Where did I hear them called that? Must have been during my childhood when my mother and I took walks through the neighborhood (and either one or both of my sisters were still confined to the stroller) in the early spring. My task was to name the flowers we saw – undoubtedly the beginnings of my love for gardening that has lasted lo these many years. Today I noticed these little-bitty things had popped up all over the garden; juxtaposed with the regular daffodils one can see just how small and darling they are.

Wandering into the vegetable garden, I discovered that the sedum (planted optimistically last spring to fill spaces in the stone wall) has settled in and is in full bloom.

Even more startling are the artichoke plants, suddenly looking like something out of “Little Shop of Horrors.” I salivate at the thought of their potential for prolific artichokage in May and June. If I can just figure out a way to keep the ants off them… or are they to be thanked for eating the equally pervasive aphid larvae?

Sugar snap peas are beginning to flower (which means the peas can’t be far behind), and amazingly I’ve found the first two baby cauliflowers among the dozen seedlings I planted about a month ago. These will be a first for me, and never known for my restraint I tried all the colors on offer at our local nursery: cream, orange, and green. Very festive, and undeniably delicious when roasted in my signature recipe that includes capers and chopped olives. Can’t wait!

The Swallowtail Shawl continues to grow, here bearing a strong resemblance to a sea creature (sting ray?). There is so much of Sundara’s skein of fine Silky Merino still to go that I’m having trouble gauging how much further to continue with the budding lace motif before I launch into the Lily of the Valley borders. Thanks to Anna of My Fashionable Life, I’ll attempt the nupps fearlessly rather than succumb to the temptation of adding beads.

I’ve completed both fronts of the Lotus cardigan as well as one sleeve. I’m about halfway up the second sleeve and have only what the pattern refers to as the “skirt” to go. That should be the fun part. The Lizard Ridge blanket is moving along nicely as well, so I hope to have some worthwhile knitting photos to post within the next couple of weeks.

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