Spring Is Sprung!
If you live in the Midwest, you’re just peeking out of winter hibernation. In Illinois, for example, we know that three days of full sun does not necessarily mean spring is sprung. Chicago has been known to spit out shut-down-the-airport blizzards in the middle of April. But, I brave the 58° temp and start gardening.
I cut the grass with my mower on a low setting. (Tip: You’re supposed to do this the first few times you mow to let the sun get to the new grass) Earlier, I braved late March weather to fertilize my lawn and apply broadleaf weed and dandelion control. The result being, I have to mow every four days now. You’d think I would learn my lesson.
Next, I remove as much of the old brush as possible and rake up stubborn leaves that haven’t had the courtesy to blow away over the winter. After the Forsythia blooms, (you know, that bright yellow bush), I cut back and fertilize my roses and pull out the hose caddies and deck furniture. Hmmm. My deck needs a new coat of preservative. Didn’t the bottle say one coat was good for ten years? Obviously commercial hyperbole.
I notice my grill needs a good cleaning and two Rose-of-Sharon bushes haven’t made it through the winter intact. They need deep cutting back—or maybe a funeral. And, the Hawthorn tree next to the deck is encroaching, its lower branches brushing my head as I stand on the edge of the deck steps.
I include a favorite picture of my beautiful Bradford Pear parkway tree in full spring bloom. This year, a victim of some crazy blight, it is dying a slow death. I contacted my doctor (tree Doc), and he tells me it’s a lost cause. After thirteen years at the end of my driveway, I feel like I’m losing an old friend. Still, I fertilize the tree—just in case.
And once again, I chastise myself that last fall I didn’t plant some spring bulbs—tulips, crocuses, and daffodils—the cheery greeters of the change of season.
Maybe this year. Remind me in October, please.
Annalisa Russo is a published author and master storyteller based in Chicago, IL. Currently writing with The Wild Rose Press, she has just released her fourth book: Angel Lost, Angel Found. You can read more about it and the author at annalisarusso.com. Follow Annalisa Russo on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.