All of sudden the yard is needing a haircut. The flower beds have sprung a bumper crop of weeds. Dandelions in the grass are clearly excited to welcome the spring. Rain barrels need to be repositioned from their winter storage. Inside the garden the grass needs to be mowed, the rows need to be tilled, the asparagus beds need to be weeded and the berry canes need to be pruned. Already several of the seeds need to be planted and the rest of the fertilizer mixed and spread. The straw bales -- a new experiment for gardening this year -- need to be prepped. The new chicken gardens -- another new experiment -- need to be tilled, planted and covered with the cages we built over the winter. The new irrigation system needs to be mapped in preparation for the new trees that will arrive and need to be planted in a few weeks. Tomatoes growing in the greenhouse need to be transplanted into larger containers for added root development.
Just to begin the list. Except there are problems.
Time, for one. Travels kept us away for a week or so at an inopportune time. Schedule conflicts have filled the days. Now rain is preventing much access to the garden work. Meanwhile the grass and weeds are only getting taller.
There has, in fairness, been some progress. Five of the rain barrels are now in place and doing their job just as the rains have resumed to fill them. We scrambled to get the kitchen garden prepped and planted yesterday on the deck, with lettuces, mustards, arugula, spinach, a dozen or so herbs along with one lone purple jalapeno plant. The six honeyberry plants we had ordered months ago arrived just in time to be planted before our travels and are now benefiting from the rain, as are the plants and trees established last fall. As for the yard, the mowing deck has replaced the snow blower attachment on the tractor -- no small task for a city boy -- and sits idle, but ready.
This is, I recognize, an annual panic. And we aren't actually behind schedule. It's not yet May, and according to the National Weather Service the average last freeze was only April 26 -- yesterday. Average, which means we aren't completely out of the danger zone. It only feels like we should be further along in our progress. It will all get done, I am confident, and in adequate time for the growing season to adequately begin.
Just now, however, I am resonating with the observation of Lewis Carroll's Queen of Hearts to Alice in Wonderland:
“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”So, watch out and step to the side. We have some running to do.