From Where I Sit – Any Trick Will Do

I’m not sure where You’re reading this. If You’re in north-central Alberta It’s been a long, painful climb to spring-like conditions.

It’s hard to believe my May Day tree will actually bloom in May, given that it doesn’t even have leaves at this writing. We had a surprise snow dump of about 10 inches a few weeks ago. The cool spring winds blow and blow. The thermometer resists the upward climb we so badly want.

It’s hard to get into the yardwork/gardening mindset when the furnace keeps starting and the clouds hover day after day.

The viral head/throat thing I’ve been fighting for over two weeks hasn’t improved my energy level. The not-so-stellar condition of the flowerbeds makes the job more daunting. I didn’t get around to the recommended cleaning of all the beds last fall. The grass, trees, shrubs, and perennials all seem so reluctant this year. Do they know something I don’t? I can only imagine how greenhouse and nursery operators must feel with a spring like this.

I spent part of Mother’s Day cleaning out the garden shed. Hilary was out and we offered her the bottle depot money if she sorted the empties. That cleanup led to a purging of old plastic flower pots and a reorganization of the garden tools. Unlike Martha, I didn’t clean, sharpen, and oil all the cutting surfaces on the hoes, spades, and pruners. So I guess I’ll be blundering through another year without the proper prep.

The generous gift card I received from Greg and Carrie for a Sherwood Park greenhouse means I’ve got some shopping to do. Frankly, the sheer act of meandering through a large garden centre, reading tags, talking to sales reps, delighting in the sights and scents, may just be what the doctor ordered to get me going this year.

The sky has darkened and the rain has just started coming in sheets. More important than the lawn and flowerbeds is the late, cold start to spring seeding. How can wheat or canola germinate if the ground is cold, cold, cold? The growing season is only so long and plants need time to surface, grow, and mature before the killing frost in September. Wouldn’t it suck if now, when commodity prices have finally risen, the crop fails because of adverse weather conditions?

So how do I snap myself out of this funk? I might try the tough-love, if-you-don’t-do-it-no-one-else-will approach. I might remember what happens when weeds get a stronghold on a plot. I might force myself to don the necessary headgear and layers to work in the cool temperatures.

Then again, I could visit the garden centres for an infusion of hope, inspiration, and renewal. I could read some gardening books, watch some landscape TV. I could dig out the fountain, birdbath, and patio pots in storage. I could plan an outdoor party. I’ve done that in the past: sent out invitations and then worried about making the scene company-worthy. This year, any trick will suffice, from where I sit.