Some folks make resolutions at the beginning of the New Year. Others give up something for Lent. I ceased doing both of these because I have a tendency to cheat. I would put items on my “resolution” list that I knew I would probably do anyway, and give up things for Lent I knew I could easily do without or couldn’t afford.
However, I still uphold one tradition, I get busy with Spring Cleaning. Owing to physical issues, I have hired a cleaning service to keep my house nice and neat (except the bird cages which I clean). These days my spring cleaning involves the yard. In recent years, David has begun to help me more with yard tasks, and we split the work. I can sweep but bending over affects my back, so David gets up the piles of debris I shift with my broom. He helps with other things too, like mowing the lawn and moving bags of potting soil to my work area.
Yesterday we swept up catkins from under the Hornbeam, seeds from the oaks, bay trees, and maples blown in from neighborhood yards, as well as assorted petals falling from the rose bushes and Viburnum shrubs. I broke my rule about bending over and pulled up grass and dandelions. We filled a huge trash bag.
Friday, the county collected the five bags of trimmings from our side of the neighbor’s hedge which sat out for a week (you must call them to arrange a pick-up), as well as the one bag the neighbor and his son trimmed from his side of the hedge.
David and I completed refilling the remaining containers with lightweight potting soil and got the last two boxes of plants from White Flower Farm installed. All the potted plants look small and bedraggled in the morning rain, but in a few weeks they will begin to fill out and be beautiful in July and August when the perennials have passed their peak. Once upon a time I avoided annuals in the garden, but in recent years I have used them to fill in during the months when the garden looks terrible.
I have some containers on the front porch (photo below shot through a wet storm door, and along the pebble walkway out back (not pictured), as well as hanging pots on the back porch and a few under the grow lights in the kitchen.
I set aside several pots of herbs for Hannah who says she will come to collect them as soon as her first year of graduate classes ends in two weeks. I got her 3 kinds of thyme and one of golden sage, plus two scented geraniums (apple and strawberry). I can give her cuttings from some of the other herbs I planted outside in troughs a few years ago, if she wants them.
Mostly, I grow mints in the troughs, including the Korean mint the butterflies love. Below is a photo of a Monarch Butterfly on the Korean mint from two summers ago. I hope I see more of them this summer.