A few weeks ago I posted about the trouble with idle hands and how they were inching me over to the dark side. It sounded funny at the time but the string of bad luck and minor tragedy which followed reassured me that there will be no deals made on this end and I would in fact like to stay on the lighter side. So to sum it up surgery has been scheduled for some, blood tests every three months for others, stitches have been removed, and the family has a new bunny. Hopefully garden cleanup will now continue to bring us back into good graces. It’s about time for both 🙂
Cleanup has been ongoing all week (in between April showers) and this morning the sunshine and leftover morning frost are making the front yard glisten with springtime promise.
The view from inside the front door was also in need of some sprucing up.
Cleanup this spring is nearly all power tools. Everything gets cut down with the hedge trimmer into manageable bits and then the largest bits are raked onto the lawn for mowing up into the bag. The bag is then emptied onto the beds out back. The front yard then gets a nice topping off with shredded leaves from last fall’s cleanup. Not only do the shredded leaves cover up all the twigs and debris I was too lazy to remove, they also frame the first crocus nicely.
Work has an annoying way of getting in the way of spring cleanup, but whenever I have a chance it feels great to get out there again. The birds follow behind looking for worms and the kids rediscover all the messes they can make with the most simple of tools. Spring mud and mulchpiles are fun but I’m just happy enough to see plants finally growing again in the open air.
I’ve added an embarrassing amount of snowdrops since last year. These showed up in the mail one day as a baggie full of washed clean, sprouting bulbs. I planted them immediately and they are perfect this spring. In contrast the dry bulbs of the same type which looked perfect upon planting barely sprouted last spring and have now died off completely.
I will bore you with more snowdrops at a later date but for now other spring bulbs.
Ok one more snowdrop.
This little bulb who’s name I will never be able to spell without looking up (scilla mischtschenkoana) is one of those unassuming things which you never NEED but you should always have. This one’s been with me for a while going all the way back to a single stray bulb which must have been overlooked or abandoned by squirrels after all its brothers and sisters had been planted. Being the daring teen who I was and feeling a little dangerous, I pocketed the bulb and brought it home. Somehow it survived being unplanted all winter and within a few weeks even put out the first of many pale, icy blue flowers. It has never reseeded (likely because they’re all the clone descendants of one single bulb) but it’s multiplied and followed me from garden to garden over the decades. hmmmm. I should go back to that park some day and see how the original planting has made out.
The hellebores are starting as well. This one is right up against the porch foundation and lives the good life.
A few of the other hellebores are also coming along. Drought last summer has really taken a bite out of this year’s show but the real killer was my transplanting several and then not really bothering to give them any aftercare. A sprinkler would have done wonders in August, but you can’t dwell on these things in April.
Last spring’s late blasts of arctic weather didn’t please the hellebores at all but this year the more settled pattern has done them well. I finally get to see a nice clean bloom on my yellow.
The warmer temperatures and singing birds have me completely optimistic and I’m starting to rake back the winter mulch from around my late fall conifer splurge from Conifer Kingdom. They all look great and I’m hoping for healthy new growth in a few weeks. Just think… if my blue spruce (p. pungens ‘Walnut Glen’) doubles in size this year it may break the four inch mark!
So spring is finally here. The sun is shining this morning and I’m buying pansies today. The only snow left are snowdrops and since I paid a visit to the Temple nursery on Saturday you’re still going to have to sit through that, but fortunately the pictures aren’t all that great so you’ll be spared much of the repeating white and green. Enjoy!