This Spring Weather is Not Going to Rush Me!

With temperatures barely reaching 60ºF after much warmer days the week before, I suppose you could call yesterday our dogwood winter.

That's what the old timers call a cold day in the spring when the dogwoods are in bloom.  Since I just called it that, does that mean I'm an old timer?


Regardless, it was a chilly day.  I did go out long enough to find a clematis in bloom.  I don't remember seeing clematis in bloom this early before this year, but there it was.

I should know the name of it, but I don't at the moment, so it will go by the name "There's A Tag Around Here Somewhere" until such time as I find its plant tag.  I'll report back then what it is because it is too pretty to be left with such a name.
All these early blooms and warm days could make a gardener feel a bit rushed to get everything planted earlier than normal.

Even I, an old timer when it comes to gardening, was tempted the other day to buy up some tomato and pepper plants and give them a try now. Then I remembered my vegetable garden beds were still a bit weedy and it was still April.

Right then and there I decided not to let this early spring madness rush me along. I shall stick to my  normal schedule. Having made that decision, I proceeded to spend some time weeding in my garden, peacefully, without feeling the pressure to plant and plant now.

I weeded. Weeded some more. And then weeded some more after that.

I am pleased to report that after all the weeding my garden no longer looks like an abandoned garden, given up to the weeds and whatever else Mother Nature wants to put there.

Now my garden looks a bit like someone actually tends it, cares for it, and would like it to look nice enough for others see.  I wish it had been that way for Easter, but alas, it was not.  C'est l'garden.

Does this mean my weeding days are finished for the year?  Oh dear if you said yes, I'm afraid you are delusioned or have never gardened yourself. You see, weeding is like dusting. Even as you dust, you can see more dust falling all around you, especially in the sunlight.  For a bit it will look nice enough, but before you can put your dust rag away, it will be dusty again.

That's how weeding is. It will look nice enough once you've pulled the weeds, but you know you didn't get all the roots of the dandelions and thistles. You know they'll grow back. And you know more weeds seeds will germinate all season long. These are facts that no gardener can deny and all gardeners understand.

So what is a gardener to do?

First, borrow a trick from inside, where I think it is best to leave a dust rag laying around. Then if someone should pop over when the house is at its dusty-est, you can pick up the dust rag on the way to the door and tell your guests, "I've just started dusting."  They'll understand.

Likewise, you should always have a weeding tool close by so if someone comes through the garden gate and sees all the weeds you can tell them, "I was just getting ready to weed again," even if you weren't. They'll understand.

I borrowed these tricks from the great Phyllis Diller, who did the same with her vacuum cleaner. She said she always left it out so if someone stopped by and saw the mess her house was in, she could announce she was just getting ready to vacuum.

If it worked for Phyllis, I'm sure it will work for me and for you.

In the meantime, just remember leaving the weeding tools in easy reach doesn't keep weeds from growing. It just reminds you that you actually do need to weed occasionally.  So do that and don't let anyone or any weather rush you.


  1. I think this is the best advise yet. You and Phyllis make a good pair.

  2. As I looked out my side window this afternoon I saw my neighbor in combat mode to get all of his pots planted. I thought to myself, "What is the rush? What is the battle?" It is still quite chilly in the Pacific Northwest. I am enjoying leisurely strolling out in the garden while bundled in my down coat. How wonderful it is to watch woodland perennials emerge from the musty soil in spring. Thank you for reminding us to slow down and enjoy the moment.

  3. Dogwood winter has long since passed here in southeast Texas. I picked my first ripe tomatoes from the garden today. I knew there was some good reason why I always leave one or two garden tools lying about. You've given me the perfect explanation!

  4. Actually, it's my first time to hear about Dogwood winter.That Clematis is beautiful!
    I like Dandelions though ..why are they considered weeds...
    Happy Gardening:)

  5. Weeding never ends. I still have so much to do, but the garden is looking good.My Nelly Moser clematis is blooming, YAY! I will not be getting pots ready until Mother's day, so I'm in no hurry.

  6. I think you are the only gardener capable of not giving in to the rush of an early spring. I have geraniums sitting on my back step. It's April Robin!


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