Busy With Laziness No More

It was all so sudden after weeks of taking so long.

I went from finding the first crocus buds last Saturday to having Crocus blooms pop up and actually open up all over the place today.

It seemed almost frantic in the garden on this first day when temperatures topped out at almost 70 F.

The Crocus blooms must know how late they are in arriving compared to previous years, and are now making up for lost time.

There are so many to see; over there, over here, underfoot, all over the place. I darted around with my camera trying to take pictures of each one, as though I’d never seen a Crocus bloom before.

But what stopped me in my tracks, what made my gardener's heart quicken, was the first bright blue blooms of Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’
I didn’t expect these so soon. Last year, the first spring after I planted them, these Iris bloomed around March 15th.

So why are the Crocus blooms so late and the Iris blooms so early? We may never know. Each bloom knows its own cues and does as it pleases for itself. It blooms not for me, but for its own purposes. I’m incidental to this miracle of bloom after a long, cold winter.

But these blooms are the only cue I needed to feel like suddenly it’s Spring or at least Spring-like. It’s time to put my gardening jeans back on, clip on my Felco pruner holster, and head out into the garden to garden outside once again.

I thought of a thousand things to do at once…

Trim back the grape vine.
Cut back the perennials, left in the fall in the name of ‘winter interest’.
Chip and shred all the trimmings to make new mulch.
Sow seeds inside.
Sow early spring vegetables outside.
Harvest compost from the tumbler.
Refill the tumbler.
Spread new mulch on the garden paths.
Cut back the old Helleborus foliage.
Clean up the strawberry patch.
Enjoy the spring blooms.
Photograph the spring blooms.
Buy pansies the minute the garden centers have them for sale.
Pot up the pansies and put on the front porch.
Go to the Indiana Flower and Patio show.
Buy raspberry plants for new raspberry bed.
Look for winter damage and make a list of what to do in the garden.
Get out the patio furniture.
Bring out all the garden “doo-dads” stored away for winter.
Give away sod where a new flower/shrub border will go.
Enjoy the flowers.

In nearly an instant, I’ve gone from enjoying being busy with laziness, which is what we northern gardeners really do in the winter time, to being busy with activity, real activity, in a real garden. I must focus and take it one task at a time.

I'll have to remind myself that it took several months to reach my heightened state of being busy with laziness, and it will take me awhile to get back to being busy with gardening, in a productive way.

Gads, I’ll start out darting from one task to another like the proverbial bumblebee amongst the flowers, but then I’ll get the hang of it again, and become a bit more ant-like.

Eventually, I’ll settle in on a hybrid approach, sometimes being as busy as a bee and other times being as focused as an ant, either way being busy with gardening once again. Maybe by mid-summer, there will be a chance to steal an afternoon to be busy with laziness. In the meantime, between now and then, there’s a lot to do.

I can hardly wait.


  1. That list looks awfully long- reminds me of something...oh, I know, my list ;) I love the blue and how the little crocus peek out like that!

  2. Busy, busy, busy. I'm tired just reading your to-do's. I've gotten some of the list crossed off, but it never ends, right? The iris is a lovely burst of color on still-gray days.

  3. We've been following your quest for the crocus blooms on twitter... they look beautiful...

  4. It does sneak up on you doesn't it?

  5. Oh yes, that chore list popped up as quick as the crocus yesterday. I am sore as a boil this morning, and it feels so good.

  6. Getting our ration of spring today ... and tomorrow .... and the next day! Crocuses popping here too, as is The List. Since the ground is still mostly covered with snow this morning, I think I will get the patio pots out and clean them, then go get some potting soil to fill them. And I think I can at last get to the compost bin to dispose of the large plastic bag full of veggie trimmings that has been sitting on the back step for 5 days now. Hooray!

  7. Did you keep up on your winter training? Are you in good physical shape for the forthcoming productivity? After all, one of the implications of membership in SGAFO is the necessity for training in the off season. I know from unhappy experience.

  8. my kind of girl, i too have the clip-on felcos and wear jeans!!! Ah the list, so many things to do, and only one me, time to wish for cloning to spread me around more!
    love your site, thanks for the pics!

  9. I hear you! It's time to get off the sofa and start working. I was thinking about what all I have to do and I don't know how on earth I will accomplish it all.

  10. I have pages & pages of lists. I wonder where I put them? GADS!

  11. Oh, outdoor chores sound wonderful! Still lots of snow on the ground here, but it hit the 50s yesterday and I can see the tips of the snowdrops. Maybe I'd better start my list!

  12. That is strange - in Bloomington I've got a few crocus that just bloomed in the last two days, but am nowhere near having any of the reticulata irises in bloom... I wonder why they're rocking out to a different beat?

  13. I say enjoy buzzing like a bee for a little while, just enjoying the changes, before you plunge into ant-like hard work, Carol. You've got lots of time for that yet.

    We Austin gardeners, on the other hand, sense time running out before the Death Star makes its 5-month reappearance. We're scurrying like crazy.

  14. Glad you included Enjoy The Flowers And Spring Blooms to your list of "a thousand things to do". Don't work too hard.

  15. It must feel great to strap on the holster again. I love this time year. I try to go out every day with my journal to jot down what's sprouting, what's in bud & what's started blooming. It's a different garden every day.

  16. Apparently the little Iris reticulata heard your plea, Carol! One crocus may not prove spring is coming but adding crocuses and an iris and the Indiana Garden Show together adds weight to your conviction that it's garden time.

    Been buzzing around and thought of you. Do you remember seeing a scented flower on my Michelia figo/Banana Shrub last April 3rd? It had the first flower today - Spring is early.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  17. That's a heck of a list there. Good luck with it--

  18. I'm already tired from reading your
    to do list, guess because it's the
    same as mine.

  19. I'm so jealous of your blooms....I'm still waiting for something of my own.

  20. I know you're embracing the day, your felco pruners and springs earliest blooms. Have a good weekend Carol~~gail

  21. 'Clairette' is delightful! She alone could give someone the springtime burst of energy!

  22. The same thing is happening down South in my garden. I am so surprised by how many plants seem to be rushing their blooms out, now that we have had several days of warm weather. It seems that we went from nothing to everything blooming in just a few days.

    Always Growing

  23. Thanks for all your comments! I'm delighted to have had a taste of spring this weekend. It gave me a chance to take a few items off my list, at least partially. But it is going to get cold again, so who knows what's next for the garden?

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  24. What a beautiful iris! Never seen that before... which probably means it won't grow here (sulks) I love blue irises -- I had them in my wedding bouquet. The florist was surprised to meet someone who knew the names of the flowers they wanted!


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