I wrote this, about a month ago, on my old blog – which is why I mentioned the ground being still frozen. It’s not frozen now!
Just Start. That will be the name of my self-help book, when I get around to writing it. In about. oh, fifteen years.
At this time of year, I’m so excited to be out in the garden and to have things to do. The beds are almost all thawed (although the ground is still frozen, in the shade); the snow is melted; it’s warm enough to be outside in just a thin hoodie. But at the same time, the tasks feel infinite. There are pots and covers from last year’s garden strewn around. The neighbour’s dog has been wandering into our yard for a good poop periodically throughout the winter. The last of the tomatoes that I never got around to picking have been frozen and thawed, and are like little orange balloons, deflated but identifiable, a weird mix of papery-dry and slimy-wet. (And if you step on one, the seeds will get EVERYWHERE.) On a day like today, when I have time to be outside, I go outside all excited, and then immediately get overwhelmed.
The key, for me, is to just start. Pick a bed, and narrow my world to that one bed. Clear out the remains of last year’s plants. Dig out the weeds that have already begun appearing. Give the little tiny mounds of perennials’ new growth a bucket of water. Push the mulch back where it should be. Dig in new compost and fertilizer, once I buy some (apparently I’ve run out of both).
“Oh, does part of your garden still need to be cleaned up? I can hardly tell.”
The other thing I want to get better at, which I shall catchily call “just sit,” is to enjoy sitting in my garden once a bit of work is done – without always focusing on what remains to be done, or getting distracted by tasks. It’s sad that I’m the kind of person who needs to add “Enjoy things” to her to-do list, but at least I’m trying.