The Heady Days of Spring …

It’s day 3 of the Victoria long weekend and the unofficial start of summer in Canada.  I have spent the past three days – when it wasn’t raining – cutting, trimming, pulling, raking, sweeping, and bagging.  As the temperatures nudge upwards and the sun peaks out from time to time, I’ve re-discovered what happens after nature has received copious amounts of rain.  Everything EXPLODES with life.

Before I retired, I didn’t give yard work a second thought.  I had enough trouble just keeping up with the stuff that needed to be done INSIDE the house.  I relied on Husband to do the bare minimum outdoors that would keep us in the good books of our neighbours with their perfectly manicured yards.  We were never at risk of winning any awards from Better Homes and Gardens.

Since I retired however, I’ve been feeding this myth in my head that I too can have a perfect yard.  It’s taken three years of stubborn weed pulling and learning the art of strategic fertilizing and super-seeding to have a lawn that rivals the neighbours.  It makes me proud – but secretly I’m very grateful that we in fact have very little grass because it has been back-breaking work.

I guess I underestimated the tenacity of Mother Nature.  I figured that I’d pull a weed, trim a shrub and I’d be set for the season.  I didn’t realize it would be a never-ending riot of activity for months until the first frost in fall would come.

I didn’t anticipate the nightmares I would have of clover slowly and insidiously weaving their roots across my grass trying to strangle its life.  Nor did I anticipate that the appearance of the small golden head of a dandelion would strike terror in my heart.  I see yards full of their sunny little faces and can only think of the inevitable white cloud of pollen that will drift onto my property in hopes of taking root.

I didn’t predict that this former desk-jockey would become comfortable wielding an electric hedge trimmer – really just a small chainsaw – hacking order and symmetry into the shrubs that simply won’t maintain their shape from month to month.

Then there are the hundreds – and I mean that quite literally – of maple seedlings popping up EVERYWHERE from the millions of maple keys spewed from the trees in the fall.

Even though I’m feeling overwhelmed by the heavy workload I’ve undertaken, I can’t help but sit back and gaze at my currently bare yard to plan all the new things I want to do differently this year.

Welcome to my summer time jungle.

Welcome to my summer time jungle.

 

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
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35 Responses to The Heady Days of Spring …

  1. Oooo! Pretty! Can I come for a swim? “Summer in Canada.” I’ll bet you thought you’d never be able to type those words not so long ago!

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  2. Look at that! It’s a cover shot for Homes and Gardens! Just gorgeous, Joanne. Gardening can be so satisfying. That is when it’s not heartbreaking. Or back breaking.

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  3. It’s absolutely beautiful!

    I keep planning and coming up with ideas for mine but sadly I’m just how you used to be and find it a struggle just to keep the house in order 😦

    Maybe one day, I can dream!! xx

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Sam.
      When I first retired I thought my house would always be clean and everything organized. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

      I’m looking around right now and thinking it’s probably a few notches worse 🙂

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  4. nancytex2013 says:

    I have the amazingly good fortune of a father-in-law who comes to my place once a week to do the gardening. He loves it! Lives for it! (And I’m just grateful it’s not me. :-))

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  5. M-R says:

    And it is indeed welcoming, Joanne ! – quite beautiful ! Dunno about them seedlings but … what do the professionals recommend ?

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  6. What a fantastic and beautiful garden! Great job 🙂

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  7. Just remember Joanne, anything can be a meditation. At least that’s what I told myself when I was on hands-n’-knees pulling those last few tenacious weeds. I don’t have a lawn to care for these days (thank heaven and all the ships at sea), but I have lots of pleasant, end-of-the-day memories of how nice my garden looked. Of course, my adult beverage may have helped as well. ~James

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks for the laugh!
      It is funny how hindsight tends to soften the edges on some memories. Sometimes I wonder why I found being a working mother so difficult and stressful. I mean – it couldn’t have been so hard, right?
      I’ve somehow managed to forget the little tornados of energy that sucked the last of any remaining life I might have had when I got home from work 🙂

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  8. I love the colours in this picture. Clearly the outcome gives you a great email of satisfaction not to mention a fantastic physical workout and an opportunity to unleash the designer within. Enjoy the upcoming season!

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    • joannesisco says:

      LOL – I’ve learned to respect the physical effort that goes into yard work and I have more than a few stiff and achey muscles right now 🙂
      … and it’s funny you should mention unleashing the inner designer. That’s exactly the way I feel 🙂

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  9. Good for you – I have yet to do much except a little edging on the flower beds. I’ve always wanted an electric hedge trimmer, can’t really explain why – are there other uses since I don’t have a hedge??

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    • joannesisco says:

      We don’t have a hedge either but a lot of shrubs that need trimming at least 2-3 times a year. It’s a lot faster and easier than with clippers 🙂
      It looks like we’ve lost one shrub from the winter which I still need to dig out. I haven’t decided what I’m going to replace it with yet.

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      • Hmmm – just may treat myself to one then! you really can see the devastation of our awful winter – especially in the damaged trees but I haven’t lost much on the ground…the occasional loss in the garden gives us a space to create with again…enjoy!

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  10. Lynn says:

    Your yard looks lovely Joanne (even if it was taken 2 years ago). I can only assume that, with all of your hard work over the past couple of season, it will look even better this year! Managed to get out & do a bit of spring cleanup today, love that feeling of seeing everything look so green & fresh!

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    • joannesisco says:

      I was pretty proud of the yard that summer. It was the first time I really threw a lot of effort into it. That’s when the reality of summer maintenance really kicked in.
      This definitely a green and lush time. I can practically watch the hostas growing 🙂 … actually I’m really proud that I now know they are hostas 😉

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  11. Those poor persecuted dandelions… 😉

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  12. sueslaght says:

    You have an amazing yard. It’s beautiful! Way ahead of Calgary that’s for sure.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Except that the picture was taken at the height of summer 2 years ago. Right now it looks pretty bare.
      We’ve had a few days of warmer weather and I can practically watch things grow. In Canada, nature has to be on steroids, doesn’t it? 🙂

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  13. Your garden looks beautiful – what do you mean, “yard”? 🙂 We’ve just planted our lawn – but our neighbours don’t have one, so no competition there. I have a feeling we are about to become slaves to an unworthy cause…

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    • joannesisco says:

      It’s all about taking a picture at the ‘right’ time 🙂
      I’m starting to think that grass is totally overrated. I like your expression of being slaves to an unworthy cause – that’s exactly how it feels sometimes!

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