Monday, March 30, 2009

Mulch Madness

Too Old to Pull the Plow, Too Young to Die

During the spring of the year is the time I realize I am totally out of shape. After spending the dark months cocooned in relative warmth and comfort, the spring is bringing rebirth.

The problem comes when I decide I can't wait another minute to begin working in the yard - too much to do, not enough time. I am still working on a huge pile of shredded bark in my front yard, moving it from the pile to different areas of my gardens. This pile is now just over a year old because I in no way, shape or form was able to move as much as I wanted to last year.

Why, you may ask? Well - and that's a deep hole in the ground - my plans seem to be bigger than my muscle power. I work mornings and then write all afternoon, so I don't have much spare time, especially during fall and winter when it's dark before 6 o'clock and too cold to work outside. But spring brings us daylight savings time and warmth, so by 5 each afternoon, I'm ready to hit the yard - or rather, the mulch pile.

Ah, but here comes the problems again - after shoveling up and moving 2 wheel barrels full of mulch, my out-of-shape body is screaming, "Please, for God's sake, no more!" I have to stop and rest for at least 15-20 minutes before making another attempt. Attempt number 2 amounts to 2 more wheel barrels of mulch, but the recovery time is twice as long. After 30-45 minutes of rest time, I have to get up and start supper and while supper is cooking, I may get 1 or 2 more wheel barrels moved before calling it a day.

Five wheel barrels a day, 6 if I'm lucky - at the rate I'm going, I may be finished in a year or two. Ah, but here comes another problem - no matter how many wheel barrels I've already moved this spring - and at last count it was 21 and yes, I'm keeping count because I'm anal like that - I am slow to see progress in the gardens, not to mention the size of the mulch pile.

Oh, and did I mention I still have tree limbs to move from the ice storm a few months ago? And dead growth to cut out and remove from the flower beds? And a garden to till up? And, please God, let me make it to April before I have to mow the yard for the first time. And the house needs repairs ...

Edited at 6:30 (I moved 10 wheel barrels of mulch today!!)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rain Today

Raining today, so I was only able to move 2 wheel barrels of mulch today. I'm not complaining because we really need the rain. I've set up another trashcan in the front garden to collect rain water. I'll keep the lid on it during the summer to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. These "rain cans" make it easy to water plants without having to pull out the waterhose. This one is a RubberMaid can found on clearance - the best way to buy things!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Signs of Spring

I'm so sorry, my poor little gardening blog; I have forsaken you through the long dark months of winter. But I'm back and I promise I'll try to do better!

Daffodils are blooming and there are other signs that spring is in the air.

There is nothing as sweet smelling as the lovely spring flowering hyacinths. Cut a bouquet to bring into the house and be prepared for the most wonderful smell of spring.

Although they don't have the smell of regular hyacinths, the grape hyacinth is one of the workhorses of spring. Never failing to bloom and please the eye, this large clump has been growing around my mailbox for almost 10 years.

The golden forsythia is now in full bloom ...

... while the pussy willow is well past peak.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Winter Wonderland

My backyard winter wonderland ... it was beautiful to look at, but it caused so much devastation!

The back porch