Monday, March 2, 2009

March to the Beat

my dream weather... how i wish it's like this everyday...

It seems that the month of March started out just right. We had a fine weekend. Saturday seemed like spring at its best with a lot of sun and a blue sky. Oh, it was still chilly in the morning, around zero degrees, but by 10:00 AM, it’s warm enough under the sun. So we took the opportunity to start preparing our garden. It feels good to be out, even if it’s just in our backyard after being cooped up inside the house for weeks. A sunny weather really does a lot to my mood. I was in high spirits during the weekend. Well, we had covered sky on Sunday, but it cleared enough in the afternoon allowing us to continue gardening.

one of our juniper shrubs... and see the tall hedge in the background?
that's what my husband has to deal with...

So far, we were able to weed most of our vegetable and flower beds. Weeds really have a great survival mechanism. They grow even in cold bad weather. I wouldn’t be surprised if they would be the last plants on earth if the world comes to an end. I was also able to get rid of our withered annual plants (which I was too lazy to do last autumn), cut the dried stalks of the perennial ones and plant some more spring bulbs. My husband did the harder part of gardening --- trimming and cutting (well, at least, he’s trying to) our really, really tall and quite thick hedge of thuja (a conifer from the Cypress family). It’s around 10 meters high when we moved in. Well, okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but I’m pretty sure they aren’t less than 5 meters in height. And cutting hedges that high is quite a task. And we aren’t even finish trimming their width which we do every year to keep them from eating up a lot of space in our yard. Good thing our neighbor is not complaining about it.

But at least we got rid of most of the ivy. It might be lovely to look at ivy-covered houses or buildings. But I don’t find walking in a garden ankle-deep in ivy charming. And that’s how high the ivies were when we moved in. And they covered at least a third of our garden. So we got rid of them… manually. It might be a tedious task, but it’s actually quite good for your stress. After pulling ivies for an hour or so, you’ll feel less the urge to pull your hair out of their roots *grins*.

one brave tiny crocus... our first flower in the garden this year

We also trimmed our juniper shrubs that are also eating up a lot of space. They spread really fast, so if you’re looking for easy-to-care, evergreen shrubs that can grow either in the sun or in the shade, this is the plant. Just a caution, though, some people might be allergic to it. It releases a lot of pollen, so if you’re sensitive to it, juniper might not be a good idea. On my part, I don’t know if it’s due to the pricks of its needle-like leaves or I’m just allergic to it, but every time my skin comes in contact with the leaves, I get itchy tiny red spots. The itch wears off after a few hours, but the red rashes take a longer time to disappear. I know, maybe we should get rid of it. But then, they’re quite practical to have. You don’t really need to take care of it and there are no leaves to rake during autumn.

Well, it was a fruitful weekend. And the weather forecast seems to be generally fine for the rest of the week. It might rain on Wednesday, but that’s fine. At least, there won’t be a need to water the plants. A sunny day really keeps me in a good humor. And I’m definitely, completely, positively looking forward to spring.


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