Here's the Scoop: May 14, 2014

Out of projects. Almost
Like most folks in the northeast, I was really looking forward to the end of the never-ending winter. Morning temperatures in the teens in mid-May told me we weren’t quite there yet. On the other hand, the hint of some leaves this week and the need for air conditioning on a few occasions in the past few days tells me we may be close.
The craving for warm weather is a natural reaction for most of us who live in four-season climates. It’s only natural for people to want to “get outside and do something” after being largely stuck inside since December.
While I’ve been looking forward to spending time outside, I was particularly excited this year to not do something when I arrived in the great outdoors. That’s right, this was going to be the season where the yard needed a quick raking and we’d be set to enjoy some endless months of leisure time. Until it wasn’t.
Once the last remnants of snow melted (I think that was around the middle of May, too), it became apparent that I was relying on selective memory when I was thinking there were no yard projects on the 2014 calendar.
I guess the near-constant blanket of snow gave me a comfortable amnesia — making it especially easy to forget the unfinished projects from last year. Oops.

Nothing on the list
It was a great relief during the winter to know that there were no new gardens to create this year. I’ve since discovered that “digging is digging” and completing a garden bed is the same type of rocky nightmare as starting from scratch. On top of that, making the garden bed is just the first step. Once that’s done, more digging follows to prepare for putting things in the garden. Digging is a hole lot of work.
As a sort of compromise to loaning my back and shoulders to “landscape improvement projects,” I implemented some fine print in my labor contract a few years ago. The agreement states: “Any gardens created will be done in a design style that will not result in additional push mowing and/or weed-whacking duties.” Translation: While I enjoy mowing the lawn, I like to accomplish as much of this task as I can from a sitting position on the lawn tractor.

Stay seated
I haven’t been able to eliminate trimming work, but I’ve sure “cut down” on these tasks while remaining in the saddle for longer periods. Ironically, in addition to finishing gardens (and maybe adding just a couple of small ones) this year, I’m finding myself planting more grass. Each season, I get annoyed by bad spots in the yard and vow to spruce up these areas with some new grass seed and a bit of tender loving care. Oddly enough, “success” in this department leads to more mowing. Which I love. While sitting down.
Because I want to experience the “thrill” of having the gardens “done” (for now) and the grass seeds firmly in the ground, I’ve been pushing hard to complete the jobs. Until next year, of course.
Unfortunately, the light at the end of the digging tunnel is not a light at all — it’s the cream colored paint on our house — which needs refreshing.
— Brian Sweeney