Sunday, March 16, 2014

sometimes you gotta work

Yesterday we spent several hours in the front yard cleaning up the beds.  (Again, what will I ever do if Jr moves out?)

One of the things I love most about my perennial beds is they are so self-sustaining.  I planted a few things here and there each year over several years' time and they did the rest.  They filled in, they reseeded, they give, give give.

However.  They don't prune themselves back.  Most years, the weather is too cold or wet for me to want to go out early in the spring to cut them back so I wait just a few weeks too long and then it is a difficult job.  I don't want to cut off the new growth so I have to be very delicate with the loppers and the pruning shears and it is oh so time consuming. 

But yesterday was glorious.  Sunny and clear and just a bit cool--one of those days when you start with a light jacket but take it off to enjoy the sun on your skin while you're cutting, cutting, cutting, and then raking, raking, raking, and finally gathering, gathering, gathering to send those heaps of former glory off to become mulch that will add to some other garden.

And now. My oh my how tidy it all looks and so much promise.  Little green shoots and blades and hope.

We went from this:

To this:

And ended with this:

We found the first yellow of a daffodil, tulips are not far behind, and all of those bits and clumps of green will soon be lush and covered with blues and purples and yellows and whites.  Today we'll be up at Alta, and as much as I love winter for the skiing, sometimes, when the snow is heavy on the remnants of my gardens--because I never seem to get out there to prune before the snow falls, partly because it is often blustery and cold and partly because I like the look and sound of black-eyed susans and russian sage and my other loves against the crusty snow--but sometimes when that snow is pushing down on my forlorn lovelies, sometimes, I forget that the snow will melt, the soil will warm, and spring will come.  Pruning back all of the dead, clearing away the former, I see the new, the green, the warm.  Every year, my plants know that even though it might still be cold, the warm is coming and they get growing right on schedule.  Every year, they do what they are meant to do and life goes on.  It might not be spring yet on the calendar, but just try telling that to my gardens.

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