Change or Maintain?

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Our leaves and flowers seem to be slow appearing this spring. Definitely later than last year, but not really unusually late. Maybe the social distancing and isolation just has a person anxious to see change.

We’ve had about a week now of cooler and windier weather than normal, so I’m sure once the warm sun returns things will pop.

How are things growing where you are?

Yard-work is not my favourite pastime. Let me rephrase that, yard maintenance is not my favourite thing to do. If we were building or changing something outside I’d be all in, but I have to force myself to do the weekly weeding.

If it was up to me there would be some flowerbed and rock-garden changes done this year, but Mister has the “why change things” attitude. He says why do major projects when it’s up for sale, which is reasonable. It’s just with what’s going on in the world we also doubt it will sell this year. Money spent on different landscaping wouldn’t be a recoupable expense.

We had this cottage built fourteen years ago, and have lived here full time since 2009 with little to no major changes.

I’m feeling a real need to change something inside or out.

Normally, painting a interior room would solve this restlessness and would have been a winter project. Edging around 22 windows, 6 doorways, and tall vaulted ceilings made me think it might be more than this aged body should tackle though. I know I can do it I have in the past. I also remember how much work it was. Before you think it, no, having someone else do it does not satisfy my need to change something.

I’m sure professionals out there will say I have some big underlying issues with needing change, but really I’m just tired of seeing the same old same old.

Do you like change? 

I’ve mentioned before that woodworking is one of my favourite hobbies. Not having a garage though means it’s done in warmer weather outside. I spend the snowy winter months planning projects, and I’m chomping at the bit to get started on them.

I’m certain that’s why spring yard work irritates me, it has to be done before projects get started.

So there’s my dilemma, I feel stuck wanting to change something or at least get started on some outside projects. Hurry up and warm up weather, quit with showers and blustery winds.

Do you like to rearrange furniture, paint rooms, change or add landscaping?

Are you content with material things staying a certain way for long periods?

Feeling Guilty

After sharing the posts, “Roses Take a Back Seat, and Fresh Growth,” I feel it only fair to show my starkest flowerbed. Taking this picture made me realize even calling it a flowerbed is an exaggeration.

Out of nine planted beds, this one in our back yard is a struggle, a work in progress, an embarrassment. This is a current picture (not this spring), and I have fertilized twice this season.

Over-the years I’ve planted many different things here and just can’t find anything that will thrive or often survive the winter. It use to be mainly in the shade because of a large tree outside our yard, but that was taken down last fall. Now, the bed gets morning and early afternoon sun. Maybe, I will have to switch varieties. I prefer flowers that come back ever year (perennials), but I have also tried annuals here.

The bush seems to have thousands of surface roots, so the ground hasn’t been worked up good for years, which I’m beginning to think is the main issue.

It could also be the resident bunny who usually hides out under the bush, but didn’t show up on picture day. Many of the flowers I’ve tried seem to end up as bunny snacks.

Do you have a planted area that grows better or worse than another?

What is your favourite hardy flowering plant?

Fresh Growth

Look who decided to grow fresh sprouts. This Rose bush is now towering over these lilies, which it has never done before.

Maybe, I gave it a complex in the past post when I stated how it takes a back seat to the Tiger Lilies when they are in bloom.

The only thing different I’ve done is more than usual dead-heading and pruning. Whatever the reason, I’m pleased. I can’t wait for all the new buds to open.

The colour of, The Sons, car seemed a perfect contrasting background to show off the new growth.

Are your flowers doing better or worse than usual this season?

Torturer or Green Thumb

Tigers

Tiger Lilly

I’m glad we’re home to enjoy these beauties. I wish all the buds were open for this picture, but not one of my 4 bushes listened when I told them what day this post goes out. Even telling them they were the headliners didn’t speed up the process.

Tiger Lillie’s, are high on my favorite outside flower list that I can grow with my faint green tinted thumb. Next on the list would be Daisies, Pansies and Phlox, all hardy, faithful perennials. I do love Begonias, Geraniums, Gazanias, and Portulacas, but I didn’t plant any annuals this year, they just end up being fancy rabbit food.

