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Almost Spring

March 24, 2011 - Janet DelTurco
Those warmer days last week were wonderful, and I accomplished quite a lot outside. All the more disappointing to go back to wintry temperatures again. I did have some indoor gardening that needed to be finished, however, and this was the chance to get around to it6.

My dog Penny forgets that she is 13 years old, and still acts like a puppy when the mood takes her. She loves to sit and look out of the window so that she can "warn off" passers-by with a very noisy barking, so I make sure when I am gone that no chairs are up against windows. A few days ago, in spite of my precautions, I came home to find the large fairy garden on my desk destroyed. She had jumped about three feet from the desk chair to the desk, and scrabbled in the dirt, uprooting two cherished miniature trees as well as plants, and destroyed the gravel path that extended the length of the desk. I cleaned up the mess and put as much as possible back into the soil, but it was still not the way it had been since last October, and today I took it apart and replanted the trees and a few plants in pots. A few more weeks and it can all go outside where it belongs. I did get most of the climbing roses trimmed back, and Nick moved my callicarpa from the front corner round to the back of the house. That was a bigger undertaking than we expected, and it took a lot of muscle power. There were three or four long taproots that we had to sever in the end, and I hope it will survive the move.

Then I cleaned up some of the leaves, sticks and stones that accumulated through the winter, and tackled the ivy that has been covering the foundation all along the side of the house for many years. That was such an effort that it will be the subject of a whole column soon. Another big job was cutting back the ornamental grasses. Every spring I conclude that the attractive grasses through summer, fall and winter are not worth the two days of work it takes to trim them back and the two trips to get rid of the brush, but I know very well that they will keep growing. They are beautiful, and the work is soon forgotten.

Great-grandson Noah helped me plant peas last week. We just missed the target date of St. Patrick's day, but we made it on St.Joseph's on March 19, and I'm sure he will watch over the crop just as well.

There is still a lot of work to be done to get ready for planting, but it is good to look out of the window and see at least some clear space around the crocus, hyacinths and daffodils that are starting to bloom.


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