tulips
Tulipa 'Calypso'

We’ve now had at least four weekends in which we could have done spring yard cleanup, but haven’t. It’s a very early spring! I’m not accustomed to even seeing the soil in April, nor decaying plant matter from last year, nor even the beauteous tulips you see above. So far I’ve refused to pick up the rake, though I did trim back some iris and hosta, as both was already starting to send up electric green leaves.

And yet, last year at this time, our basement and yard looked markedly worse than they do now. We’d vowed to finally get the basement finished in 2011, and we did it! However, not without some loss and minor upheaval: several of the flower beds that I had been tending for seven years were either erased (covered by dirt and stone, to shore up our foundation) or stirred up like a giant-sized immersion-wand blender had been plunged into the middle. That’s nearly what happened: we had our line to the water main replaced with something that was not made of lead, and to do that, digging is necessary. A part of me wept, as I’d really loved those beds alongside the house, but I was willing to accept that we’d get another chance, elsewhere in the yard, while also getting a nice new & insulated basement.

Some bulbs I was able to transplant, other perennials I simply forgot about, and they just haven’t emerged. Likely, they are now 4 feet below the surface, smothered by soil. Empty areas exist where there were Russian sage, globe allium, and peony.

yellow tulips
These came with the house.

So, thanks to serendipity of several sorts, the yard is full of surprises: tulips and squill plantings that have doubled or tripled in size. Lettuces and spinach that we planted in the fall that didn’t germinate, are now a few inches high.  Pasque flower volunteers are filling some of the holes in the vitamixed bed, which is great, as the mother of all of them disappeared. The potentilla that we moved out of that bed in our first year, has been returned, so hopefully the increased sun exposure will allow it to generate lots of golden flowers, once more. I hope to fill the empty spots with teddy bear sunflower, this year. In the front yard! We may have so much yellow up front that it may inform the paint color for our house, should we re-paint, this year. Maybe cream and olive?

More good luck: we’re on a greens-eating kick, and the yard is full of huge explosions of dandelion greens. Free food!

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