Lilac bushes are a must for me, wonderful for both their beauty and their fragrance.

A somewhat unique outside plant for where we live, yet we have had luck growing them in our yards for years is, Prickly Pear Cactus. Even being buried under snow for months doesn’t stop them from coming back to life each summer. Keeping them weeded is a pain, sometimes literally, but my trick is long handled needle nose pliers, or a long handle fish hook remover.

Cactus

Roses are a favorite, but I didn’t include them above because I’m ashamed to admit I’ve been torturing a bush for ten or so years. I water, prune, occasionally fertilize and sprinkle slug pellets when necessary, so it’s either a trooper or ornery. Don’t get me wrong it flowers, but is still only about a foot tall and often has less leaves than flowers. It’s planted in the sun as its tag suggested, I just don’t know how to make it happier.

Rose

Do you have a green thumb?

What flowers do you enjoy?

Which can you grow best?

Flowerbeds and Spring

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The Goal

The snow has melted and uncovered pitiful flowerbeds. Filled with last summers dead stalks, dead annuals and fallen leaves which act as cold weather insulation for roots and bulbs. I don’t prune perennial’s in the fall, because my mother believed not doing that keeps frost from going down the steams and damaging roots. She taught me most of what I know so, of course, I honor and garden by her rules.

Here’s another tip of hers that I’m certain has no real merit, yet it makes me smile and I still follow it, “Don’t water your plants at night”. She would add, “Do you like to go to bed with wet feet?”

Last Tuesday the beautiful spring day enticed my cleanup to begin.

A lack of this type of activity during the winter decreases my stamina for being bent over picking up leaves and pruning plants so after 3 hrs my back screamed, enough for one day.

It took three heaping wheelbarrows to get 4 out of 8 flowerbeds cleaned out. One more bed than planed because why walk a half full wheelbarrow to the compost bin.

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2 Back Corner Beds Before Clean-up

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After Clean-up

I miss the days when I could complete all my yard-work in one shot. Maintenance free landscaping sounds more appealing each year. I can picture graveled beds with large placed boulders, unique driftwood and waving sea grasses, but I know I’d miss the colorful blossoms come summer.

Wednesday morning, I struggled out of bed. My back hadn’t forgiven me and using a very technical term, my bend-over-butt and leg muscles also expressed great displeasure with yesterday’s activities.

With coffee in hand I sat in my recliner regretting, again like every year, my gung-ho approach for that first-day of yard-work.

Why can’t I learn to space it out, do one flowerbed to start or at least in the weeks ahead prepare my body by stretching and maybe exercising those dormant muscles? As I blow my nose, probably from all the dust and pollen stuff I disturbed the day before, I know the answers.

  • I enjoy being active but devoting time to actually exercising has never been something I can stick with for more than a few consecutive days.
  • Weeding is a chore I dread doing. I’m not one who says, “Oh, I love to putts in flowerbeds.” For me, it can’t end fast enough. Sometimes, I wonder what I’m missing that makes me not find the so-called pleasure in gardening.

Mister’s pride shows in how he takes care of our lawns. He may grumble once in a while about how quick it grows, but that’s because he keeps fertilizing it. They are still too wet for his work to start.

The flowerbeds are mine to tend. I wouldn’t consider myself having a green thumb but plants grow and blossom. I do the necessary things, I fertilize, water, weed and prune. The problem is I’d rather do just about anything else.

If you’re a returning reader you’ve heard me mention before,

I’m a winter girl.

I have indoor plants that bloom all year and I don’t have to kill my back, sweat, get sun burned, or swat mosquitos while tending them.

Okay, I’ve whined enough.

Attitude changes everything. It’s time for me to practice what I preach. Find the positives.

I’m grateful I woke and could get out of bed, many don’t or can’t.

I’m grateful for sunny days even though the snow is gone.

I’m grateful to have a yard and yes maybe even the demanding flowerbeds.

Most of all, I’m grateful for every extra day with Mister, family and friends.

Once the season gets into full swing, every morning like other years, I’ll be checking flowerbeds anxiously watching things grow.

Do you have a least favorite outside chore?

Do you enjoy gardening and have a green-thumb?