A Time for Planting

Easter weekend kicks off the gardening season here in Athens. Although freezing temperatures are possible for another couple of weeks, the risk is slim. And yesterday, with sunny skies and a high near seventy, folks throughout my neighborhood were out adding new plants and spreading bags of mulch.

Spring snuck up on me this year. The exceptionally mild winter we’ve had is partially to blame. Running shirtless in December, January, February, and into March prevented much of my annual winter angst and the related longing for spring.

But I didn’t see spring coming because I haven’t been gardening. Clocks and calendars determine when spring is supposed to arrive. But the proof is in the garden. I have a special fondness for those harbingers of Spring that bloom in December, January, or February. The garden at my old house is chocked full of these favorites that are much more reliable indicators of spring than any calendar.

No — I still haven’t sold my former residence — more on that in a future post. Instead of the daily walks I took through my garden over the past sixteen years, I do a quick walk through when I stop by every week or so to check on things. Every time I’m shocked by how far along things are, and impressed by how beautiful the mature garden looks. Snow-white azaleas, camellias, and super-fragrant daphnes were in full bloom a few days ago.

Aside from generic foundation plantings that I’d love to rip out, my new yard is a blank slate. The challenge, now that I’ve pared down from an acre to a tenth of an acre, is my lengthy list of favorites. There’s just not room for all of them. On the plus side, the yard is small enough I can pull weeds by hand rather than resorting to weed killer.

Before I do any serious planting, I need to figure out what I want for the long-term and deal with a few drainage issues. In the meantime, I’ve picked out a spot for a few tomato plants and will plant annual flowers in other bare spots for some instant color. Before too much longer, I may even have a few pictures to share.

Happy Easter!