OLG (Old Lady Gardener) #3

Species Tulips – tulips that grow in the wild

I sit tonight with sore hands and back. The wild spring weather has not settled yet here in Minnesota so the on again off again cool weather and rain does a great job on irritating old joints that have arthritis. I don’t want to be a complainer but darn old joints are just not fun.

I have managed to do some gardening in between the wind and raindrops. Most of the tomatoes are planted and some of the pepper plants are sitting nicely next to the basil that was planted weeks ago. The “weeks ago” is important because the basil is the same size as it was when I planted it. It is green but not growing. My only guess is that it does not like the cool rainy weather any more than my joints do. We both could use a few days of warmth and sun. (no hot – we don’t need to jump to 90 degrees like last week!)

We might also note that last year tomatoes and peppers were in the ground and much large by May 15th. Tomorrow we will see June one on the calendar. We are about 2 weeks behind your usual growing season. For those of us growing in the northland that is important to watch if frost comes early some veggies may not make it to maturity and and onto our tables or into the freezer for winter. Could make things interesting this summer as we watch the growing season move forward.

I have a hoop house which is holding little seedling and plants until I get them in the ground. So each day I open it up and try to put a few more plants out into the gardens. I have little pepper and tomato plants still oh so slowing growing. There are some perennial flowers also that are almost ready for the real garden. Then there are the Coleus plants that I transplanted a while ago. They were tiny tiny plants that were hard to even see when I moved them into these pots. They are growing but still not even as large as my thumb nail but you can now tell they are Coleus. I understand why we buy Coleus plants each year. If we are planting by seed next season we will start them in December and give them a full 1/2 year to get started. Yikes! Learning new things all the time.

Bleeding Hearts

I am adding grass seed in all the little and big spots that decided to go bare this year. This evening just before dark arrived (lucky for me that is after 8:30 these days) I could be found outside crawling around the yard scratching up muddy dirt and throwing grass seed around. The front gardens and lawn are looking pretty good and the bare spots are small so it was easy. The back is a whole different story.

I spend most of my time these days working the front gardens because it is what people see but it is the back that I need to get under control. I did walk the back yard this morning and there was a mix of excitement when seeing the Bleeding Hearts and Columbine in full bloom. The Coral Bells made it through the winter and a few are sending up shoots for their tiny pink flowers. In that excitement there was also a deep fear for the weeds are growing just as tall and healthy as the flowers I planted there, years ago.

Now is the time that I must turn to the back. I need to chunk each garden down into very small sections to clean and replant. It is clear I will need to work in small amounts of time and vary the tasks. Today the 120 minutes of heavy clipping around a fenced in garden at my neighbors (where I am growing veggies and dahlias) took a toll on my hands and shoulders. The repeated actions of pulling, digging and clipping are hard on the hands and shoulders. It all feels fine as I work and keep moving but then as night arrives I realize rather quickly that I have made a mistake. So typing tonight is an interesting process. (come on fingers you can do it!) Yoga is on the schedule before falling into bed to read and sleep.

My hands have told me to stop typing and dark is upon us so I am off to do a bit of yoga and find a good book to read. Here is too dreaming of flexible joints, sun and warm days ahead.

Species Tulips with Giant Snowdrops tucked in around the summer Hosta Plants. There are also the leaves of a Hyssops plant hiding in there as well.

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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5 Responses to OLG (Old Lady Gardener) #3

  1. I enjoyed reading about your spring gardening. I think your hoop house could inspire a poem!

  2. NYOCW says:

    Beautiful photos of spots in your garden! It sounds like a big project—front and back gardens. I love seeing all that lush green. 🌱

  3. cvarsalona says:

    Joanne, your title made me laugh. While I do love planting my flowers and herbs, there are always aches afterward. Regardless of your issues, you still had time for yoga. Good for you. I have only one plant left to get into the ground. I hope the temps don’t get too low for you this week.

  4. Terje says:

    I take my hat off and bow in admiration – you are a true gardener and writer who can portray your life in the garden with its many tasks, joys and worries.

  5. Ramona says:

    We’ve been waiting to get our tomatoes in b/c our overnight temps have been really cool. Daughter went ahead and planted them last week. Fingers crossed they’ll thrive. You always inspire me with your work in the yard and your knowledge about plants. I’ve been saying goodbye to so many plants I’ll miss once we move, but was glad to notice a few flowering shrubs and bushes at the rental. And I shouted out the window at the deer who was eating the leaves off my dogwood. Doggone deer!

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