Crossing off spring chores sounds like I got a lot accomplished in the garden in recent days but alas, that's a bit more optimistic than the reality. Mark got a load of mulch from Olbrich Botanical Gardens late Thursday afternoon — the first day of the sale. So Friday morning I got right outside and went to work.
I began with the small bed at the end of our driveway border that is right by the street. At the end of winter it is a mass — actually a mess!! — of matted leaves and road debris. And yet, the first bulbs are trying to push on through. I raked up this junk and spread new mulch (a mix of my own chopped leaves and Olbrich's). Across the driveway the much longer street-side border requires standing out in our busy roadway to do the clean up. Mark suggested I wait til he was done with some errands and then we'd work on it together. Since that would be much more efficient I seconded his idea.
I cut back some big swaths of Epimediums and spruced up the area under the lollipop lilac with new mulch. Next on the list was mulching the Birch Grove. But it was one mass of old leaves in both the beds and the path. So I began by redefining the path with the white pine needles we raked up last fall in our neighbor's yard. Barely got started when it began to rain — just enough to make me decide to pack it in.
Today is Monday and everything looks just as it did when I walked away from it on Friday. The predicted cold temps the next few nights mean removing old mulch will leave the plants unprotected. So I'm in a holding pattern for the next few days, hoping the sudden drop in temperatures doesn't do any more damage than winter has already unleashed.