I finally packed my holiday decorations and stowed them in their yearly coffins. Christmas has gone the way of all the melted snow, Valentine's Day has come and gone, and President's day arrives. Then it's onto our blustery month of March, with our advancing into the evening with Daylight Savings time followed St. Patrick's Day and the spring equinox. Through the frigid February ground, the crocuses and daffodils have started poking their green heads here and there. A month from now, they'll be in full bloom and I'll be mowing the lawn again. Yep, spring is on the way.
With it I think of the myriad plans I always have...and the myriad diversions I always manage to discover. Do I really need to pull those weeds? Surely they'll wait a month or two...and they do come out more easily when they're bigger. See, I don't have to bend over so far and irritate my back! In fact, if I wait long enough, I won't have to bend over at all...
This year's foremost plan is to get soil into my retaining wall. I have to call someone to haul it in this week, and hope they don't clean out my savings. The planting area has been void of soil for 3 years. I've had plants in it for two, with little mountains of composted earth surrounding their roots. I lost some viburnum davidii this winter, along with some euonymous fortunei and a dwarf New Zealand flax I never planted. The best laid plans of a sporadic gardener...you know the tune.
Another plan is that square foot garden I've always wanted. I cleared out some Shasta daisies last year, banishing them to the waiting yards of friends, and made room for the two 4' by 4' raised beds I've planned on. I'll be barking in the grass surrounding them, so that will decrease my mowing time by five minutes. But, what's five minutes when it comes to mowing?
That leads to my next project: mowing the back yard. I didn't do it last year. I decided that, since no one used the yard, I'd leave it to itself and spend my time on more fruitful endeavors, like hiking in the Olympic rainforests. Well, it looks terrible. I'll have to buckle down and hack my way through it before it gets too green again. I'm resigned to the fact that 'au natural' just isn't in the cards for this yard. Too bad, really.
But with the approaching seasonal shift I'll enjoy the warmth again, and the smell of the soil. I always feel so alive when I'm one on one with my garden, settling new plants in with a tamp, some water and a "welcome to my garden...grow well." I'll breathe deeply the fresh wind and turn my face skyward to absorb the gentle, vernal sun. Surveying my kingdom proudly, I'll sigh at the end of the day, reacquainting myself with the earth I love so well. And I'll be content.