Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring- Friend or Foe?

Where I live, we have had a rough start to spring. We have had lots of rain, snow, cold temperatures- even the small earthquake! Finally, a month after the actual "first day of spring", I think mother nature has decided that we are due and show us some mercy. I couldn't be more thrilled. I love the mild temperatues, the greening of the grass, and the buds peeking through on my perrenials and trees!

I can't wait to get out and garden- a hobby that I have picked up in my 13 years as a homeowner. I am passionate about it, but don't have a green thumb. Like everything , though, you have to take the good with the bad.

I am persistent and gardening is one of those challenges that I have enjoyed taking on. I am a hard worker and love to see results from my hard work! I am not afraid to get dirty. I have a memory like a steel trap. I can remember names of plants and flowers and their best habitat. I love things to look pretty!

However, I do love instant gratification and that's where I fail dreadfully as a gardener- everything takes time- I'm not very accepting of this! Rabbits eat EVERYTHING in my yard- I am constantly the neighborhood "nutball" as I run out my back door toward them yelling, "get away from my plants!" Birds also like to swarm my grass seed- I use the same exercise for them as the rabbits. Allergies, well, they're not kind to us in my family. Puffy eyes, runny noses, sneezing, and headaches- they are par for the course come April around here. We can't even open the windows on a nice gentle day! And weeds- oh weeds! I am vigilant to weeds- I will try sprays, granules, I pull them, I mulch over them, but they keep coming!

But I digress. I have just taken my first walk to survey the planting beds. The colors, the smells, the new life everywhere reminds me of why I love to garden, regardless of my sometimes less than successful attempts.

I planted a lilac bush last year and it is starting to bloom. I can't wait until I can smell it's wonderful fragrance. That smell will always bring me back to my Grandma's house as a young girl- she had them all throughout her back yard and the beautifully sweet air would flow in the windows and through the house! I can't wait!

For years now, I have envied people that have yards full of beautiful tulips! I have made my attempts with bulbs, the first sign of a new colorful season on the horizon. I have tried to plant them- lots of them. I follow directions, get tips from experts, but nothing! I have tried many bulbs- Crocus, Daffodills, Tulips and others that I just thought were pretty from a picture- never has one come out of the ground to bloom- UNTIL NOW!!! It's a tulip, not the fullest, most beautiful one I've ever seen. It's the only one and totally lame and lonely standing all by itself, but to me it's a success!

I have about two hours of weed pulling ahead of me. I have petunias that have been deadheaded down to nubs by rabbits- just one week after my husband planted them. I have 2 kids home from school trying to sleep off the allergy sniffles- thanks to some Benedryl. I am running the air conditioner, even though it's only 60 degrees outside, in an effort to limit the allergens that are assaulting us. But I take that all in stride thanks to this pathetic little tulip, I will hold my head high and welcome spring.

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