Saturday, April 27, 2013

Digging the Garden

Yesterday, after what seemed like more than six long months the thermometer here finally hit 70 degrees.  walking around my garden I was overwhelmed with that number: 78.  As in 78 days until my garden will be on tour hosted by Master Gardeners.   After raking out a couple small beds, and pulling some quack grass from the rectangular island I refer to as the potager; after the neighbor boy (actually a young man a few years older than Handsome Son)  inquired over the fence while tearing the siding off the too close other neighbor's house that said neighbor was siding (and roofing) the garage that half sits on my property (we are that close--proximally only).

I am overwhelmed.

I think Spring is here, but Summer is nipping at her heels, surely.  Especially in these Times of Extreme Weather, central Wisconsin seems to build up this heat dome quickly.  A quarter inch on ice on my windshield Thursday morning.  Frost again this morning.  There are still hummock of snow banks lurking.  Trying to stake a Japanese cypress a bit too weepy in habit lead to the discovery of hard, frozen ground just two inches down in that spot.

So I sat down and strategized what to do, what has to be done, and what can be done to deliver the most bang for time used.  You see, I have never kept my garden in display pose perfection, never spent too much time plotting and planning exactly where to plant early greens, onions, or potatoes.  Last Spring on the graduation of Handsome Son and Party to Follow, mulch was my friend.  The roses and clematis were all in bloom.  I bought three cheap hanging baskets with lots of color and had pots of coleus.  And two days before mulched everything, weeded or not.

And then it rained, torrentially, beginning about an hour after graduation.  It didn't rain again until late September.

So I decided Spring clean-up, which always seems to me to be fraught with difficulties.  This is when I kill plants.  I start too early before I can really sort out what is growing and what is not.  In case you are not aware, although the calendar say nearly May.  NOTHING has budded out, no shrub or trees are even thinking of sending up their leaves.  Some might as well  be dead, as brittle as they appear. No peony eyes, no forsythia buds, no buds on salix.. willow? No buds on that?

So weather forecasters say four nice days and then sleet... or snow?

Just 77 days...


  1. I am afraid I would just throw up my hands and move into a third story condo...But YOU are amazing. I know your gardens will be awesome long before the 78 days have gone by. [sending waves of green lush sunny energy your way]
    xo L

    1. Yes, I can feel the green lush sunny directed my way! Kind thoughts probably lead to the very productive day I had yesterday which included getting my 20 year (extended bed) pick-up running after it sat for 8 months (all the flat tires held air and it STARTED! Yay!). And then, hauling TWO load of rubbish from the damage from the ice storm (which were too small to bundle or place on the curb for the village people to chip and distribute) and my spring clean-up. I was even able to bag another entire load! Gotta love that sun and lush green energy!

  2. There's no getting around it, you live in a climate for hardy souls. Even so, I'm sure your garden will look great for the garden walk.

    1. Marilyn Apps even confided that the Dr. Apps was stressing the Garden Walk because of the late Spring, too, so I guess I am in fine company. It just floors me though that gardeners in my same zone in other places in the country have tulips in full bloom. Some of mine are not quite an inch tall.