How many of you can’t wait for Spring? Nicer weather, flowers popping up, nicer weather, no more snow. Spring is always my favorite. I truly love each season, but the renewal that we find every year when the sun is shining and things start growing makes me happy!
I know that we have a month of Winter left. And I live in eastern Colorado, where we had snow on the last day of school last year.
But, the thought of a little warm up and wet, spring snow along with rain and the potential for blooming flowers – I can’t wait!
I love working in my garden. Clearing out dead leaves from last year, raking the grass as it starts to grow again, and then planting new things (which is still a couple months off for us – it will freeze at night for awhile still). All of that makes me happy.
As much as I know we still have a couple months of snow and freezing nights left, it is not actually too early to do some spring cleaning outside. While there are some sensitive plants (like clematis) that still need the cover of leaves and the insulation from the cold, many others can be cleared early in the season.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about choosing happiness. I truly believe that being happy and enjoying life is a choice that we make. Springtime makes all of that so much easier! How can you not be happy when there are flowers to see and smell? Trees starting to bud with new growth and new leaves. The grass will turn green again.
The other great thing about having a fabulous yard with a lot of perennials? They come back! Even if I have neglected the yard work the previous year, they always bounce back.
We have a big yard, and about 10 flower beds to clean up each spring. I love it! It is a lot of work – especially the giant bed that takes up the whole south side of our house. We also have a lot of old growth trees, so before the leaves come on, our normally completely shady yard gets the early season sunshine. Spring cleaning outside is always one of my favorite things to do!
Take advantage of the rainy days for the indoor cleaning – there will still be plenty of those, and plenty of time for all the spring cleaning inside (closets, windows, baseboards and ceiling fans – none of that is exciting). But, if you have a nice early Spring day, get outside and enjoy the sunshine!
I already have tulips and crocus coming up all over my yard!
Once the tulips are coming up, you almost have to clear the leaves around the base of the stems so that they don’t fall over when they get bigger, taller and heavier. Remember, if (and when) it does snow again, snow insulates flowers too!
I know there will be a hard freeze at some point this spring. I know there is a chance I will lose some flowers – last year, my bleeding hearts did not fare well with the late freezes and late snow. However, I also know that they will come back! Each year, our yard looks a little bit different with each changing season. Flowers move and shift a bit, some grow bigger and some don’t come back. We plant new things each Spring, and enjoy the changes along the way.
Spring bulbs usually do best when planted in the Fall. Did you plant some bulbs last October that you’re waiting to see spring up soon? We didn’t this time, but some years I’ve been known to plant 50+ Fall bulbs. What are your favorites? Mine are tulips of all varieties and daffodils.
What works best in your yard? As I said above, our yard is predominantly shade. I have a lot – and I mean a lot – of hostas. I also have columbine, reblooming day lilies, Tiger lilies, several old varieties of Iris (some that my husband’s great grandmother planted ages ago that smell fabulous), Allium, ferns, hyacinth, Vinca, honeysuckle, wild roses, and we have a few hearty wisteria plants (there are varieties that do ok in Zone 4, and ours have been frozen a few times but always bounce back).
We also will plant a variety of annuals later in the Spring – after Mother’s Day is usually safe from a freeze in our area – in our front-facing flower beds. I plant a lot of begonias, impatiens and Sunpatiens, and coleus.
Years ago, I planted about 40 petunias in the only sunny spot in our front yard. And discovered that the friendly neighborhood squirrels really like those. The pesky beasts dragged off every single flower in the first few days. The squirrels also dug up a whole bunch of dahlias I planted one year. I’ve heard they like tulips, but they’ve always left mine alone. When I was growing up in Boulder, the deer always ate my mom’s tulips – so, be aware of the local wildlife and plant what works for you!
Gardening is also a great way to get your kids outside and do something together. When I was clearing the dead leaves off of the Iris and Lilies the other day, my youngest raced outside to get her little gardening gloves and her knee pad to help me. She lasted about five minutes and then went to swing – and that’s ok! She was happy to help pull a few dead leaves and pick up my piles of mess, and then go play.
Sometimes, getting the kids outside is the hardest part! I am happy to keep doing yard work while my kids enjoy the sunshine and have fun. And once I’ve cleared one flower bed or one section of the yard, we can play catch or a game of HORSE with the basketball or pull out the corn hole boards. Reward yourself (and your kids) with playing with them once you’ve finished a task or two. Or, skip the work for another day and just have fun – either way, enjoy the sunshine and these early almost-Spring days while you can. We still have some snowy Winter days ahead, but for now I’ll take advantage of the temporary warm-up!
Spring cleaning outside always makes me happy. The progress you make and the satisfaction gained as you clear each flower bed of the dead leaves and clean up the plants for new growth – it is multi-tasking in all the best ways. You get some sunshine and fresh air, your yard is ready for the promise of flowers blooming, and it will all be so beautiful in no time!