Thursday, April 3, 2008


Winter is still peeping around the corners, leaving ice on my windshield every morning this week and freezing my cheery marigolds into sad brown clumps. But by the calendar, it's SPRING! And spring means GARDENING!

I didn't get to the garden during Holy Week, and the week after Easter, although vacation for us, held both a birthday and Class Day. So not until this week with short days due to standardized testing with our ISP was I able to survey my winter-worn flower beds and take a little action.

One of my problems is that I can only work about 20 minutes in the garden before my body starts to complain vociferously. It's the bane that accompanies my immune system issues: I must not overdo. But I did manage over a few days to clean out the front flower bed, discovering several snapdragon plants that overwintered well as well as my delphinium and shasta daisies. I unearthed my little birdbath from under the spent oak and Pippin leaves, pulled out the dead alyssum, weeded here and there, and planted one six-pack of Sweet Williams (dianthus):

The other half of this bed held all of my glorious daffodils -- over 50 bloomed this spring in a six-foot area. They were extravantly beautiful. But they bloom such a short time -- and endured a good snowfall as well -- so they're fading in upon themselves, waiting for the pregnant bellies of the purple irises to birth their spring blooms.

After dealing with the front bed under the porch, I moved to the back beds. One day was spent cleaning the perennials -- I lost the salvias (blue sages), but the honeysuckle did well and whatever the purple mounds are that Judith gave me last year, they sure are thriving:

I spent the next couple of afternoons in the next part of the flower beds that stretch along the back fence. I trimmed back the roses (rather late again!), weeded, dug out dead salvias, pulled up the spent gray stalks of last year's hollyhocks, and trimmed the dead foliage off the lavender plants, revealing new clumps of growth at the bases:

And I am rejoicing that three of my five tulips came back this year and even bloomed! Why the fuschia ones survived and bloomed and the red ones didn't, I just don't understand. But I'm glad to welcome tulips into my garden all the same. More than glad, actually; try enthralled! (And I'll get more for next year, too. when we can afford them.)

I have more of this bed to do as it stretches from the gate all along behind the house, but it will have to wait until I have time later on -- perhaps next week. But I love discovering the new green growth under the dead gray and black junk. It's definitely one of my favorite parts of spring: the gardening, the digging into the cool earth, even the stripes of black dirt under my nails. Aaaah, spring! It's puddle-wonderful and mud-luscious in every way.

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