Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Race is On

Tuesday it snowed. Just a little, but it was enough to stick for a few hours. By Sunday, it was 80 degrees. With roller coaster weather like that, I guess I'll just have to hold on and enjoy the ups and downs. Luckily, there are more ups than downs now. In about three weeks, it will be time to plant summer flowers and vegetables. It's hard to believe. Honestly, I'll probably put things off an extra week or so, just to be safe. After all, the chill doesn't seem quite ready to let go this year.
The race to garden is on! We may still have a few frosts, but the deep chill is gone. There are plenty of garden tasks to attend to in spring. Spring crops can go in the ground, winter clean up continues, perennials are often safe to plant, and there are pansies and other cool weather flowers to plant.
But the best part of spring is watching all the flowers bloom. It seems like every day there is a new surprise.
Just today, I found myself actually holding a new tulip in my hand just to admire it. It's petals are so soft and velvety.
You'd think I'd get used to it. You'd think I wouldn't get excited every single time a new flower pops up. But I do!
I'm trying to be a little wiser this year. I know I shouldn't try to do everything at once. I'm taking a different approach. Instead of gardening for hours at a time, I just do a little each day. My muscles will surely thank me, don't you think?
Remember, a tortoise can win the race just as easily as the hare! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An Old Friend Returns...

Here in the north, we all wondered if our old friend spring would ever come back. Winter this year was brutal and tenacious. But finally, finally, spring is here. It's not quite as flashy yet as spring can sometimes be, but it's here nonetheless. Somehow, I'm think the flashy part is still to come.
Spring sometimes come with a big fanfare, but not this time. The days are gently warming instead. I've heard that the slow warm up is actually better. The slow arrival means less severe weather, and it also means less chance that the trees will bloom too early and get damaged by frost.
So I'm just going to accept my old friend as is. I'm glad he's back, and I accept his reticence.
There's another good part about this cool spring. It actually gives me time to catch up all those garden chores that tend to pile up over the winter. I finally got all the  winter cleanup done, and then planted pansies in the window boxes.

I still need to plant the spring veggies, but that will happen this week. And the roses still need to be pruned, but they are really slow to get growing so I'll just let them rest for awhile longer. Hubby will mow the lawn for the first time this weekend. Then we'll truly know that spring is back.
Sometimes it can be a challenge to get through winter without being discouraged. It seemed like it would never be warm again, like I'd never see natural green again. And it certainly felt like the flowers would never bloom again. But you know what? I'm not sure I'd appreciate spring so much if I didn't have to fight so hard to see it.

Besides, if I lived in a warmer climate, I wouldn't get to enjoy all these beautiful spring bulb flowers except as a grocery store bouquet. There's just something about seeing these little bright color spots when all the rest of the world is still a little gray. It makes me appreciate them even more.

So welcome back old friend. I missed you. Come, stay awhile. And don't stay gone so long next time.