I love cleaning up the garden in spring. After the crazy harsh winter we have just endured, it is wonderful to be outside in relatively warm temperatures and breathe fresh air. But that would be nice even if I was taking a walk around the subdivision or sitting on the deck with a book.
There is something about being in the garden in spring, observing the rebirth of another growing season that is uniquely special. Carefully pulling back fallen leaves and snipping old, winter-ravaged foliage from perennials exposes new life cautiously easing its way through the soil.
It is satisfying to watch the garden become a blank slate again and anticipate the masterpiece of lush foliage and bountiful blooms to come. As I sit in the garden, bees keep me company, dancing in and out of the few flowers already blooming – hellebores, scilla, crocus, glory-of-the-snow and daffodils.
It is so peaceful, so relaxing, unless…
I consider how many more gardens remain, waiting for their turn to be snipped and groomed.
I notice how some perennials, unwilling to wait, are pushing new growth through dead stems, making clean-up much more difficult.
I remember all those ornamental grasses that need cutting back…now.
I spot the empty window boxes that really should have some spring flowers in them.
I see all the branches in the yard that need to be picked up before we can mow the grass for the first time.
I remember I should get the lettuce, radishes, kohlrabis and other cool-season vegetables planted.
Instead of rushing and stressing out, I focus on the moments I am spending in the garden, mindful of its magic and reminding myself:
To take one garden at a time and congratulate myself on a job well done after each area is finished. After all, gardening is about the process.
The perennials will be easier to see if they are further along in their growth. It may be more difficult to prune away dead stems, but I won’t have to tread so carefully to avoid stepping on plants.
The ornamental grasses will get cut back – they always do.
It only takes an hour to plant some pansies, stock, alyssum and lettuce in the window boxes. Take the time and announce spring has arrived at my house!
To ask my husband to pick up the sticks.
To take a break from spring clean-up to get those veggies planted. I love kohlrabies!
Once I realized it was my choice to either enjoy spring as a busy, but wondrous season instead of a hectic race I could never win, I look at spring clean-up as an opportunity to reconnect with an old friend.
Enjoy spring in your garden. Garden with me!