Friday, May 17, 2013

Springtime Outdoor Serious Business

When I first moved in with Eric a few years ago, I felt strangely and strongly compelled to tidy up the place, set up cleaning routines, and generally "make it nice." In my own place before that, I did the usual decorating and occasional cleaning, but what happened in my brain when I moved in with Eric was a completely different thing. "Aww, you're nesting!" my hairdresser said when I told her about it. I said that I thought nesting was just for pregnant women, and she said, "No, it just means you want to feel settled."

I'm thinking about this again lately because now that it's spring, and our first spring in the house, that compulsive feeling is back, and I really think that it has more to do with biology than with my Type-A nature. There's also the fact that while there are hundreds of future projects around here that could be done at any time of year, there is a limited window of time for spring projects, and unfortunate consequences if you don't get them done. Your lawn will be overtaken by weeds. A tree limb will fall on your house. Your garden will be stunted. DIRE THINGS. Etc.

So I took the past week off of work to take care of spring business. This Sunday will be the one-year anniversary of the day when we first saw this house, but back then we weren't really attuned to the subtle spring stuff taking place outside; it was more like, "OMG NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE THIS HOUSE MAKE OFFER NOW NOW NOW." Then we didn't really see it up close again until we took possession in July.

So we missed the little things, like ferns and hostas coming out.

That fern/hosta planting bed is now sharing space with my new composter. The city was selling these at a discount, so I decided to try it out. It doesn't reek yet, so let's count that as a success. 

Also included in the spring cleanup: emptying all of the left-behind planters and reevaluating which ones should stay in use. For the massive planter on the deck, the "emptying" process involved laboriously rolling it over to the edge of the deck, then dumping out the potting soil onto a tarp spread on the ground below. This process probably looked highly questionable to the neighbors. 

After emptying out the dirt, I found the clever pot filler the previous owner had used for drainage. Okay then!

My parents gave Eric this birdbath at Christmas, partly because he didn't have that many things on his wishlist, and partly because they knew I would find it distasteful. Eric finally put it outside today. Let's just say I will not be that upset if it is broken by marauding raccoons. 

But I WILL be upset if raccoons trash my garden! This is actually what I've spent the most time on this week. It's a square foot garden, which basically means that I had to drive all over creation to find the correct type of compost, peat moss and vermiculite to fill it. But the book I read promised that I will be richly rewarded for my efforts. Rewarded with things like... Swiss chard! I am not really sure what that is, but I planted some!

Okay, little garden. You can do it. I took this whole week off for you, and I'm going to try to remember to give you water from here forward. Let's see how it goes. 

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