Growing up in NJ, the winters were long. The excitement of December snow days faded into the grey doldrums of January. February. March. But every April, just when I had about all I could take of the freezing rain and muddy slush, the rhododendron would whisper the promise of spring.
Once I caught a glimpse of those new spring buds, I would check it every morning on the way to the bus. Smiling, like only I knew the secret - spring had quietly slipped into place while no one was looking. Eventually the buds would swell to capacity and burst open in a showy display of pink flowers. My mom would remark, "Did you see the flowers outside? Spring is finally here." I'd nod my head in agreement, but I was smug. I'd been watching that show for weeks.
Not much has changed since those days. Come February, I regularly inspect the crepe myrtles for signs of new life. I push aside pine straw to find lilies peeking through the soil. I call my kids over in excitement and they roll their eyes and couldn't give a shit. But maybe one day they will. Or maybe they'll recount their mother getting way too jazzed about plants. I'm ok with it either way.
The South's early emergence of spring makes me feel like I have a head start every year. A few warm weeks and I am in an utter frenzy of pruning and garden prep and projects. (Follow the chaos on Instagram). Because let's face it, once the summer heat sets in and you've got sweat dripping into your eyeballs, all these projects really begin to lose their luster. The only thing I want to do in July and August is turn on the sprinklers - and they lay underneath them.
Because I'm organized over-achiever, I've created a little checklist for all the things that need to be handled before the heat. And because I like to share, I'm leaving it here for you. You can also grab the downloadable PDF here.
Thanks for hanging out,