Sunday, April 02, 2006

Spring Cleaning

I spent most of yesterday morning in the garden. I love my garden. I love the feeling of being out where it's warm, clearing away the winter debris, encouraging the tiny shoots of the perennials to come up and play. I love working out the plans of what I am going to add to the garden this year to make it better than the previous year. I love getting a little bit sunburned and sore from the work. I love showing my children the beginning of Spring, the crocus blooms, the tulip and daffodil greenery just peeking out to say hello.

But there are three things I DO NOT love (in no particular order): weeds, chipmunks/skunks/any garden rodentia, and deer. Now on the animal front, I know they were here first. I know that I am the intruder in their word. I also know, that I am still a novice in my gardening life, and especially in this growing Zone. The outdoor life here is definitely different than in VA. HOWEVER, is it too much to ask for them to just stay the hell away from certain plants?

The first year I lived here, my mother brought me bulbs from Amsterdam, literally picked them out over there on one of her trips and brought them back to me. I planted them in the fall and couldn't wait to see them in the spring. And then Spring arrived. Spring with a capital 'S'. And so did the FLB's. For those of you who aren't aware, an FLB is a Furry Little Bastard, my children call them Chip and Dale, but they are and always will be, FLB's. This is why I got a cat: because that first spring, having never cohabitated with chipmunks, I could not figure out where my beautiful crocus blooms were disappearing to. And then I came out of my front door one morning to find that FLB sitting on my stop peeling a crocus bulb like an onion. And now, I have solved for you what the sound was that you heard 5 years ago on a spring morning. Me screaming at the top of my lungs, you little SOB, my mother brought those back from Amsterdam!

And then, there are the deer. I am more sympathetic to them. They don't have their own nickname. And usually I blame myself when I fail to protect a plant from them. As in yesterday. When I was clearing leaves and such from my azaelas, I realized that yes, I should have covered them for the winter because 6 out of 6 azaleas, have NO LEAVES ON THEM, which means no blooms for this year either. Why I am I growing azaleas this far north? Because my Pappou has azaleas, that I used to help him take care of, that still bloom the first week of every May and occasionally in October. And I am not giving up on this bush because I am living in zone 6.

As for the weeds, I know most people think that after a nuclear holocaust the only thing left will be cockroaches, but people, get real, it's going to be the DANDELIONS. Granted, we didn't have the nastiest winter on record, but for the love of God and my own sanity, what is with these things? They will not die and neither will this other weed that I still cannot identify but which shows up everywhere and has roots like a snaggle-toothed tigers teeth. Enough already with the weeds! Don't tell me about black paper you put down or newspaper or whatever. These things are malicious and when they hear me open my back door, they stand a little straighter, a little taller, just to goad me.

And they ask me why I knit......

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