Already there is something stirring, call it spring, call it the vaccine, call it about time.
The weather looks to be better, some nights around freezing, maybe, but daytime temps are creeping up into the fifties, the sixties by the weekend.
It seems the same for friends whose weather I keep up with. I have taken you to my heart, truly and forever, if your city pops up on my phone’s weather app. I keep up with the weather in a couple of places I love like people, too. And almost all of us can count on temperatures at least in the 50s by the middle of the month.
Even if it is snowing where you are now.
Even if you are freezing right this minute.
Even if it won’t last.
Already I am eyeing that spot along the fence that separates my drive from my neighbor’s yard. He has been eyeing it for months now, too. In the fall I offloaded bags of manure and compost with the intention of filling in the low places and preparing a flowerbed for spring. I didn’t have quite enough dirt so I left it all sitting there until I could do the job properly, and there it has sat since.
He has offered to spread the contents of the bags for me, but no, I am happy to do that myself. I want to do it, think I can call it exercise, and so it would be. But first I need more dirt. He is a patient fellow, but he will be glad when I get after it. Soon, John, soon.
This week might just be the week, in fact, because seed and flower catalogs are jamming my mailbox and nothing inspires me quite so much. They are stacking bags of mulch at Kroger and I am giddy about it. I know they are, because my cousin posted a photo of those big bags last week, when she was giddy first.
I have tried watching the British gardening shows, Monty Don being one of my favorites. But if I am honest, he exhausts me. He moves slowly and calmly, digging, uprooting, rerooting, I will give you that. But I think of all the behind the scenes efforts — just getting those nice bins filled up with that custom peatless potting soil, I mean, how long does that take? How does he drag all the ingredients into his well-appointed potting shed? And those wonderful giant terra cotta pots he has all over the place. How much do they weigh? Empty? Loaded?
No, I have already decided, from the comfort of my couch, to pare down my gardening this year, sticking with those things that provide real bang for the buck. I have managed to keep two rosemary bushes alive all winter, and I am trying to overwinter some big geraniums in the basement. My fence row garden plot may serve as an AirBnB for zinnias until fall, when I may plant iris.
But, even so, there will still be plenty of trips to the nurseries, the garden centers and those places that fetch bags of mulch for you and dump them like a body in your trunk. I will be glad to have gardening back, to have it back as the joyful, playful activity it is. Digging in the dirt, water play, all my favorite childhood past times. But now no one yells out the back door to bring those serving spoons back in the house this minute.
I have had tools. I have a wheelbarrow.
So, celebrate with me. It’s almost spring, the vaccine is here and it is more than time.