Lovely as they are, a vampire’s garden would NOT include garlic chives!

My medically mandated mid-day sun dodging is getting me down. For a period of weeks I’m strongly advised to stay out of the sun 10 A to 4 P- -a common recommendation for fair-complexioned folk and even more so given my recent tango with basal cell carcinoma. Since 2020 I’ve been diligent(ish) in applying SPF 30 and wearing my UVP 50 hat and shirt when I go out in the middle of the day. It’s not surprising that I’ve started sympathizing with the diurnal limitations of vampires.


Like Barnabas Collins?


Lily, 9, am I the only one surprised that Mom let us watch “Dark Shadows” after school until it went off the air in 1971?


Oh no!

Oh yes, 9. 1971 is a terrible year. No more Dark Shadows and our best friend, Cheryl- –

Wait, our best friend is Zoe- –

In sixth grade it’s Cheryl. Zoe is in a different classroom then. That was hard but it was even harder when Cheryl’s family had to move at the end of sixth grade because her dad took a different job. We wrote each other and took turns calling each other for ten minutes on Sunday nights after nine when it’s only ten cents a minute, but after a couple of years we lost touch.


You’ll be glad to know, Lily, that Cheryl and I get back in touch when we’re in our fifties and we’re still friends.


Now, back to vampires. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to become a vampire at the same time you’re trying to get your garden in? That’s happened to me. If I have a multi-hour garden project- -major weeding, rototilling, trenching, soil amendment, planting- -I start no later than 7 AM. Even at that hour I apply sunscreen and wear my UVP clothing. My watering and mowing have become crepuscular activities.


What kind of activities?


Ones that happen at twilight, 9. So far the late-in-the-day mowing doesn’t seem to bother the neighbors.


Probably because it’s so hot they’re running their air conditioners.


I suspect Barnabas Collins would plant night-blooming jasmine in his garden, maybe moonflower and tuberose.


What about fruits and vegetables?

Lettuce and kale, plus root veggies (foreground) and peas (trellised, background) to come. Not found in a vampire’s garden!

Probably he’s not a fan, Lily, since he doesn’t eat.


Oh. Right. He only drinks blood.


With Lee Press-On Nails for fangs if what we’ve read in the fan magazines is true.

Ah, but for some Lee Press-On Nails! Vampire impersonator sans fangs. . .

Barnabas Collins’s existence as one of the “living dead” illustrates that sun exposure limitations are not nearly as bad as no sun at all.


And you don’t have to sleep in a coffin.


Bonus points for that, 9!


On my new early morning/crepuscular schedule I’ve managed to plant kale, romaine, tomatoes, beets, carrots, radishes and two varieties of peas. The blueberries, spiraea bushes, azalea, hibiscus plants and hydrangeas have been sufficiently babied into leaf and are starting to bloom. It’s an “off” year for apricots (they yield heavily every 2 years) and the asparagus. . .a few edible stems have emerged this spring but the hoped for “asparagus takes over the earth” yields have yet to kick in.


Coming soon: two varieties each of beans and squash!


While it’s true that I’m not really a vampire, it is also true that I share their affinity for my (adopted) native soil, especially when it comes to gardening.


But as for Lee Press-On Nails. . .Maybe for Halloween.



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