Monday, March 22, 2010

With Open Arms

I greeted this (glorious!!!) spring that we are enjoying (oh, are we enjoying it) rather hesitantly. I was so sure the first day or so of sunshine and warmth were just a tease, and I was right. But sooner than I foresaw (or so it seems), the real spring popped back up - and this second time, I was sure to welcome it with open arms.

After testing the too-good-to-be-true weather for a few days last week, I deemed spring officially in season and decided to make it feel right at home in our home and yard this weekend.

At risk of sounding like a whiner, I must warn you (in case your weather hasn't yet begun to mirror ours) that it can be quite discouraging to survey your yard after a winter of neglect (and of three record-breaking snowstorms) and discern how to begin.

We set about to tackle one of the obvious (and honestly, the most clearly lacking) spots... our front door and stairs. The solution was obvious... we needed a long-lasting, compact shrub with some height and a few touches of color. Oh, and a planter... with enough substance to sit alone on our front porch but not too big to obstruct the front door.

The answer(s) revealed itself in a Sky Pencil Japanese Holly surrounded by a lush patch of thyme (yes, the herb) and some pansies. The latter will be switched out or added to throughout the summer as more colorful options are available and the former will find its way into the kitchen from time to time (horrible pun embarrassingly sorta intended).

An unexpected gem that we came across to brighten up our spring weekend (which will hopefully last well into the summer) was a lush, dark green-leaved strawberry plant! Last summer we regretted not having (attempted) growing our own berries so I jumped at the chance to make one of these beauties our very own.

We were also treated to a little gift that I can not explain (but won't fight either)... so I choose instead to chalk it up to an ushering in spring surprise. Our once all perfectly light-pink camellia has taken on a new hue... but only in a distinct section of the shrub! A few fuchsia blooms poked through this weekend, which made it all that much happier for this girl.

This next move might, admittedly, have been a bit pre-mature, but honestly, with the 75+ degree weather beating down on my back, I couldn't not buy a couple of pots of herbs. Now it's up to me to endure some constant prayer for continued pleasantly warm temperatures, similar to what we experienced this weekend, so these fragrant guys stick with us through the summer.

No pictures document this next important part of our early spring weekend, but there's no denying that a variety of green leaf lettuce, spinach, and romaine seeds were planted. One of the things that I look forward to most each summer is our vegetable garden, full of tomatoes, peppers, beans... and the annual planting of our lettuce seeds has always marked the start to another (hopefully fruitful) season.

Quite possibly as a result of figuring out what causes hundreds of little seedlings... er, weeds, to rear their ugly heads (though I will only claim a partial-victory because I still remain completely bewildered as to how to prevent more of them from dropping), on this first weekend of spring, I actually enjoyed weeding and tidying our flower beds. Sure our lavender plant was as unruly as it gets, but a haircut later, things were looking up. And amidst straw-like (past-their-time) stalks of last year's peonies, new peonies greeted us, pushing up through the now cleared flower bed.

Oh! The yellow flowers popping off those woody stems? I cut a couple sprigs of our forsythia (trying to capture flowers in all stages of their life - buds, barely opened, and wide opened) and with some help, artfully displayed them for some bits of cheerfulness around the house. It's spring, by golly... make sure to enjoy it both inside and out!

I am pretty confident this goes without saying but if this past weekend was any indication of what Spring 2010 holds in store for us, well, I am happy to do my part ushering it in... even allowing it to take up permanent residence here with us.


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  2. love your beautiful garden & fabulous photos kara! i hope spring has sprung for you for good :) we got 5" of snow on saturday - can you believe it? but we should get temps in the 70's later this week... hope my herbs, blueberries & broccoli survived; brought all the flowering pots inside, but the beds had to fend for themselves... yay for gardening - keep documenting with your lovely photos!!

  3. SO jealous of your patio and backyard and flowers and greenery!! All we have is our dried our christmas tree (I know), and no sunshine to even attempt at an herb pot. Oh, the things I look forward to when we have a proper yard! But anyway, yay for your GORGEOUS greens and flowers!

  4. Our yard is a MESS. We had our crepe myrtles trimmed way back (they were monstrous), which is a start, but I'm overwhelmed at what needs to be done after a year (or two, cough) of neglect encouraged by one wee boy in the house.

    You are my inspiration to begin! (Although today? Cool and rainy. Sigh.)

  5. I. Need. Help. !!!

    I don't understand anything about my yard, plants, flowers, etc. To be totally honest, it's not something I'm hoping to get totally into either (I have enough half-hobbies that I never finish anyway:)).

    Besides just that I want you to peep at my make-shift garden, I want to see you! When can you come over??


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