In the garden: Someone make the pollen stop, please

So it’s spring, if anyone missed the memo, and my garden is going full steam thanks to all the rain and the sun that helpfully followed it. Along with all of the growing that’s happening — the grass is seriously sprouting up like two inches a week, people — it’s also flower time, which would be super nice if I didn’t have viciously terrible allergies this year. I don’t know why my immune system decided to do this to me but I hate it.

So here are some delightful allergen-laden friends of mine, only you don’t have to sneeze while you look at them!

This plant here is public enemy number one, and it sits right outside my office, so when I open the window on warm days it’s a ticket to instant misery. It even smells nice, which is the worst part, because I take a deep unwitting breath and then…

This tree is why you should buy stock in every known allergy drug manufacturer.

A post shared by s.e. smith (@realsesmith) on

But here, look, a tulip. These came from my landlady and they are really stunningly beautiful in person, like bright bursts of flame, only, you know, not actually about to catch anything on fire, so that’s good.

Tiptoe through the tulips with me?

A post shared by s.e. smith (@realsesmith) on

And how about this beaut? Those Aussies really know how to grow some weird flowers, man.

Unfiltered so you can fully enjoy the majesty.

A post shared by s.e. smith (@realsesmith) on

Speaking of flowers, these little baby marigolds will eventually bloom. They’re companion plants for my vegetables, to keep bugs off without, you know, needing to use agricultural chemicals. The power of nature, friends!

The little marigolds that could!

A post shared by s.e. smith (@realsesmith) on

Here are the wee strawberries those marigolds will eventually be protecting.

Coming soon to a yoghurt bowl near you.

A post shared by s.e. smith (@realsesmith) on

My eggplant is doing really well also.

Some future tisane coming up with style…

Future tea.

A post shared by s.e. smith (@realsesmith) on

I started some seeds last week, so hopefully I’ll have an update on some tasty tasty vegetables soon…but if you want a preview, you can always follow me on Instagram. (Speaking of previews and keeping up with me, did you know I have a TinyLetter? It’s a newsletter, only…tiny? Anyway, I send it out to you cool kids about once a week with an update on what I’m writing and where. And if you decide you’re sick of me, because who isn’t sometimes, you can unsubscribe later!)

P.S. Do you like what I do here? It’s actually kind of a lot of work to update this ain’t livin’ daily (and I can testify to the fact that it just gets harder when you’ve been doing it for over a decade and your workload is steadily increasing). That’s why I have a Patreon account specifically for those who are interested in helping out a bit at whatever level they feel like — think of it like a subscription service for awesome treats that usually arrive late because on the last day of the month I go OH NO THE PATREON REWARDS but I swear they are worth it. (Also, if you have suggestions for Patreon rewards or things that you would like to see, please let me know! Right now there are exciting things like exclusive Loki and Leila pics, PERSONAL LETTERS SENT VIA THE POSTAL MAIL, and opportunities to commission stories!) Exclamation points! Support from my readers really means a lot not just financially, but more intrinsically, because it helps me feel like people are really invested in what I do here. Making media of any kind is hard, and it’s getting harder in a landscape where people often expect it for free, but also without ads and sponsored content, so I guess just like magically? And that’s just when it comes to Real Adult News Sites With Like Editors and Paid Writers and Stuff.

Speaking of which, every month I’d like to single one of those out for your loving attention if you have some dollars to spare on supporting media. This month it’s Guernica, which is an absolutely fantastic independent journal with really thoughtful, interesting, engaging reporting from all over the world. Their journalism is incredible and they do features on lots of things I care about like border issues, poverty, reproductive justice, language, the diaspora, and an array of fiction and poetry as well. Their staff of loyal volunteers puts in serious effort, and they deserve some love.