And then his way awoke. Seeds pressed down nearly an inch into the soil, coaxed back to the top, boiled an eruption to the surface within him and I was once again with irritated companions of proximity.

There’s a wiring in her that won’t likely loosen on enjoying plant chores. She has it as deeply set for enjoying the care of animals.

There’s an opposing wiring in him, as there oddly often is, to decline playing dinosaurs with her to help me plant, provided My Way doesn’t over exert itself.

And so I will learn to give more give in my plans, build in cushions of time and space where needs be, so my worry about the impossibility of backups doesn’t tarnish, or simply crumble, the enjoyment of the season.

(And yes, I did check the seed tray first thing this morning to see if any miraculously fast sprouting had occurred overnight. It never has and yet I always check.)

Not everyone minds the cold.

It didn’t get above freezing for days. That’s weird here. I’m hopeful for fewer mosquitoes and cabbage fly caterpillars this year.

I don’t know that I’d seen 20 degrees for multiple days in a row since moving here nearly 15 years ago.

This snapdragon didn’t mind the cold, though.

Nor did these dianthus.

I’ll leave the done-for-the-season lantana pruning alone for a bit. The salvia is already sprouting again, so I’ll prune that first.

We’re all still home. We’re all still healing. And the parent-only tropical trip is cancelled for next week. Perhaps this means I’ll catch the first new blooms of the year.

Soft light covers

I didn’t sow any snow peas this year… odd.

They didn’t mind their light blanket so much as their bean neighbors did. A small final harvest, but I marvel at any bean harvest in December.

The volunteer cherry tomato plant weathered the frost, so those will not be the last winter bites of tang.

And skeptical of the forecast, my love harvested the limes. Twenty two in all and when he unwrapped Bill the next day, he was no worse for the wear…including a few incognito limes left hanging.

I do hope the butterflies will return to the lantana. There was a true kaleidoscope of them alight upon the blossoms some days.