Does your garden look like something snaked out of the J-trap under your kitchen sink?
Do you refer to it as “the wasteland”?
Did a location scout for a post-apocalyptic movie just ask to film a scene in your backyard?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re in the right place. No, I’m not going to come clean up your garden, but if you’re game, we’re going to clean up our gardens together. A burden shared is a burden halved.
This time of year, late winter, when we’re flirting with spring, can be one of the most overwhelming times in the garden for me.
And since I just got through taking a bunch of deliberately unflattering pictures of my garden (and believe me it was depressingly easy) I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed.
They say the best time to evaluate your garden is wintertime, when the bare bones of garden structure are revealed, but right now those bones look bare and ragged indeed.
I’ll just say it: my garden looks ugly.
There’s SO MUCH to do. In many places there’s a dense carpet of weeds. The beds look sunken and need building up. The mulched paths are sun-bleached and sparse. Patchy overwintered greens are tired and poised to bolt.
Half-finished projects glare at me. Windblown leaves are caught in every possible cranny. Even the garlic tops seem depressed.
All those tasks I should have done last fall but was too tired to do then are now waiting for me, and spring is impatiently tapping its watch. Why didn’t you start your onions in January?
Why didn’t you manure the beds months ago so they’d be ready for planting?
Why is the compost pile so low?
Explain to me, my garden asks, why did you expand last year when you had trouble maintaining what you already had?
Is there more time in the day?
Do you have fewer responsibilities?
Are you getting younger?
My garden has a smart mouth on it.
If you’re feeling the pressure, too, you can join along over the next few weeks while I try to get my garden in gear.
Tomorrow I’ll share the first step in the CleanUp-Along so we can get started. Don’t worry if you’re still covered in snow. The first stage is planning-related.
I’d love to have lots of company! Let me know if you’re going to try this and together we can get motivated.
If you want to join the CleanUp-Along, just comment below that you’re in and tell me what’s the ugliest part of your garden.
Over the next weeks we’ll see our gardens transform bit by bit. I’m feeling more hopeful already.