Friday, March 11, 2005

first gardening of 2005

I have finished my first few hours of gardening for 2005. (But I just wrote this! So how is it possible?)

Everything has been greening up noticeably lately, though. My lilac has leafed out in the last few days, and the hydrangeas and roses are also sprouting at the ends of lanky branches. (‘Were,’ actually. We remedied that. I sent hubby out to trim them earlier this week. He’s the king of pruning and made sure everything prunable is now starting over!)

I was going to put it off a few more days to weeks. But today on our visit with Mom, she implored me to take her primulas. I’d bought them to brighten her house a few weeks ago. Apparently because she’s had to keep them inside a lot of time (they are an outdoor plant, but she can’t garden and her patio becomes an oven in the sun), they’ve spawned a multitude of fruit flies.

So after I’d cleaned the house, I decided to spend a little time outdoors. There was disgustingly much left over from last fall... hanging baskets to clean out, leaves to rake, last year’s mums to cut down – that sort of thing. Finally I got to digging/weeding. Kept stubbing my fork on dahlia corms. I dug one hefty tuber complex out today – lots of them are rotten but there are so many, I’m sure they would have lived. I left the back row.

(That’s another thing on which I cut corners. I used to dig out my dahlia tubers each fall, salt them with fungicide and store them in vermiculite in the crawlspace. Then one fall I wasn’t sure I wanted them again next year, so decided to leave it to fate. I left the tubers in the ground, thinking if they survived the winter, fine, if they didn’t I’d plant something else. They did. In fact, they’ve survived every winter since then...)

With the soil turned and weeded (sort of), I planted the batch of primulas from Mom, now companions to the grape hyacinths, tulip greens and other primulas which are already live in my back garden.

One rule I have for this kind of early gardening, though. It’s mostly for me. I don’t fuss much with the front yard, visible from the street. I figure if the gardening routine has to start this early, at the very least, I’ll reap the rewards of my work. It’s all about me being able to keep tabs on spring from the kitchen window where I stand to wash dishes and bake all those wedding squares!

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