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Melancholy Spring

04/17/2011

It’s ironic that just when the earth is blooming and becoming colorful after the gray of winter, I become most depressed. That is when I feel most trapped and stifled and must look for a way to enjoy life without doing what most other people this time of year are doing.

As I headed to the store a few days ago, I passed numerous home-owners out in their yards raking away the dead stuff and sweeping the sand out of their driveways. I suppose they are all looking forward to getting out in the gardens and doing yard work for the few short months we have up here in the northeast to do so. I know how they feel. I remember just beginning to realize how fast things had to grow up here, and how imperative it was to start early with getting the ground ready for planting, when it all came to a halt.

Since my ex-husband lost our home, I have struggled to get through this time of year. For 25 years I lived in my own home and I did all of the yard work – except for cutting the grass. I planned out and planted my Florida gardens which included Azaleas, Camellias, Jasmine, Crepe Myrtle, pineapple plants (those were fun), a magnolia tree, an orange tree, a rain tree (blown over by hurricane Charlie) and many others. I loved my Florida yard and it was hard to leave, but once I moved to the northeast I realized that there were lots of great plants to grow.

We moved into a house with a yard that held a couple of small gardens that had obviously been let go. One was full of asparagus plants (yummy-ness straight from the yard!), and the tulips were gorgeous (and new to me, since bulbs don’t grow in Florida). The side of the yard near the road was planted with a forsythia hedge that was stunning the two years I got to enjoy it. There were lilacs, a hydrangea tree and even a big wisteria vine covering a heavy duty arbor. It never flowered while I lived there.

I’m sure I pulled up little plants that I thought must be weeds when I first began to dig around in that yard, but slowly I learned what to keep and what to pull up. We have a couple of good farms in the area and I bought new plants for the gardens as I expanded them. The dirt in that yard was really good, lots of worms, and things grew well. Someone who had once lived there was a gardener, but it wasn’t the people we bought the house from. I added a dogwood bush near the back porch and numerous other plants. The fun of Spring is seeing your work come back once again and remembering what you’d planted from the year before and planning for the new stuff this year. It kept me in shape and kept me happy. I had it good and didn’t realize how good.

I’m getting better about Spring. I am still renting, but hope to change that soon. Within the next year, I hope to have my own place – which of course must have a yard for gardening! Rebuilding a life takes a lot of time, but I am making headway, so there is hope. I used to cry a lot when driving around in Spring, and couldn’t watch t.v. because of all the home related commercials on, but I am much better now. The snow just melted off the Lilac I had planted in my rental yard (a gift from my daughter) and it is crushed from the snow that flies off this metal roof. Crushed, but still alive. I’ll dig it up and take it with me when I go. I have decided to do nothing in this rental yard this year. I am not wasting another penny to fix up a place that is not mine. As much as I love to garden, it’s not much fun any more. I will take care of what is already planted and grow a container tomato, but that’s it. I will focus on moving, whenever that day comes, and try to ignore, once again, all that has to do with Spring.

Growing a Flower Garden Fit to Photograph

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 04/17/2011 12:50 pm

    You know your flowers! I can tell dandelions from sunflowers…but that’s about it for me. Do you have a new place picked out yet? I think you need to nurture something out there in your backyard…even if you plan to move before summer’s over. How about a dozen different exotic herbs…each in it’s own container, to facilitate moving when the time comes? How about including herbs one doesn’t normally see in this country? Lemon grass, for instance. I’m sure there are lots of others which would capture your imagination.

    • 04/20/2011 2:35 pm

      I am thinking of doing some container gardening using small containers that I can easily move if and when I leave here. Herbs are something I’ve grown in the past too. My problem is a lack of sun, and everything needs that to grow well.

  2. 05/03/2011 8:37 pm

    Some of my worst bouts of the blues have been in the spring — in fact, most of them. It’s hard to say why, but our bodies/spirits remember old hurts, that’s for sure. I hope you find a way to nurture your spirit with some connection to this beautiful season. When you’re ready for plants in your new home, let me know. I’ll gladly divide some perennials for you as you begin in a new place.
    Eleanor

  3. 05/24/2011 7:24 pm

    New England was new to me, six years ago and I learned to garden in the short summers with tall pine trees overshadowing it all. I would be devastated to lose my home. I can see why you battle the pain of that. Best wishes to you in securing a spot where you can put your roots down.

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