The winter was long and cold. We weren’t prepared for our first winter in our drafty, old house. We had a lot of expected unexpecteds (the joys of moving, especially into an older house). We longed for spring.
And spring is here! Mark and I have spent time on our front porch (since our deck is stil out of commission…) looking out into the yard, seeing all the new growth and saying “this is why we moved here!”
I was in Michigan for work last week (enjoying their tulips!) and when I got home, Mark surprised me with an old porch swing he was able to get. It definitely needs some TLC, but I’m excited to have some morning coffees/teas on the front porch during the summer.
Growing up, one of my chores was to weed a particular garden patch. I hated it. The first five years of our marriage, Mark and I started a vegetable garden but happily left the rest of the gardening to our landlord (who, as a good Dutch person, loved it). Maybe now that these gardens are my own (or perhaps because the newness of it all is still refreshing), I am taking joy in maintaining our property. I was happy to discover last week that we have a beautiful lilac bush; it reminded me of the garden I was responsible for at my parents’ house – the garden with a similar purple lilac tree.
When we first saw our house last year, it was July. Admittedly, I didn’t take much notice of the gardens with the exception of the hydrangeas along the side of the house – maybe because it was pouring rain when we had our viewing. When we moved, it was fall and we were so busy settling in, I didn’t take much notice of what was in the garden. Now that it is our first spring here, I am eager for the surprises in the gardens: seeing what perennials we have. And there seems to be lots! Unfortunately, my limited knowledge of plants beyond vegetables means that I am unable to identify much of what’s growing. My mom has been helpful in pointing some out. But yesterday I desperately tried to yank out what I think (thought?) was a weed, only to discover the roots are quite deep and that this particular plant/weed seems to be planted symmetrically with others. So, perhaps someone can clue me in – is this a plant or a weed?! If it’s a plant, I’ve traumatized one of them… But left the others until I can figure it out…
I was desperately hoping we would have tulips (my favourite flower!) in the garden, and sure enough last month I saw some leaves poking through the ground. Unfortunately, some of the bulbs are planted too deep, so only two of the plants actually produced flowers this year. I went outside every day waiting to see what colours they would be: one is yellow, the other is a beautiful mix of red and yellow. With our green accents on the house, I love yellow plants and flowers.
There is a treeline along our property between us and our neighbours. We assumed that this is where the property line laid as well. Our neighbours pointed out a stake in the ground which actually marks the property line – about 10 feet farther than we originally thought. Which doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you factor in how deep our property is, it’s significantly more land than we had thought. I was torn between dread at the extra grass to mow and joy in discovering that this extra land included patches of many rose plants and also a gorgeous flowering tree.
In our front gardens, there are also some peonies starting to bud (I only know they’re peonies this early because our neighbour – and her green thumb – told me a couple of weeks ago that she was jealous of our forthcoming peonies). And something else is taking over our garden. Not 100% sure what it is, but it’s certainly taking up a lot of space, so I’m just thankful I won’t have to weed this section and hope they produce beautiful flowers.
For Mother’s Day, Mark and A.J. bought me my first ever hanging basket of flowers. They look gorgeous hanging on the front porch. They also bought dahlia bulbs that we can’t wait to plant.
A huge learning curve, that’s for sure! Anyone with a green thumb is more than welcome to come over and help me identify plants (And help weed, if you’re interested…)! There are more bushes that I’m just unsure of.
A.J. loves her swing that our good friend made for her. It’s a perfect lounge swing, and A.J. is more than content just to slump in the chair and watch the world go by as we push her.
I am now off to mow our front lawn before the rain gets here!