spring is coming soon!
It's been warm enough lately to go outside and
play work a bit. I cheerfully put on my sweat pants and a light jacket. Mr. Holleygarden calls sweat pants "fat pants", leaving no doubt in my mind the answer to the question: "Does this outfit make me look fat?"
The delivery men know my gardening clothes. In fact, everyone that knows me has come to understand the sign my attire conveys:
I'm working outside.
In learning how to mulch, there are just a few things to remember:
- Don't put the mulch too close to the wood of the plant.
- Mulch can prevent any new (wanted) seeds from coming up.
- Mulch will break down over time, making this an annual chore.
But it is well worth all the time and effort. Not only does it make the garden beds look beautiful, it makes the soil nice and fertile, too. I am always amazed when I dig down and see the signs:
the soil is dark and lovely, not too heavy, not too sandy.
From what I understand, northern gardeners mulch to protect their plants from the thaws and freezes over the winter months. I mulch to keep the soil cooler in the heat of summer. Every year I vow I'm going to mulch every bit of my garden before it gets too hot to work outside, requiring me to finish in the autumn. We'll see how far I make it this spring. I watch the sun as it moves higher in the sky. I can read the sign:
believe it or not, it will be hot soon!
My schedule changes throughout the year. Right now, it's inside chores in the morning (because it's too cold to be outside), while the warm afternoons are spent outside. In the summer, that reverses: outside work in the morning, until it gets too hot, then work inside for the rest of the day. There are just a few days that I can work outdoors all day long, first in the spring then again in the autumn. I cherish those nice days. My family knows the sign that those days have arrived:
indoor work is completely ignored.
My mother, especially, thinks it's odd that I love to garden. I've always been a bit squeamish. When I was young, I turned away from worms, screaming. Now I admire them, and cart them off to places where I want better soil. I used to grow my fingernails long. Now they are an embarrassment to me. Short, ragged, and sometimes dirty. I look at other women's hands. I am always disappointed when I see one with beautifully manicured nails. I look for someone who has nails like mine. That is an unmistakable sign:
they're a gardener, too!
I've begun mulching. Little buds and blooms are showing. Days are getting longer. It's only January, but the signs are there:
spring is right around the corner!