Things are really popping out in my garden these days, and I’m spending hours every day working and puttering around out there. My nails are completely trashed. I have scratches and gouges up and down my arms and legs. (Purple spray paint, too!) The knees of my favorite overalls are permanently mud-stained, and my allergies are in full attack mode.

I couldn’t be happier!



I spend a lot of my time weeding. My garden covers . . . a lot of ground . . . and every spring, there is a ton of cleaning-up and weeding to do. I hire some help for the big seasonal clean-up, but that doesn’t take care of all the clean-up chores. (No one loves a garden like the gardener, y”know?) And I always do all the weeding and deadheading myself.

Our trash collection service offers yard waste pickup (our community does composting; no garden waste is allowed in our regular trash, so this is required) — and we order two 90-gallon carts for our yard and garden waste.


I know this sounds like . . . overkill.
But I actually fill both bins most weeks.
That’s . . . a lot of weeding!

It’s been especially weedy for me this year. Why? Well . . . I didn’t weed my garden at all last fall. Between the deer (I got a little discouraged) and the Great Roof Siege (I couldn’t access most of my garden beds for nearly two months), my garden wasn’t really “in a good place” when winter arrived. PLUS . . . I didn’t mulch last year (big mistake). PLUS . . . our winter wasn’t cold enough to kill most of the weed seeds. So . . .  I’ve been working extra hard to get things in good shape, and Tom’s been a maniac with the mulching. I still have a couple of beds to go, but then it’ll be just “maintenance weeding” for the rest of the summer, and that’s much more manageable. (Or that’s what I tell myself, at least.)


I’ve also been sprucing up my collection of garden structures and obelisks with coats of spray paint. I’ve had three sculptures in my garden (from a local garden artist here in Kalamazoo) for several years. After many years in the sunshine, the structures have faded quite a bit. The artist recommends just retouching them with spray paint. So I did.


And it worked so well – and was so easy – that I grabbed several (boring) obelisks I have and painted them, too! Now I have fun punches of color all over my garden!



In other garden excitement, we’ve replaced the “deer flags” with solar patio lights. The light strings serve the same function as the flags: creating a “trick of the eye” for the deer, by appearing to be an extra layer of “fencing.” It seems to work well to keep the deer out of my backyard — and the lights are much more charming (and a whole lot gentler) than the flags!


And I got a new potting bench. It’s smaller than my old one, but nicer — and a bit more sturdy. (The old one, which was close to 20 years old, finally rotted through and fell apart.) It’s nice to have a new “desk” in my “office” outdoors — and this one give me better access to my compost bin, so a big win for the garden.


And that’s it for today’s Tales From the Garden! There are lots of things going on out there in my garden, but I’ll save those tales for another day.


What’s going on in your garden?