Saturday, March 10, 2007


The first day of spring is one thing,
and the first spring day is another.
The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.

~ Henry Van Dyke

Spring has sprung! It's the warmest day we've had this year at 54° and gloriously sunny. It was enough to lure me outside to begin the spring clean-up. I trimmed the winter kill from the mums, liriope, dianthus, lamb's ears, strawberry foxglove, iris, heuchera, vinca, grape hyacinths, and dutch iris. I cleared out some of the leaves from the beds where they had gathered over the winter.

Our oak trees never lose all their leaves by autumn's end; they lose them slowly and continually throughout the winter, so some of the leaf cover in the flower beds gets pretty thick. That's fine for most of the winter, but by this time, when things are starting to begin growing again, it's too heavy and wet. I noticed as I was removing them that the sweet woodruff has already begun putting out little green plantlets. This is one my very favorite ground covers.

The snow is melting at breakneck speed, but underneath some of that snow, there is thick ice. With the warm temperatures that are predicted for the coming week, the ice will melt quickly. I swept the winter detritus away and the symbolism of doing that was not lost on me. Who knew that the mere act of taking a broom to the patio could put me in such a good mood? Good riddance to winter!

Spring is when you feel like whistling,
even with a shoe full of slush.

~ Doug Larson

My spring fever continued when I went back in the house. I'd gotten a 72-unit Jiffy® pellet greenhouse container, and planted it with seeds of 'Whopper' red and blue pansies, 'Sungold' cherry tomatoes, 'Red Pomponette' double English Daisies, 'Fairy' Candytuft, and 'Chilly' ornamental chili peppers. Last year, I started a few things indoors, too, but I used the peat pots and potting soil. Those worked fairly well for me, but this year I thought I'd try this way. I still have a few peat pots left from last year, so I'll sow some seeds soon in those, too.

The 'Sungold' cherry tomato seeds were saved from ones we grew last year. I had read about them in Stronger Than Dirt, by Kim Schaye and Chris Losee. (Great book, by the way!) They grew them on their farm in upstate New York and took them to the farmer's markets in New York City. They were one of their bestsellers. Now I don't eat tomatoes (except in soups or sauces), so I couldn't tell you if they were tasty or not, but Romie said they were exceptionally good and sweet. So, I saved some seed and we'll have them again this year.

When spring starts acting like spring, it motivates me to get out there and do whatever I can do in the garden. And today, the thought occurred to me that God really plans things in our best interest. Spring is the time of year when things awaken s-l-o-w-l-y. It's also when we're anxious to get the show on the road, after the long, cold, dreary winter. But if summer happened all at once, we'd wear ourselves out trying to do it all. This way, we can only do so much while waiting for warmer temperatures and drier soil.

It's a good plan.


Carol Michel said... sounds like you had a great first day in the garden, the same as I did. I like that spring comes along slowly, too.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Hi Kylee,

It seems that we all have been doing the same thing this weekend. Glad to see that you had lovely weather too. Here is was very nice as well and hubby and I spend hours working in the garden and enjoying ourselves.

Your garden has had its springclean and can now grow and flower to its hearts delight. I'm looking forward to see it develop in the coming months.

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