On Monday I had to wear pajamas down to breakfast. No, it wasn’t because I was ill. No, it wasn’t because I had no clean clothes. And no, it wasn’t because I was feeling lazy.

It was because I had to keep myself from going out into the garden right after breakfast. For the previous two mornings I’d bolted out the back door the minute I bolted down breakfast. I didn’t read the paper first. I didn’t do the word scramble I normally do before starting the day. I barely combed my hair.

I just lathered up with sunscreen and scratched a bar of soap to push little slivers under my nails before donning gardening gloves and heading out to plant. I learned the trick of soap under my nails several years ago. It keeps the dirt that inevitably comes through the gloves from turning my nails brown.

Planting is compelling, particularly when the weather is nice. I’d been so cooped up inside in the rain last week that sunny weekend mornings drew me out early each day. I planted nasturtiums and basil in the “kitchen pot” by the back door where last year’s lavender, mint and tarragon were already pushing out new shoots. I planted two pots of dracaena and New Guinea impatiens by the front door, three pots of periwinkle, dusty miller and deep magenta geraniums by the garage.


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I drove to Green Fields first thing Sunday morning for more dracaena and some pale pink perennial geraniums I’d planned to use around a blue ceramic birdbath. When I carried the containers of geraniums out to the center of the garden, the blue birdbath lay on its side. A nocturnal critter had knocked it over. The wide blue dish had broken in a dozen pieces on the flagstone path. So much for planting the perennial geraniums, until I can secure the pedestal and find a replacement top or sturdy brass sundial.

That blip did not stop the momentum.  I planted another container of graceful Richmondensis begonias with a spikey dracaena in the middle and laid out a bed of dusty miller and begonias with copper colored leaves. I didn’t plant the bed, because I didn’t have time on Sunday.

On Monday morning I made myself finish household duties and writing work before letting myself out of my pajamas. It was the only thing I knew to keep me inside. So far I haven’t become so eccentric as to garden in p.j.’s, but never say never.