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.