Are you gearing up for gardening too? Or is that in your far distant past?
It is front and center to me now. I'm grateful for the rest through the winter, but as the temperatures get warmer and and greens pop up here and there, a desire to make a garden rises up in me. However, my physical stamina has sunk to a great low - as it did last year. So I know that I must tackle my outdoor work in small blocks of time, until my muscles build up some strength or stamina.
In the winter my exercise was limited to going into the kitchen to make a meal, and after my supper doing the day's dishes. However, my forays into the backyard and garden have been limited by the fact that we have these spells where for a few days the temperature drops to quite chilly, and some times we've had light snow flurries or rain. So my yard work and garden clean up - mostly raking up twigs, etc.- have come in scattered efforts, days and weeks apart.
But I've started some tomato seedlings. One Saturday (after the tree was cut) I swept up the sawdust and cleaned the back steps, and the path beside the house, and set up the rain barrel, and yes, I raked some leaves that fell last fall after my last raking. But those rakings are still heaped in the middle of the garden. I'm hoping to finish that soon. Also to rake the front yard, and to spade up the flower beds.
I've gathered some herb seeds and since they are perennials, I'm going to find them more permanent spots along the fences. Once I've marked off the perennial areas where the neighbour with the rotortiller is NOT to go, I'll ask him to come and till up the garden. That might even be next week!
Then, through the month of May I want to start seeding a few rows at a time, and if I can make that a daily practice, just before or after supper, I expect my physical strength to build up. When I've got that all done, I'll go on a weeding and watering campaign, which is going to keep me busy the rest of the summer. Some plants, mostly flowers, need dead-heading - that is, to pluck off the dead flowers which causes them to have more.
The green onions and the chives are up, and I've recently read that they keep bad insects away from other plants so I think I'll spread them around more - real soon!
You may recall when I described digging up the irises (about 7-8) that I had transplanted when I moved here from our home in Hague. I had put them between that twim elm and the neighbour's fence. Over the last number of years I had rarely seen an iris there. But I didn't want them trampled when the tree was cut, so I had dug them up and found they had multiplied underground! I ended up with 40-42 corms (bulbs) which I then replanted in open sunny places along the fences and in the front yard flower beds. I've spotted some green leaves coming up in those areas, so I'm watching for these bearded irises in the background of just about every direction I will look!
By the way, year before last, when cousin Gary built my high back fence, he had dug up the lilac bush in the alley (it blocked my view when backing into the alley), and he thoughtfully planted various clumps of the roots inside my back yard - by the fence, beside the shed, in the corner by the raspberries, and I've noticed that those short branches - only 2-3 feet tall, and greening and getting leaves! I don't know if I'll get to see any of those dark violet lilacs this spring, but something to look for next May!
Can you tell? I've got a case of spring gardening fever! :)
I've set aside some other hobbies indefinitely, but gardening is something I do for food, and for my physical and mental health. I'm not giving it up - not yet!
Ruth Marlene Friesen
The Responsible One