That Overwhelming Feeling of Spring Cleanup

Last month I wrote about cutting back. I am now in the middle of that process with most of the grasses and some of the ferns removed from the middle of paths, having chopped some into mulch for various beds. I continue to watch the Icarus-inspired piles of twigs and branches reach higher every day, however.

The top of the driveway is a useful location to stash large branches.

Teensy little prolific weeds spread across my paths in gleaming spring green. New pots of plants are jumping into my car as I drive by my favorite nurseries (at our now recommended social distancing due to the highly contagious COVID-19 virus) because I now have ‘holes’ where the garden renovation process has been most exuberant. Choirs of little black pots are now grouping themselves around the garden waiting for direction and singing loudly for attention.

Pots placed into former black holes, ready to plant.
Singing their little hearts out, the choir of pots is getting louder and louder.
More pots with some starting fertilizer.

Sleep is not just adrift; it’s torn apart by thought tornadoes. I am officially in ‘spring overwhelm’.

What to do?

Organize. Make a realistic calendar of what’s possible. Find a service that can help you with the biggest tasks that make getting the garden in shape feel more possible. I’m hoping for a chipping service to eliminate the pruning piles when the temporary closed business policy is lifted. I have to purchase more inline irrigation hose and get those laid out as far as possible. If I can’t finish the entire garden now, some parts of the garden at least will be on an automatic irrigation system until next spring. The rest I will have to water with sprinklers. While the weather is still cool, keep the larger plants in pots in order to more easily layout the irrigation hose and weed. Then plant. Have mulch delivered so I’ll have a pile to draw from as needed. This will keep new plants moist and inhibit weed seed germination. Having a system condenses my panic into manageable busy mode. What helps more are cheery wee plants waving hello at every bend in a path.

Herb Robert in the middle of a cedar chip path. Argh!!
What a reward for a weary gardener today!

If you have friends who are willing to help you, accept their generosity, feed them something good and hearty, and be exceedingly grateful they are your friends who like to garden with you. Return the favor as soon as you can, because gardening with a friend is a very special relationship. But for now, make sure you stay at least 6’ or more apart.