Usually, around this time of the year, I start spending much of my free time in the dirt – planting, preparing areas for planting, repairing and updating garden structures, and yes, even weeding. This year however, the muddy paw prints on the kitchen floor are the only sign that a garden exists in our life.
Enough of the snow and cold weather already! I can’t really call it winter weather, because our winter’s are often bitter, grey, and miserable. I’m really not a fan of them, and every winter I wonder, often quite vocally, why I still live here. But this current weather pattern isn’t really what I’d call winter weather, and it’s most assuredly, not spring-like.
It’s still snowing, but since it’s not frigidly cold, the snow melts fairly quickly. As you can see from the photos taken about a week ago, when it does snow there’s still enough of it to be measured in inches. It’s heavy enough, that should you need to clear a walk-way, a broom just won’t suffice. Same for our windshields, we’re still brushing and scraping it off as it’s too heavy for wipers.
And even though it’s warm enough to melt the snow, the temperatures are still low enough that most of us are still donning warm coats, mittens or gloves, and covering our ears – especially when the wind blows! We’re still wearing warm sweaters and layers, and despite Easter having been and gone, I don’t know many in the area who have switched to their “Spring/Summer” wardrobe (do people still actively do this in climates where the temperature swings aren’t so drastic?).
Anyway, all that to say, the peas have not been planted. Nor the lettuce or any other crop that’s tolerant of cool to cold weather. The ground is still frozen and feels sharp due to the muddy ice crystals. I’m not sure I’m going to get much gardening done in a timely manner this year. I’ll try, but it’s likely by the time I am comfortable planting a few of the hardier crops, they’ll bolt because the weather will warm up so speedily.
I bought some paint to touch up a few rusting and deteriorating garden accessories – things like trellises, plant posts, raised beds, and ornaments. But I’m not sure I’m going to be able to paint them before we need to use them as intended. Take the hop trellis for example; the hops we grow on it are hardy here, and they are sprouting through the snow. At the rate they grow, it’s likely they’ll be wrapped around the trellis before I get a warm 2 day span to paint it!
I have big plans for the garden this year – not the type that can be measured in bushels of produce, rather, these plans are more of the reorganizational kind. Since Charlie Brown the Airedale came into our life last May, the way our garden gets used and abused has changed. And those changes need addressed. Beds need reorganized and possibly moved, pots and ornaments need relocated, and the entire mess needs a great big overhaul based on his pouncing and trouncing.
But again, I’m inside writing this instead of outside reworking our garden. Right now as I look out the window, the sun is shining, the patches of snow are receding, and birds are chirping. But when I sat down to start this blog, giant puffy snowflakes were falling, the wind was whipping between our house and the neighbor’s, and the sun was hiding behind grey ominous clouds.
These crazy weather swings have many of us acting a bit edgy. I can’t even recall how many times over the past few days I looked out a window or opened a door and said, “What?! It’s snowing again!”, usually with a few expletives in there. If someone is within earshot, they often a reply along the lines of “Are you kidding me?”, and depending on the person, this includes a few expletives as well.
So I know I’m not alone. Others are also expressing their desire to get into their garden. Or go hiking without layers of winter attire. Or ride their bike without getting mud frozen to it. Or sit on a porch. Or grill without freezing their hands while firing it up. You get the idea. And a few of these people like winter. It’s this weird in between state that seems to be lingering longer than usual this year that’s making us all stir crazy.
I can’t decide if I should designate a pair of winter gloves as gardening gloves and just accept that they will never not be muddy again, find a heavy old sweatshirt and flannel shirt, and put some long johns under my jeans and head out into our garden or stay in here and snuggle with the dog. He looks pretty cozy right now, I’ll pet him for a few minutes and then decide…