Monday, March 26, 2007

Sunday afternoon in the spring sunshine

What a glorious spring day was Sunday! The sun was bright enough for sunglasses and wonderfully warm on my back, the breeze a bit chilly when the sun went behind the occasional cloud and the yard was alive with bright green new growth!

I even heard a hummingbird buzzing around the yard!

Sunday marked the first day I was able to spend outdoors, puttering with my plants. Six years ago, before I returned to work fulltime, I would have said ‘my gardens', but my gardens have been so sadly neglected, I think I’ll just say plants.

This is to be The Year of My Return to Gardening. This is the first spring in 15 years, my Dear Hubby or I (or both of us) haven’t had at least one softball team to coach. With both daughters in college and done with fast pitch softball, we have hung up our mitts and padded bleacher seats. Now my evenings and weekends can be spent in the yard, not traveling to and from softball tourneys. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, I did, tremendously. It is good to look forward.

About 4 winters ago, the Red Bud Forest Pansy tree that lived in the planter between the garage and the living room picture window died. It’s structure was so pretty I decided to use it as a trellis for something.

I thought about Jack Be Little pumpkins but was afraid they would be too heavy for the fine limbed tree. I decided on a beautiful blue clematis. Unfortunately, as the years passed and the limbs became brittle, more and more branches either broke off completely or just pointed downward under the weight of the vines. This winter during one of our wind storms, the entire tree snapped off at the soil line. I had meant to cut back the clematis before it started growing again and transplant it elsewhere but…you know the saying about good intentions. I just couldn’t bring myself to cut it back, as it already has about a dozen blossom buds.

So, yesterday I spent hours and hours cutting away the tendrils and untangling about 8 main vines. Some of them had to be at least 10-12 feet long! I installed a 2’x8’ square trellis into the planter and wove the vines in and out, round and back. It was fragile work and it took all afternoon. By the time I added a few runrunculous between the oriental lilies in the planter and swept up the walk, it was almost dark and getting cold! (The drawback to a clear day is the cold and (still) frosty nights! Had to scrape the ice off of the windshield this morning.)
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day! I ended it just sore enough to know I had done alot of stretching and bending. I felt justified in using up all the hot water for a looonnnggg shower before climbing into my bed with a hot pack and sleeping soundly.

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