Monday, March 28, 2011

March: In The Garden

It's been a cold March this year and I wasn't at all certain we would be able to get out and do our spring garden clean-up as so many Mainers still have snow covered lawns. It turned out, however, that this weekend was the perfect chance to get out there and rake, trim, prune, and mulch. Alex (thankfully, as it's a dreaded chore), tackled pruning the sixty feet of rosa rugosa hedge, and he has the thorn infested hands to prove it, despite the thick leather gloves he was wearing.

spring garden clean-up

Some of the fruit trees and the pussy willow needed attention too, and now we have some stems to force into blossom for the house. Because the weekend was still so chilly, and only reaching the mid-30sF, burning a lot of the garden debris in the fire pit kept us warm and made clean-up easy. Plus it scented the crisp air with good, woodsy smells. Saturday afternoon, Alex and I even ate our simple lunch and had our tea around the fire, enjoying a bit of couple time as the kids were off with friends for the day.

lunch in the garden
pruning is done
pussy willow

On Sunday, the bikes were reclaimed and taken for their first ride of the year, and it has been duly noted that Adam's bike needs replacement, as I don't think his knees are meant to be reaching his handle bars. Always growing, those kids.

As we raked on Sunday, we noticed the cedar waxwings were visiting again, and they've been fairly constant companions all of March. They've completely stripped the two high bush cranberry viburnums and they continue to eat the fruit of the ornamental crab apple.

wentworth viburnum and cedar waxwing
they love the viburnum
atop the crabapple

The sparrows are already cleaning out and claiming their nesting boxes and the cooing of the three pairs of mourning doves kept us company while we worked. Chickadees, also were hanging about, as they seem to come out when we come out, like the cardinals do; like neighbors looking to chat over the fence. We've had the occasional flock of starlings hanging about also, and in one episode last week, had us thinking for a moment that we had some poor, trapped, wheeking mammal in our chimney, when it was only one starling at the top of our chimney, chattering, clicking and chirping away.

chubby sparrow
mourning dove pair
starling serenade

By Sunday afternoon, we all sat together around the fire pit, enjoying our days' labor in the garden. The kids told us about their bike ride and when we finally became too chilled with the wind blasting at our backs, we went inside for corn bread and baked beans. It feels good to get this preliminary garden work done, as it did to be outside for two days straight, in the bright sun and among the birds. We saw signs of violets and crocus and daffodils; rhubarb heads emerging, wrinkled and red, buds fattening. Soon we'll have warmer days. Until then, spring in the garden marches forward, with a little love from friends.

all tidy


  1. Nice! I haven't been able to do one single garden thing yet - still so cold and frozen and mucky that things have been frozen solid on the ground. Can't even rake yet! Like scraping icicles. This is the latest it has stayed this cold ... usually we have some warm, some cold, some average, so the ground is workable. Not this year. cold cold cold cold.

    Can't wait to see garden shots again from you - ahhh, spring! :)

  2. As much as my Soul is ready for quiet, reflective time inside by December, it is equally ready for the outdoors again by March. I love the chance to see what birds you are enjoying this time of year. I do wish that I could get some Cedar Waxwings to hang out - they are such beautiful birds. Happy Spring!

  3. You really painted a beautiful picture of a refreshingly cold weekend of work. I can feel the warmth of coming in to cornbread & baked beans with cold cheeks. Lovely!



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