Spring is a time for new beginnings... and a lot of work in the garden! I have been staining fence panels as they are needed for espalier and trellising, and also double-digging some new beds.
I'm down to maybe 5 minutes total for mowing both the front and the back yard. My John Deere-loving father will be very disappointed with this turn of events... but he'll be happy to know that the amount of grass you see in this picture will basically remain. It will just be a more environmentally friendly grass, eventually.
Why keep some lawn? Aesthetically, I like the fact that it serves as a ground for the other plantings and gives the eye a place to rest. Practically, it gives both the Gardener and the Garden Assistant a comfy place to rest our bodies as well. In fact, we both snoozed for a while on the lawn this weekend... you know, just in case the neighbors were starting to wonder if I'd suddenly gone sane. Can't have them thinking that!
You might notice that I also moved the second square drainage tile (both were trashpicked from a treelawn in '05) into the same bed as the first. It is set a bit higher than the tile closest to the driveway, which will hopefully lead your eye to the cherry tree that will soon be planted and espaliered against the fence.
The tile will add some much-needed structure, along with the arc of lavender cotton that I'm planning, to this very wide bed. (Sometime soon I'll take a picture from my second-story bedroom window so you can see what I mean.) I'm not quite sure what I'll be planting in these tiles for the summer just yet, however. I'll have to take a walk through the annual section and see what strikes my fancy.
A few other things that have been amusing me this week:
- I am playing A-league women's sand 2's for the first time ever, and we won our first game last night. This is an athletic challenge that I am unlikely to experience again in my life since I'm already at the ripe old age of 32... and even though we're no Misty May and Kerri Walsh, we're having a heck of a lot of fun. I can't even tell you how much this is invigorating (and exhausting) me.
- I love to watch new foliage unfurling in the garden. Particularly baptisia. Particularly when the baptisia is backlit and covered in morning dew.
- Most of my time working at the garden center is spent dispensing advice and answering questions, but sometimes I am on the receiving end of ideas as well. Last week, a lady turned me on to this recipe for Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Sage Pesto and Apples from an old issue of Bon Appetit.
She said that the sage pesto is so good that her family eats it throughout the summer and she rarely makes pesto with basil anymore at all. I doubt that I would go quite that far, but I definitely want to try the sage substitution. And it might be good with walnuts instead of pine nuts, too. Yum.
So many fresh ideas, unfinished projects, and new growth going on... yes, it's finally spring!