First opportunities

I’m probably not alone in preferring to work indoors whenever it’s cold and wet outside; and in going absolutely bonkers if I can’t get outside whenever the sun is warm and the air is soft and lovely. But from now until late May, June we have to be in both places – in the greenhouse and out in the gardens – at once so we made sure to grab for the first opportunity to get outside while the getting was deliciously pleasant.

Yesterday, after potting on a few trays of last fall’s tender-perennial cuttings, Mary and Pat (Florabundas), and Gail and I went out to tidy up the Moon Gate bed. It’s so much easier to cut epimedium and lily turf (Liriope muscari) back before they start to grow and luckily they hadn’t yet. – Of course it’s not so easy to cut back liriope if there are miniature daffodils growing incognito inside of it… (Note to self: don’t plant drifts of liriope too near drifts of miniature daffodils ever again. I would give half a thought to cutting the liriope back in the fall and forgo its winter-evergreen-ness if I didn’t enjoy a challenge.) Next on the list is rose pruning – climbers first. After that, in the next couple of weeks, we’ll get going on to cleaning winter out of all of the gardens.

It’s time.

We’re not the only ones to take advantage of the first opportunities – bees were out working the open snowdrops; birds are LOUD; and something – several things? – is filling my face with pollen. As powerful as my sneezes are, I could guess that I’m not providing an efficient pollination service for these plants. The wind-born really don’t need me or anyone else to help. (What is blooming so invisibly perniciously right now? – Arborvitae? Cryptomeria? Yew? Incidentally, there was a really interesting article about allergenic street trees in the NYTimes last year. I still have the deciduous wind-borns to look forward to… )

Have you had your first fair weather opportunity to get out in the garden yet? What have you done so far? (Is anyone else plagued by their favorite season?)

2 thoughts on “First opportunities

  1. Ha. Hee hee. Haha! Hahahahahaha!

    Oh sweet mercy, the chaos in my back garden. Spring cleanup? Starting the veg garden? Broadcasting 5 cyd. of compost everywhere? Cutting down trees? Tearing out massive, massive, junipers? Fences down and replaced? Boulders of varying and ridiculous tonnages being hauled in with heavy machinery? Putting in raised beds? A new flagstone patio? Raising the grade? Going broke?

    I figure the only thing I’m not doing right now is what I really truly want: tearing down the beast shed.

    Susan, I can count on you to make me feel like a total slacker… But your ambition is inspiring. Cheers to chaos. Garden on! -kris

  2. First day cleaning up our new garden. Getting to know you….and all about you. Getting to like you… getting to hope you like me. That’s how it felt. Weird but somehow familiar. Raking up the tiny lawn, cutting back a clump of ornamental grass (not sure I’ll keep that one) seeing where the problems are (drainage), wondering what to plant on the sidewalk raised bed that passing tourists won’t pick (poison ivy?).

    Window boxes to fill, a new stone terrace and little shed to be built this spring. Hitting the nurseries as soon as the gates open. Hang on, this is going to be a zippy spring.

    Ginny, What fun it is getting to know a new garden – with all of its problems to solve and possibilities. (I hope you’ve started a new journal!) The sidewalk bed does present a certain challenge given that late night Newport revelers seem to make a sport of uprooting container plants… Poison ivy does have a lovely fall color… How about a little patch of nettle maybe for instant gratification? -kris

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