Spring means a number of things. New life. Green grass. Buds on the trees. Flowers blooming. A time of phenomenal renewal.
It’s also a time for me to get my hands dirty. Yes, spring means time to get in the garden. And this season, the hubby and I have several projects to complete outdoors.
First up: fence repairs.
Our home is 15 years old, and with age comes some needed makeovers. You’ve probably read about our carpet install a few years back and then the amazing transformation of our kitchen and bathroom cabinets when I redid them two years ago. Then last fall I painted the entire house. Every wall and ceiling. It looks great by the way!
So after so many indoor projects it was naturally time for us to turn our attention outdoors. Our 15-year-old fence is starting to show its age. It doesn’t help that we have a 100-pound chocolate lab that takes his toll on it also.
In recent weeks we had to rebuild sections of the fence that needed new posts, pickets and runner boards. As we opened up sections, Dirk naturally thought we were enlarging his yard. He was eager to explore the neighbor’s yard and even peer in their back patio window. Repairs to our exterior fence meant he had to be left indoors as we didn’t want to risk him taking off down the street after neighbors and fellow four-legged friends.
Even random fence boards had to be replaced as Dirk showed no mercy when he was trying to greet a new neighbor. Did I tell you how strong this dog is?
Now that the fence repairs are complete it’s on to the next phase of power washing and staining. It’ll be a looooong process and I’m open to volunteers who would like to help.
Second: garden box repairs.
When we bought our house 11 years ago the previous owners had already put in some small garden boxes along our back fence It took me no time at all to put them to use right away. But as time went on, I desired something more than the minimal 2×4 boards anchored in the ground. Six years ago we upgraded to raised garden boxes that have allowed us to grow tons of vegetables every summer. We’ve harvested bushels of zucchini, dined on fresh lettuce, and enjoyed tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions and more.
What we didn’t think of when we built those beautiful boxes was putting in support for the long 8-foot boards. As the years progressed warping got worse. Last season we lost so much dirt between the warped boards that I felt we were always cleaning up dirt.
The boxes needed a little TLC.
In the last week we made a few trips to the local home improvement store and stocked up on new 2×8-foot boards to replace the warped and damaged boards. We also pulled our leftover wood pieces from other projects and cut them as supports on the interior of the box.
The hubby had the great idea of lifting the boxes up and flipping them over to make repairs. I figured the dirt left inside would fall everywhere once the box was lifted. To my surprise, it mainly stayed in tack while the hubby made repairs and we lifted the box back in place.
After replenishing each box with fresh dirt the planting season is ready to begin. Lettuce is already planted, and in another box I’m trying out seed paper that was given at church as part of our Easter message series. We’ll see if it sprouts. Either way, I do feel blessed in this beautiful life.
The hubby took one look at me and said, “It looks like you’re ready for war.”
I hadn’t looked at myself all day in the mirror, so when I finally caught a glimpse I understood his comment.
I had dirt on every square inch of my face. In my hair. Down my arms. All over my legs. In between my toes. Under my nails. And in many other areas that I won’t even mention.
I did look fierce and ready for battle.
But the only battle I was fighting was against the weeds in my yard.
We have a big yard that we absolutely love because it allows us to stretch out and have some space of our own. The dog loves it because he’s got plenty of space to run, and of course pop up over the edge of the fence to say hi to the neighbors. But with that expansive yard comes the maintenance of keeping it looking great with regular mowing, wedding, gardening and pruning, and it all starts in the spring.
By mid-March of every year I’m ready to get outdoors and start pruning our yard back into it’s glory. After all, the sooner I can clean things up the quicker it turns green! We’ve already fertilized, aerated and turned on the sprinklers. But what I was really gearing up for was a beautiful weekend where I could dig my fingers into the dirt.
This past weekend I did just that. I started with the garden boxes and added much needed compost to get them pruned for the growing season. The lettuce is planted, along with three types of onions and carrots.
That was the easy part.
Next came the job of tackling the weeds and overgrown grass that had grown into the mulch that surrounds the entire perimeter of our back yard. After two days, I had filled the trash can, four trash bags and the wheel barrow with weeds and grass clumps.
I won the battle against the weeds. Who’s ready to battle me next?