With temperatures barely reaching 60ºF after much warmer days the week before, I suppose you could call yesterday our dogwood winter.
That’s what the old timers call a cold day in the spring when the dogwoods are in bloom. Since I just called it that, does that mean I’m an old timer?
Regardless, it was a chilly day. I did go out long enough to find a clematis in bloom. I don’t remember seeing clematis in bloom this early before this year, but there it was.
I should know the name of it, but I don’t at the moment, so it will go by the name “There’s A Tag Around Here Somewhere” until such time as I find its plant tag. I’ll report back then what it is because it is too pretty to be left with such a name.
All these early blooms and warm days could make a gardener feel a bit rushed to get everything planted earlier than normal.
Even I, an old timer when it comes to gardening, was tempted the other day to buy up some tomato and pepper plants and give them a try now. Then I remembered my vegetable garden beds were still a bit weedy and it was still April.
Right then and there I decided not to let this early spring madness rush me along. I shall stick to my normal schedule. Having made that decision, I proceeded to spend some time weeding in my garden, peacefully, without feeling the pressure to plant and plant now.
I weeded. Weeded some more. And then weeded some more after that.
I am pleased to report that after all the weeding my garden no longer looks like an abandoned garden, given up to the weeds and whatever else Mother Nature wants to put there.
Now my garden looks a bit like someone actually tends it, cares for it, and would like it to look nice enough for others see. I wish it had been that way for Easter, but alas, it was not. C’est l’garden.
Does this mean my weeding days are finished for the year? Oh dear if you said yes, I’m afraid you are delusioned or have never gardened yourself. You see, weeding is like dusting. Even as you dust, you can see more dust falling all around you, especially in the sunlight. For a bit it will look nice enough, but before you can put your dust rag away, it will be dusty again.
That’s how weeding is. It will look nice enough once you’ve pulled the weeds, but you know you didn’t get all the roots of the dandelions and thistles. You know they’ll grow back. And you know more weeds seeds will germinate all season long. These are facts that no gardener can deny and all gardeners understand.
So what is a gardener to do?
First, borrow a trick from inside, where I think it is best to leave a dust rag laying around. Then if someone should pop over when the house is at its dusty-est, you can pick up the dust rag on the way to the door and tell your guests, “I’ve just started dusting.” They’ll understand.
Likewise, you should always have a weeding tool close by so if someone comes through the garden gate and sees all the weeds you can tell them, “I was just getting ready to weed again,” even if you weren’t. They’ll understand.
I borrowed these tricks from the great Phyllis Diller, who did the same with her vacuum cleaner. She said she always left it out so if someone stopped by and saw the mess her house was in, she could announce she was just getting ready to vacuum.
If it worked for Phyllis, I’m sure it will work for me and for you.
In the meantime, just remember leaving the weeding tools in easy reach doesn’t keep weeds from growing. It just reminds you that you actually do need to weed occasionally. So do that and don’t let anyone or any weather rush you.