Putter: verb: (2) to work at random

It’s finally my favourite season again. I don’t mean spring, although spring comes into it. I mean the long season that stretches, where I live, from about mid-March through mid-November, the season I like to call Puttering About in the Yard.

I love it.

After what certainly felt like a long winter, it’s lovely to be able to just wander outside in the afternoon and… putter. Yesterday I raked up two bags’ worth of leaves that we didn’t get to in the fall, and uncovered the fig tree from its winter wrappings. Today I’ve washed the patio furniture and brought all the cushions up from storage. Maybe later I’ll rip out some weeds while they’re still relatively dormant and can’t fight back. Or I’ll sort through the storage shed so that all our gardening things are close to hand. Or I’ll start a list of what we’ll need for the garden beds (more mulch; more soil; many more strawberry plants). Or something else. It doesn’t matter; that’s the beauty of Puttering season. There’s always something to do, and you can choose what you like, and it’s all worthy and pleasant, and the stakes are reassuringly low. It’s not work if you’re just puttering.

Perhaps I’ll just sit out here and read a book.

Now, I know that I’m sending up a double-dog dare to the universe by declaring Puttering season open when it’s only mid-March. Our last frost date isn’t until the end of April, and maybe we’ll get another big dump of snow before this is over. But I don’t mind. What is all that compared to the fact that it’s 21°C today, the breeze is warm, and the robins are back? Not much, is what.

So here’s to the spring. Here’s to a full bird feeder and fat nosy squirrels, here’s to the sun on your skin and dirt under your fingernails. Here’s to puttering!

And then there were roses

We continue to reap the fruit of others’ labour here in our garden, most lately exemplified in our three or four rose bushes, which went from buds to full blooms seemingly overnight. I can’t tell how many bushes we have right now — which is strange, I know. There’s a clump on our back fence which may be one or two separate plants, but the garden in front is so en-junglefied at the moment that I haven’t made it back there to check. I don’t know if the gardens were just that well fertilized, or if there’s something about the city we live that encourages crazy growth, but the ferns are chest-high. Chest high! Not that I’m especially tall (full disclosure: I’m 5’5) but that’s tall enough to be above my children’s heads. It’s wild.

This has been such an interesting season of discovery around our house, maybe especially so because we don’t go anywhere else. I remain tremendously grateful for the blessing of this big backyard, and, as we say, for the hands that prepared it. Right now we are learning about what we have. Next year, we’ll begin to add our own shape to it. But for now, simply to watch, experience, and gather is more than enough.

More discoveries in the garden

(This post is only pictures of flowers. You know, just fyi.) It’s a pleasant, warmish Sunday afternoon and I’ve been catching up on what the garden has been doing over the last week or so. Our daffodils are still going strong and keeping us in bouquets, and the tulips are just starting to open up. Despite the snow (!) we had a few days ago, lots of good things are happening outside.

Grape hyacinths (a longtime favourite):

I think these are bleeding hearts, although I’m not sure. The shape is right but I’ve never seen white ones before:

Purple anemones in full bloom, along with some friends:

No idea what these pretty, droopy, purple ones are. Connie, do you know?

Ok, I lied. There is also a picture of leaves. Ivy along the back fence:

Some pretty ground cover:

Hedges in blossom (and in need of a trim):

And the aforesaid tulips, coming out — red!

I can’t wait to see what the rest of the spring and summer brings.