It’s that time of the year again… where the flowers and blooming, the birds are singing, and our bank account just seems to funnel directly into Lowes and any number of other garden centers. But I love it.

Last Sunday we made good use of Sean’s new truck by bringing home 60 cubic feet worth of mulch for the flower bed in the back yard. While splitting the bags open I managed to stab myself (thanks to gloves it was only a knick) with a utility knife, which reminded me I hadn’t had a tetanus shot in 10 years… so got one of those Wednesday and have had a very sore arm ever since. It is better now though.

Today the spring time fun continued. We started out the day with a trip to the opening day of the North Hills market, where we picked up some shishito and tomato plants as well as some other goodies. Then we went to check out the crawfish boil at Lafayette Village before heading to the state farmers market.

The state farmers market is running over with strawberries. This week they were all dark red and sweet, unlike the past couple weeks where they were bright and tart. So I picked up two buckets of those and plan on doing some more canning tonight or tomorrow. I have three new canning recipe books that I am dying to try out. One of the recipes at the top of my list is strawberry syrup, from which I can use the pulp to make strawberry butter.

I also found some good looking cucumbers, which will soon be bread and butter pickles. And we spotted some bigger tomato plants out there, so I might have to pick some up of those next weekend.

After our farmers market visit it was back to Lowes for some soil, tomato cages, and flowers for the deck. Of course I got the wrong size planters for the holes in the deck, so I get to go hunt for some square 15” planters tomorrow. They are surprisingly hard to find, and the ones we have are starting to fall apart.

Once we returned home we sawed the legs off a long raised planter that the bottom had fallen out of, and put it on the ground for our tomatoes and shishito peppers. Of course there is a chance Eddie will munch on them there, but we will see how it goes. I had already ordered some of the Topsy Turvy (they were on sale super cheap) hanging tomato planters and one strawberry planter from Ace last week, so they should be here soon. So next weekend means another trip out to a garden center for soil and plants… although it will probably be Logans this time.

I really hope our tomatoes and peppers grow, and don’t end up being bug food. Fingers crossed! Guess I had better start reading up on tomato growing and pest control. The last time we tried growing things it ended up infested with green caterpillar-like worm things, and the strawberries became bird food. This will be my first attempt at tomatoes and shishito. The most I have to go on is a very vague memory of my great grandmother growing tomatoes in the back yard.