It's Not Easy Being Green

This is the year that spring wasn't. At least here in the upper Midwest. But this weekend was finally chock-full of awesome weather. It was a great weekend to work on our "list" and had a very productive weekend.

Saturday morning, I whipped up a batch of oven pancakes (a favorite of mine from childhood) and we discussed the plan for the day. After breakfast, I headed out to our local garden center and got the plants for the pots and baskets around here as well the plants and seeds for the garden.

While I was gone, sans kiddos--BTW!, DH tackled replacing the first of three screen doors at our house that have long surpassed their useful life and just need to go. This is the first time he has replaced screen doors and let me say that I am so proud of him for sticking to it! It definitely took longer than either of us expected and a few "golf words" were used but the completed product looks oh so nice!

Upon my return from the center de gardening, I worked on cleaning out my flower beds and getting things ready to go. To be honest, I always do a very poor job of winterizing my flower beds and consequently have lots of work to do come spring when I am anxious to get the plants in the ground. Anywhoo, got most everything cleaned up and the beds, pots, baskets all planted. Wahoo. And ouch, because Sunday morning my body reminded me of the self-inflicted "manual labor" that had occurred.

Last on the list Saturday afternoon was to get the garden going. For the record, I very much enjoy garden fresh produce. I like the idea of a garden. Having spent so much time at my grandparents' in the summer, I am not unaware of the amount of work that it is to keep a garden up. And yet, somehow in the spring, a garden always sounds like fun. However, in actuality, I do not find gardening to be "fun". There is very little about gardening that I enjoy. It's really not so much the picking of the produce that I dislike. Okay, it is the picking. And the weeding of the plants-which I guess is basically the whole concept of gardening, huh? Possible reasons to explain my lack of fondness for gardening:
  • Tending a garden demands working OUTSIDE regardless of weather conditions--simply not a fan of extreme heat and humidity. Give me 75, sunny and zero humidity and I'd be happy...
  • There are bugs, lots and lots of bugs. The thought that the mosquito should be classified as the Minnesota state bird isn't too far fetched.
  • Did I mention, working outside in the heat and humidity? And the bugs? Enough said.
Typically, we start out each spring with great intentions and then by the middle of June I am done with it. I sit back and hope that enough Miracle-Gro has been used that our plants will out grow the weeds! I do a little better job with my pots, baskets and beds--but I think that is because the whole prospect is less overwhelming. I can do one bed this morning, another tonight, etc. I always feel like I need to take on the entire garden in one setting and that, my friends, is a lot of work.

At some point, DH usually steps in, goes to battle and cleans up the garden. So, this year he shared with me that he had read that you can lay newspaper down around your plants and between the rows in your garden to prevent the growth and spread of weeds. Similar to the black landscaping tarp, only this will degrade and eventually just dissolve into the ground. I guess it would be a "green" weed control option. I'm not much of any expert on any of it, but the thought that it would help cut down the amount of weeding to be done--you can imagine my enthusiasm! DH sent me to one of our barns to grab some old newspapers out of the "burn" pile. Never mind, that as I was spreading the papers on the garden I noticed that the first stack was dated September 18, 2005. Ahh, the weekend that Princess Pigtails was born. Sweet memories... Please no criticism about the fact that we had 2 1/2 year old newspapers laying around. In a barn. That's not the point. So, we laid newspapers out and watered them down. We lost a couple on Saturday night when the wind came up. DH ran out and retrieved them. Sunday--not so much wind, so I guess that's why it wasn't a problem yesterday. But this morning? Another issue.

This was the view out my dining room window:
Here let me zoom in. Does this help?

This was after Princess Pigtails and I had already been out once and collected a ton of papers. Let me just say, where the papers are blown up against the prairie grass? Not right next to our garden. In fact, the grass and the lilac bushes are the only things keeping the newspapers from continuing to blow to Fargo! But Princess seemed to thoroughly enjoy the game of running after the papers and "catching" them. I think perhaps we will play another round when she gets up from her nap!

In retrospect, perhaps we should have placed some straw on top of the papers after they were watered down. Because we totally have some straw around here. In a barn. Thank you very much.

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