Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So far this year

Today's Forecast: Sunny with a high temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit (Major WIN!)

In Maine, you don't start any serious dirt digging until mid-to-late April. When I first started gardening I was told not to plant anything until after Memorial Day. While this rule of thumb is prudent, I just can't wait that long.

It's going to be harder to wait this year. Spring seems to have arrived about two weeks early. Considering that last year we had excessive rain and it never really felt 'warm' up here, I welcome the over-eagerness of the season.

But I will not be planting anything into the ground for at least another month. That doesn't mean I haven't started getting ready, though.

Last Saturday was yard clean-up day. Our home is on a large piece of land and the front of the property is lined with beautiful Maple trees. We clean up the leaves in late Fall, but over the Winter branches and twigs break off. So, I spent several hours raking up all the loose branches that I could find - three large wheelbarrows worth.

We also live on the major highway that goes through Belgrade and you know what that means - trash. I was raised never to litter and to always be considerate of others' property so it never fails to infuriate me when I find cups, fast food chain bags, discarded lottery tickets (all losers, dammit - but that's fitting, since their former owners were obviously losers), and other other types of debris scattered about our lawn.

To be fair, compared to other places I've lived (Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and Florida) Mainers keep their state tidy. But there are always those that find consideration way too taxing and therefore use my yard as their personal trash can.

We also have a crumbling driveway so loose asphalt is always an issue in the Spring. This is the worst part because finding those little black rocks is rather important so that the lawn mower's blades don't hit them and send them flying.

So, the yard is clean now and my father-in-law (who actually owns the property) is happy. He's even more picky about the yard's appearance than I am.

This weekend or next weekend will be flower bed cleaning day, but that depends on whether or not this relatively warm weather is forecast to continue. Our house is old and we line the bottom of the house with bags of leaves in the Fall to add more insulation. These cover my flower beds, of course, and have to be removed before any real maintenance can be performed.

But I think it is time. The tulips are already sprouting and I'm sure my Iris and Hosta are doing the same under all the black bags.

Also, I absolutely hate the way my house looks in the Spring. No matter how neatly they're lined up, black garbage backs just make the place look, well...trashy.

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