Two days of unseasonably warm weather last Sunday and Monday drove ProfessorRoush out of the house into the garden to begin what will assuredly be a solid spring of garden restoration, rejuvenation and redesign. I roused this old sleeping garden gnome, covered as he was in the debris of daylilies and Echinops, from winter slumber, and put him to work alongside me puttering over and poking within the cold ground.
I began in the 55ºF heat wave of Sunday, sheltered from a brisk north wind on the sunny south side of the house, and I cleaned the bed bordering the patio free of dead iris and daylily leaves and the remnants of invasive annual grasses. It was warm there, warm enough to shed the jacket and sweat a little while absorbing enough sun for Vitamin D synthesis and basking my reptilian brain in sunshine. I always like to start garden cleanup here, so that the many crocuses and daffodils are not disturbed as they rise and will then flower freely and stand out in the neat clean bed. The roses here will have to wait until closer to spring.
There, that's so much better, isn't it? Now the Orientpet's won't have to lean away from the towering encroachment of the Thuja and the whole area looks brighter and more in ordnung to satisfy my Germanic soul. I'm not sure what I'll plant in their place, probably another mislabeled 2' X 2' evergreen, but I feel I've made a good start on the garden year.
I didn't stop at the evergreens, however, and made a clean sweep over the entire front bed, removing peony and Knautia debris, trimming euonymus, and freeing the forsythia to shine alone. The wind is a little more brisk across the front now, but my soul is lifted and refreshed. That is, after all, the goal of our gardens, isn't it?