I drifted off to sleep last night with visions of the gardening work I would accomplish today. My yard consists of many small gardens, scattered here and there, which all have a winter covering of leaf mulch that must be removed to let the tiny new plants breathe the fresh air and reach for the sun. Last summer we became grandparents to a chocolate lab puppy who has taken over the back yard, digging holes and thoroughly enjoying himself in my lovely little shade gardens. I have no idea yet if he has permanently damaged any of my precious plants. Already I see little shoots peaking through in the gardens he has bounded through, but I am anxious to get outside with my rake and see what has been injured and what needs to be done.
Today is Good Friday, a day off from school for my three grandchildren, which leaves me with an extra weekend day to finally work in the gardens. This initial work is necessary, but tedious, as I snip off the stalks of old flowers left from last year, and then with my tiny-pronged rake and gloved hands, carefully remove the leaf mulch. How exciting it is to find tiny greenery beneath the soggy brown leaves. The process will be slower this year, as some medical issues during the winter have left me a little hesitant to rush into garden chores at the pace I have in the past. I will begin in the front yard today, as I want to clear the way for my early flowers — daffodils, hellebore, forget-me-nots, iris and a few hyacinth. Already, my faithful chive plant has produced three-inch high green sprouts midst the debris from last year.
Unfortunately, I opened the curtains to a cloudy, damp day, with rain and chillier temperatures forecast for this afternoon. However, I am not daunted. There is so much to be done, and I am anxious for the garden to begin its rebirth. My houseplants have done well so far, but they, too, are showing the need for fresh air and sunshine on the front porch. These unpleasant tasks of early spring are necessary for the gardens to thrive, and there is much more work ahead — an arbor to be secured, a bird feeder to be moved and mounted out of the reach of squirrels, a gate added to the fence which was hastily constructed in the back yard last fall to keep the little lab puppy safe and secure when playing outside.
And so, I sit here for a bit, sipping my coffee and planning where I will begin. It is a quiet morning, with birdsong the background to my thoughts. How lovely it will be to finally have my hands in the soil again, after these long winter months, tending the gardens that have brought so much pleasure to my life, with their faithful blooms and lovely surprises. Spring is finally here; Easter is upon us, and the gardens await my loving care.