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February 20, 2011 - Janet DelTurco
Now that most of the snow has gone from the garden, all that is left is a horrible mess. I have to keep reminding myself that under the ground there is a flurry of activity with bulbs and the roots of perennials bestirring themselves for the spring push. But on top of the soil is a dreadful covering of mud, leaves, sticks and stones hiding any signs of new life that may be trying to emerge. And the only remedy for this detritus is to get down there and scrape it up. The compost bins will be grateful. This is one of those jobs that can be done a little at a time, and the results are so pleasing that it is a great incentive to do just a little bit more. I have target areas, right by the back and front doors where improvement will be obvious every time I go in or out.

The front of the house will have some changes this spring. The callicarpa (American beauty bush) is going to be moved to the back door area where it will hve room to grow to the size it is supposed to be, and a new ornamental grass will go into that corner. My new rock boulder will see its first spring here, and will be surrounded with lavender impatiens and Russian sage, and a lot of my hostas will be moved from various places all together to ring the cherry tree. As that tree grows (it is 16 years old now) the shade under it has deepened, perfect for hostas. And the New Dawn rose which has covered most of the front of the house for years had a partial collapse last fall and is going to have major surgery as soon as I can get out there. It was very undisciplined for several years, and last summer had some black spot for the first time. It had been tied up randomly with string, wire, and a lot of finger-crossing, and when it started to collapse, that was a sign that real pruning and shaping was needed.

Around the back the water pot will go to make room for the callicarpa, and that will bring some new life to that area across from the herb bed. Since I joined the Sandusky Valley Herb Society a year ago I have motivation for keeping the herbs varied and interesting, so that whole space will also be spruced up when the time comes. Just a few weeks now.

Indoors, things are starting iup too. I have a flat of little pansies growing well under the basement lights, and the pepper seeds are starting to germinate. Soon the petunias and tomatoes will be planted.

As I sit here by the window, some rather tentative drizzle has changed into a full-fledged snowfall. So at least all that mess will be covered up again for a while.


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