Last year when I was in that dumb cast I missed out on enjoying all the lilacs we have in our yard. To get to them I would've either had to hop down a crazy, loose dirt path or climbed down some steep and unven natural boulder stairs to get to them and that just was not possible. So today was my day to walk happily on two working feet down to the lilac bushes to cut a big box full of blooms to bring into the house.
I was reminded that lilacs are pretty messy but I thought to myself some of the greatest joys in life bring messes with them. You can't have the sweet scent of fresh flowers without a bit of a mess when they crumble. I'll clean it up when it's time. Meanwhile I have a vase of blooms on the kitchen windowsill, on my desk, on our dining table, the foyer table and in our powder room.
There are still tons of blooms to come so I hope I'll make time to go out and retrieve more as these die and new blooms come on the bushes. We had some good rain this week but our backyard is not looking so hot. Needs some attention. Of course I'm thinking there are snakes just waiting to jump out at me from behind every rock. Agh. I think I need some study leather cowboy/work boots to protect my ankles.
It's an adjustment to me to think of lilacs the last week of March and first week of April. Growing up they were Memorial Day blooms and my grandmother would gather jars of them to take to the cemetery to decorate graves that weekend.
We have had a very odd year with our forsythia bush in the back yard. It should bloom tons of bright yellow flowers in February or early March and then leaf out for the summer. Our front bush did bloom but our back bush only didn't. It got about five blooms on it just about the time it started to leaf. Last year is was full, vibrant and flowered early in the Spring. Not sure what's going on with the back yard, but it needs some love.
I also need to brush up on taking care of some of these plants I'm not that familiar with. I'd also like to get rid of a few weedy-looking things that are meant to be there but just look ugly. We also have a far back patch of dirt that could/should be grass of something. This house was empty for a while and before that lived in by older people who just let the yard go pretty much. Yards are a lot of work. I did well to keep up with a little garden patio in our last house.
I am itching to get some planters going with sweet peas, herbs and tomatoes. Having a fresh herb garden is just the best. My family has been so spoiled to have fresh tomatoes the past few years that they can't stand grocery store tomatoes - and they both love tomatoes. Hopefully this year I'll buy some better plants and we'll get a little bit bigger harvest. I should grow some peppers and chiles if I can too. We need to plant a bunch of mint in pots around the yard to ward off bugs, especially ants and mosquitos - although we don't get too many mosquitos here.
I also read that there are herbs to help ward off fleas. Last year we had a couple of weeks of pure misery with fleas. They didn't bother the dog at all because he was medically protected but we humans took the brunt of it. I've never dealt with fleas before but it was awful and we don't want to experience that again this year!
Gardening is so much fun. We certainly have the space but the upkeep is a lot of work, although the rewards are delicious. We still have about two weeks until recommended planting season - after the last frost traditionally. After being able to garden year round in California this waiting to plant business makes me antsy. I'm going to start preparing my gardening beds and pots now and then in a couple of weeks I can just start popping in seeds and plant starts. I think I'll start planting some seedlings this weekend and that'll give me a couple of weeks head start on planting outside. Fun stuff! Are you planting anything this year? If so, what are you most excited about growing.