Saturday, March 10, 2012


Yes, it’s officially here.  Don’t even bother with the calendar.  Just step outside.


The flowering trees are in full bloom, and the tiny hyacinths are popping up all over.


I had fun playing with the super macro setting on Miss Chef’s new camera…



flowers 03 01

…and a very willing model.

But that’s not what got me out in the yard.  Nope, it happens every year.  Just when I think I’ve lost any interest in gardening, the turn in the weather changes my mind.  It’s kind of scary, actually, like an addiction to getting my hands dirty.  (I was going to say “an addiction I can’t control,” but I’ve never really tried to control it, so I wouldn’t know.)

Two weeks ago, this was my garden bed:

garden 02 01

I had cultivated the front section, and the very back has garlic I planted in December (it should’ve been in November, but this winter it didn’t really matter).  The middle was…basically, it was lawn.  A nice thick thatch of invasive Bermuda grass, with a generous sprinkling of flowering weeds.  In other words, backbreaking hours of work.  I considered ways of leaving it fallow, so I wouldn’t have to clean up and maintain it all summer.

But that was before my addiction kicked in.  I worked on it last weekend, and today, in spite of myself, I managed to finish the rest of the bed.  Now it looks like this!


You can see the garlic in back better in this photo, but you can’t see all the seeds I planted (or the remaining roots and grass runners that will be re-sprouting in a few days’ time).  Still, if you’re not an addicted gardener, or OCD, this probably doesn’t look all that exciting. 

Ah, but if you could only see what I see…

garden plan 03

Yes, there’s a lot of extra space.  I’m paring way back; trying to be realistic about how much time I’ll be spending out there, and how many vegetables we’ll be using with Miss Chef hardly home to cook.  So I was just going to add some basil, and maybe a couple of tomato plants.

On the other hand…I’m not going to be teaching this spring, and I hate to leave the bed open to weed seeds and grass runners.  So I think I’ll toss in a squash plant or two.  Just as ground cover, of course.  I talked to Miss Chef about taking any extra crops in to the school restaurant to use up.

I just need an outlet for my addiction, I guess.

In other news, I finally got something taken care of that’s been bothering me for years.  These guys:


Meet Todd, our lawn guy!  He’s attacking the giant holly bushes that I struggle to cut back every year.  You can see through them because their internal structure is so big that by the time I get them wrestled back to something reasonable, there’s not much foliage left.  I couldn’t get them any smaller than this without a chainsaw.  They’re way too big for a one-story house, and every year they just get bigger. 

“Off with their heads!” I cried!  Not really—but Todd kept warning me, “You know there’s not gonna be much left if I take ‘em that far down.”  Repeatedly.  I think he was scared I was going to freak out when I saw….this!


Ha ha ha ha!  YES!!  I love it.  Take that, you monsters!  I can finally see my house.  In fact, I’m kind of wishing I’d had him take them down a little further.  Ah well, I’m looking forward to being able to keep them trimmed without hauling out the 8-foot stepladder. 


If you’re freaking out that I’ve just killed my landscaping, don’t worry.  These are a common Asian holly that are practically indestructible. We could cut them all the way down and they’d sprout back up from the roots.  Which I just may consider doing the next time I call Todd out with his chainsaw.

In the meantime, anybody need to start a brushpile fence?



And this doesn’t really fit in here, but I have to make you hungry, you know.  We finally made it to the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market this morning, so it seemed appropriate for Miss Chef to work on her omelet skills again.


That stuff in the back is a purple sweet potato cooked with kale—both of which I normally turn my nose up at, but this was good.  Miss Chef said something about using butter…no, using lots of butter.  Might have something to do with it.

I hope you all are getting a little whiff of spring, too!


  1. Hmmm..... I love spring too, but we are just moving in to autumn here.... :-(

  2. I think you are going to be pleased by the new growth of the holly. We used to have large bushes that I would trim back... from a ladder. Finally I hacked them off (and a bunch of others as well) and they all looked wonderful within a few weeks.
    I love your garden! Hooray for spring and new energy!

  3. Grape hyacinths are just about my favorite flower. When David and I were first boyfriend and Girlfriend way back in 10th grade, he picked a bunch out of someone's yard for me. Naughty David, but they were my first flowers from a boy!

  4. Could you pop over to Indiana and do my garden for me?? Please?

    I think I would have just had those bushes removed. We are considering some changes to landscaping at our house- we have some stuff we just want gone and one tree that I hate to see go but it's not planted in the right place and I don't think we can move it effectively. :(

  5. Purple sweet potatoes? I'll have to check those out. Spring has sprung in Texas, too (I saw bluebonnets the other day), but our pecan tree is still sans buds. Must still have one more cold snap coming.

  6. I completely understand the whole OCD thing - I think I get way too much pleasure from tidying things up! What fun imagining the vegetables-to-be in your garden!

    We've been doing some major pruning around here, too, and I'm a bit worried about the shorn shrubs recovering. Seems like a drastic way to welcome spring, but it had to be done!

  7. Butter makes EVERYTHING taste better :)

  8. My envy knows no bounds....that sort of thing is still at least a month away here. :( Groan....why did I leave Iowa?!


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