When I tell you that “spring” in Michigan is dreary and bleak . . . I’m not kidding. It is dreary. And bleak. But the snow is melting, and the forecast looks clear of any fresh stuff — for the next week, at least. Yesterday, the temperature even climbed up to 50(F), so JoJo and I got out into the garden for a general assessment — and to develop our early spring garden plan of attack.
It felt great to get out there and stomp around for awhile. Especially because last fall, our gardening season ended on quite a low note. First, there was the deer issue. And then, there was the Great Roofing Siege. I’m not sure which of those will end up causing the most long-term damage, actually. The deer ate so many things, but I’m hoping the plants and shrubs (NOT the deer) will come roaring back. The roofers? Oh, my. They were . . . SO not careful with my plants or the landscape, and I’m afraid some of the plants they knocked around will simply not recover.
Anyway. It felt great to wander around with my garden journal, taking notes and starting my lists. In the early spring, I try to get started on tasks and chores that can be done before the ground thaws. Things like . . . pruning. (It’s easier to prune many – but not all – trees and shrubs now, before they leaf out and you can see the branching structure.) Or cutting back perennials. This is a perfect time to cut back the ugly, damaged leaves on your hellebores, for example. (Also a good time to locate all the lost dog toys that have “overwintered” in the garden.) When possible, I like to get started on my weeding, too. Because there are always weeds growing — even in the winter.
It’s also a great time to start making plans for moving things around in my garden. I’m thinking now about . . . how to revitalize my butterfly garden, how to refresh the “semi-circle of death” (the SCOD, as we call it), what I want to plant in my containers. And it’s also the perfect time to make note of my non-plant-related tasks. This year, I need to replace my trusty potting bench, which is falling apart and actually disintegrating. And we have a plan to replace Those Flags (which worked GREAT at keeping the deer out of the garden) with patio lights for the summer.
It’s not much to look at out there right now. But it was great to get out and start dreaming-and-scheming. Wait til Tom sees my list! (He’s going to be so excited. . . )
Here’s to a great weekend! See you on Monday.
Maybe you ought to break out that sweet little patio set I picture you and Tom sitting at on sunny days and share The List over a beer!?!
So happy those flags worked. And I love your twinkle light ‘conversion’ plan…
I’ve been wandering and wondering, too…a bit more casually 🙂 Thinking about adding some flowering shrubs and wondering where to move our fire table. There’s plenty of clean-up out there, and I’m still committed to adding No More Beds! But yes to creating a stump garden after losing a giant maple last fall :(.
Run, Tom, RUN! She’s got a LIST!!!
Sounds like you will be keeping yourself (and Tom?) very busy.
If you’re out in the garden, it must be spring! It does look a little bleak but I’m sure you, JoJo, and Tom will have it looking great by the time some actual warm weather and spring make a real appearance.
You’ve quite the canvas there. Your helebores are about an or so higher than mine, but I’m so excited to see they survived the cold, hard winter (for both of us!). Today we’re heading to the nursery for a quick peak. I’m looking for some fun stuff and maybe some dahlias and zinnias. Smith wants potatoes and anything his that catches his eye. 🙂
This is lovely Kym and inspires me to do the same. We are supposed to have a bit of sun and temps in the 50’s the next two days. Perfect for a bit of garden wandering and dreaming.
What fun!! Fletch planted a variety of lettuce and other greens (seeds) the other day in the cold frame. And, we ordered some other veggie seeds that should arrive Saturday. The Season is almost here!! I like Carole’s idea of sharing your list with Tom over a beer (or two) – LOL
I think I heard Tom groaning all the way over here in Pittsburgh! And I wonder if you all heard Steve’s echoing groan over my yard ideas! Ha!
And yes… dreary… and bleak! I am ready for bright and cheery! XO
Your light idea is a fun! We put up these lights from Costco for “Sophie’s COVID wedding” https://www.costco.com/feit-electric-48'-led-filament-string-light-set.product.100405061.html
in our backyard (circa 2020) and they are still there, making it look like it’s a party every night here. Durable and festive. We have replaced a few bulbs (I think being banged against the fence when the wind is high isn’t great for them). They’re on a timer.
PS If this is what you have in mind, they sometimes go on sale – I’ve seen 29.99 once this winter.
Now that I’m a gardener (hahaha) I’m fascinated by your lists. I tend to just scribble dates and tasks in a notebook but I think I need a bit more structure.
I think JoJo was as excited as you to be out in the yard again! I’ve been side-eying the weeds coming up in my garden and know that I’ll need to get out there and deal with them once it’s warmer and dry enough. I’ve got big plans for this year that involve a raised bed/planter for veggies in the front, where we get the most sun, and planting more ground cover in the back, where it’s very shady.
Oh, nice… we still have a bit of snow over here and it’s chilly! Sunday might be a good day for a tromp around. It just feels good to be out there, doesn’t it??
We’ve got our most recent (and only 2023) two feet melt to wait out but you give me hope! I think a nursery lunch junket could be just what we need. Have a great weekend!
Beginning the Spring lists is a fine way to step toward the gardening season. I need to go out and wander around to see what’s what. Today I was thinking about getting out my garden journal to see what notes I made last fall. Enjoy dreaming about Spring.
Ha ha. Dee is so funny. Although Garden Listing is one hobby that my husband wished I had taken up. Rarely happened. Although one year – by sheer accident – a sea of potted New Guinea impatiens made for a glorious summer front porch (dark green leaves, I discovered, can have a very cooling effect). So I get it.
I’m trying your pennant flag banner to repel deer in my garden this year. My fingers and toes are triple crossed that it works as well for me as for you. Thanks for the great idea.
The very best line in this whole post: wait until Tom sees my list! Tell Tom that Dale sends his sympathies, particularly since I started a list for him just yesterday that includes not just outdoor tasks but some indoor painting, too!
We had a few more hard freezes than usual this winter and it was in the 20’s again this morning. Marc took a quick tour of the front this afternoon, and we agreed we’ll just have to wait and see. The hellebores are doing great, though – I had no idea they were so sturdy!