I almost didn't. Despite a predicted temperature of 63F, the wind was howling cold from the North all day yesterday, and inside the house it was warm and cozy. The wind may howl like the dickens outside my doors, but the clamor only serves to comfort me since it can't reach indoors. And, if you're wondering where I've been from blogging, I was deep inside the third book of The Hunger Games series, engrossed in the struggle for independence of the rebels led by Katniss, the Mockingjay. For those who haven't yet indulged, I can only say that my daughter recommended them to me approximately 12 days ago and I've been nose deep in the drama ever since. If you're going to start them, read fast, because the movie comes out in a couple of weeks.
So, I almost didn't go outside to work in the garden this weekend. Mind you, I'm aching for the opportunity, embittered for lack of exercise and lack of green surroundings, but it took everything I had to leave the cozy confines of hearth and couch and attempt to stand upright against a 40 mph wind. Guilt finally won out over sloth and so I closed the book and bundled up in multiple layers of clothing, planning to shed them as I warmed. After some consideration, I decided to work first clearing the South bed, behind the house, where I'd have some shelter from the worst of the gale.
And it was there, clearing the crackly remnants of Brown-eyed Susans and the limp dead daylily leaves, that I learned to harness, rather than fight, the power of the wind in my garden. I realized quite quickly that all I had to do was pull up the dead leaves, toss them up a few feet into the air, and they were gone evermore, whisked away by the brisk wind into the next county. Well, at least they disappeared into the taller prairie grass of my pasture, sure to add their rotting remains over time to the richness of the prairie. I never got out my Sheetbarrow, nor even a basket, just some trimming tools and thick gloves and the ground was cleared of debris faster than it took to think about it. I did spend a few minutes looking to the West and wondering if we were going to get a sprinkle or a little snow, as you can see by the picture above. But, a few snips here and there on the shrub roses, and my back patio bed was ready for the Spring.
Some of you, I know, will consider this a clear act of garden cheating. I didn't sweat, I didn't get sore from lugging heavy piles of debris around the yard, and I accomplished the job in about 1/3rd the normal time. I would venture to argue, on my lazy behalf, that I executed a brilliant display of defiance, laughing in the face of the wind, harnessing it to do my bidding. The only people who could possible differ with that conclusion might be my neighbors, who, I suppose, could have a clump or two of dead daylily leaves resting around their shrubs this morning. More likely, all that debris is somewhere in Missouri by now.
And anyway, as the country songs say, it ain't cheatin' till you're caught.