By Martha Williams

Every now and then I tell you about surprises from the plant world. Usually, it’s a change in the color of the bloom, like my white geranium that put out a branch with pink blossoms — or the Gloxinia on my kitchen window sill that changed from pink to purple. I like to think when that happens, God is saying to me, “Are you paying attention? Because if not, I’ll make you.”

The surprise this week was a sort of bonus. Ira, a friend from church, has been helping me reset the hothouse for this year, and we’ve also been putting some plants outside as well. I learned, after being rather stupid last year, not to put a squash or cuke plant in the hothouse, because they took over, so needless to say, squash and cucumbers this year are outside. I’ll be looking forward to some not-quite-accidental hybrids that I now do deliberately. When we came here the first time, back in ‘77, my stepmother had a big garden. She planted all her squash in one long row, switching seed varieties as each envelope of seed went empty. As nature would have it, some crossed — and where the acorn and zucchini came together, we ended up with some strange looking results — but they were as delicious as they were weird. Ever since, when I’ve had a garden, I’ve had one hill with both an acorn and a zucchini plant in it together.

Some of what we were doing required more potting soil. We opened a new bag and...what? There was a lovely little fern happily growing in that unopened bag. So we planted it with my roses in the front bed to see what it will do.

After a total change in the soil in my grow boxes this year, tomatoes and peppers are doing beautifully, and it looks like they are going to produce much faster than last year. Tomatoes are nice in the grocery store — but somehow, home-grown just seems to taste better. Plus you have the advantage of knowing where it’s been, who has handled it, and what fertilizer or bug repellent has been used on it.

There are also going to be pumpkins this year. And I’m giving in and doing something I’ve thought about for a long time — trying to grow one of those supersized pumpkins just to see if I can. Every now and then, I’ll tell you if it’s making progress. It will be interesting to see how well those Atlantic Giant pumpkins will grow here by the Pacific. And if it does well, I know those delightful youngsters across the corner will get a kick out of it, too.

The big thing for now is vacation Bible school, and I think now I’ve found the one I was waiting on an email for — sometimes those emails make like Dorothy, and go to Oz, I think.

So, we have 2 VBS ( the one at the Nazarene church has just finished) that I know of, and I think there should be a couple more.

These two are taking place at the same time, Monday-June 29, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Grace Lutheran’s program, Rolling River Rampage, is for kids ages 4 through sixth grade. Call 707-464-4712 to register.

The Refuge Christian Fellowship, at the fairgrounds arts building, is for kids ages 4 -12. The program, “Time Lab,” discovering Jesus from eternity past to eternity future, will take kids from the beginning to the end of Jesus’ story. The kids will be provided lunch. To pre register, Need more info? Call Lola at 707-951-5075.

I can’t believe how fast this year is going by. It’s almost time for the Fourth already. Too bad there aren’t ear plugs for cats — my two hide under the bed in the spare bedroom when those fireworks start going off.

To contact Martha Williams, call 707-460-3000, or email .