PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Garden fun begs new inside aide

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

Spring has almost sprung, although it just wasn’t quite warm enough yesterday to believe those predictions for 80 today.
If you’re a crazy gardener like me, you’ve been spending our “nice” days the past three weekends getting ready for the real work in April.
I’ve made good progress with turning dirt, adding compost and putting in a few things that will tolerate our chilly weather.
My sugar peas are coming up well, and I’ve seen one purple-headed stalk of asparagus peeking out from below.
Yellow and red onion sets seem to be settling in their new beds, and my seedlings are coming along for dill, cilantro, lettuce, carrots, green onions, parsley and leeks.
Guess I couldn’t leave well enough alone this past weekend and put in another 8-by-8 “square” around my failed baby-pool garden, which now holds a fabulous aggregation of golden pansies.
I’m figuring that I’ll add a little more this and that, and this new square will be the home for cantaloupes and butternut squash, my next science experiment.
For these babies, I must devise some fruit “covers” to frustrate the pesky squirrels more than I should be by harvest time.
It’s been fun sitting out in the yard with pad and pencil, drawing out the gardenscape to decide what will go where.
Besides the butternut squash, I won’t be getting too adventurous. It’ll be the usual peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, pole beans, corn and okra.
It’s also my next phase of leaf collection. I know I am not the only gardener who drives around his/her neighborhood looking for bags of newly raked leaves.
Just around my corner last weekend, I spotted a nice young couple earnestly raking and bagging. I lowered down my car window and shout, “I’m coming back to steal your leaves!”
They laughed and said for me to come on. Got home with at least a half dozen bags of future garden gold. Oh, joy.
What could suffer around the home front is that while I’m having fun outside, I’m not keeping up inside.
Oh, but no. My ingenious engineer, dare I say crafty, daughter solved some of that dereliction: We are the proud owners of “Hal,” our name for our new robot vacuum.
This gizmo has a pulsing, red uni-eye when it’s charging – thus he’s named Hal for the creepy computer in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Just turn that baby on, as you’re heading out the door.
For now, grandpup Bonnie thinks we got her a little brother, but the bro’ won’t play exactly like she wants. He just keeps creeping along, sucking up dog hair.
Let our laziness begin!
When Margaret said she first set Hal loose, she discovered he got a little “lost” under my bed. But boy, it’s attained a whole new level of cleanliness under there, I’m delighted to say. We’ll close that door next time.
Now, all I need to worry about is that Hal doesn’t eat my sweet grandpuppy as she snuffles happily through her day’s worth of multiple naps.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com.