Desperately in need of a release and desiring to feel productive during the extended hours of daylight, I have taken to tackling the yard, bit by bit. One of our favorite elements of the home we purchased last summer was the lovely landscape, which we failed to tend to at all during the move-in process, favoring instead to repaint the entire interior and contemplate design options for our awkward, small formal living/dining room. (All the planning and scale-drawings paid off, by the way, because the space looks great and is completely reflective of us!) Fine and dandy to nest away, but following a scorching summer, zero effort, and a dreary winter, our outdoor space is just screaming for a makeover.
A few years ago, I shared with y'all my new-found appreciation for cooking as a therapeutic outlet for the chaos we were going through during that time. And I have to say that working outdoors is quickly joining the ranks of cooking as one of my favorite activities. I get home from work, cuddle the hubs, throw on some grubbies, and grab my gardening gloves and tools. (Watching me try to handle a pair of clippers that are half the length of my body...I should be charging my neighbors for the show, let me tell you.) It's calming to just get up in there, get dirty, and clear out the yuckiness to make room for lovely new blooms and bushes. (I'm still hopeful that the gardening experts won't laugh at me when I tell them of my dreams of a garden blooming with ranunculus, garden roses, gardenias, dahlias, and succulents...in Texas.) The snapdragons and hyacinth are making their presence known, which is enough to encourage me to keep going. And it's quite the reward to clear out the overgrown brush to see bright green stems nestled beneath, just waiting to play in the spring winds.
It still breaks my heart a little that the previous owner of our home didn't leave a road map to the beds surrounding the front and back lawns. She obviously took great care in cultivating her collection, but in the wake of the sale, we were left with many unidentified plants, made all the more unrecognizable by the seasons and lack of care. And I can only taste so many weeds, y'all! (Some plants shouldn't be allowed to look like herbs...especially those planted so near the chard and rosemary.) I have pulled out my fair share of unsuspecting plants, assuming in my fury that they were yet another weed, only to stare at the roots and mutter, "Oops." (I will also say that good plants should not come up so easily! Weeds should be the ones to pop right out...not require all your strength and might to uproot, for the love.) And it never fails, that's when Scrappy is nearby, laying in the dirt and narrowing his eyes. I can almost hear him say, "Ugh. This girl..."
Thankfully, we're calling in some backup (Papaw to the rescue!) to help us sort through the current state of things so that we can start to make a game plan for spring. I'm hoping for lots of blooms, some herbs and veggies, and keeping our mature trees happy for the long haul. And God willing, my enjoyment of this process will persist. There's something quite grounding about coming home from a day spent in front of a computer monitor, pulling on some wellies, and sticking my hands in the earth.