Monday, April 04, 2016

Spring uncertainties

I'm thinking of Robert Frost's "A Prayer for Spring" on this early April day:

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Pansies and tulips last week . . .

Because with the uncertainties of a New England spring, it's difficult to look beyond what blows in with the next change of weather.  Thoughts of harvest are very far away on this snowy day.

The same, today

Friday, April 01, 2016

Weeding weather

When spring starts to shift gears, the siren song of the garden becomes irresistible.  The temperature rises, the days lengthen, and dirt finds its way under one's fingernails. I think that the scent of turned earth--petrichor perfume--is just as hard-wired to happiness as the smell of baking bread, Chanel No. 5, or freshly-mown grass.

As soon as the soil warms, early spring is a great time to weed.  The plants that need to be removed can be easily pulled, and the ones that need to stay haven't yet ensnared weeds in their roots or secreted them in their foliage.

Sprouts from left to right, top to bottom: sedum, monarda, stachya, marsh marigold/moss/grass, dicentra, lovage, mystery, sedum, iris reticulata

This spring, I have two major weeding campaigns to conduct: (1) a recently added beebalm (Monarda "Pink Lace") has exposed its mint family breeding by aggressively and indiscriminately spreading the heck all over the place and, (2) over the years, numerous lambs' ears plants (Stachys byzantina) have quietly colonized older stands of Siberian irises. I have new homes staked out for these runaways.  As they say, a weed is just a plant in the wrong place, and I look forward to magically transforming these beebalm and lambs' ears plants from bad to good.

And then, there is just the garden-variety weeding: cleaning out mosses, grass, and ground ivy from the rain garden, edging beds, and yanking clumps of oxalis, purslane, and celandine. No redemption there.