Patience in the garden

by Jen in garden

Patience is the most important rule in the garden. It takes a lot of patience to plant a seed, water it, wait for it to break through the earth, shoot up, grow strong and finally bloom. Especially in our climate, where we have loooong winters. And while we can purchase cut flowers through the winter months…it is not the same as seeing the first crocus pop it’s head out of the soil. So, for those of you who have been patient…the time has come.
It’s time to get back into the garden. The question is where to start? While the sun is shining brightly, there is still the chance of cold weather. The true beginning of the gardening season is the Victoria Day weekend in May. Until then gardens need to be cleaned up and the planning can begin…but patience is needed…no planting just yet. Here are my suggestions for your first back into the garden steps.
Clean your gardening tools – It is important to clean your tools before getting into the garden. You don’t want to spread any disease from last year’s clean up. Using rubbing alcohol will kill off any residual bacteria.
1. gather up your hand tools ie; hand trowel, secetures and hand rake.

2. get out your rubbing alcohol and 2 clean rags

3. wipe off any excess dirt with a clean rag

4. wet the second rag with rubbing alcohol and clean the tools
Assess your gardening tools – Take a look at the gardening tools you have. Was there anything you reached for last year – but didn’t have? Are there any projects you are planning on doing this year that require equipment you don’t already have? Do an inventory, clean them, sort them and get them ready for the season ahead.
Clean up those urns

Time to remove any old plants that might be in your outdoor urns and planters. Have a look at this post, from Active Kids Club, to see a fun and beautiful planting activity for your kids that will bring spring flowers to your planters.
Trimming ornamental grasses – Now I know you have been patient…but you want to get into the garden! Time to grab the gloves and seceteurs (pruners). Last fall I wrote a post about leaving some plants in the garden for “winter interest“…time for those to GO!


1. we need to trim ornamental grasses in order to allow the sunlight to get into the middle of the dense base of the grass

2. using your seceteurs, trim the grass to about 4-6 inches from the ground

3. clear out any dead leaves that may have accumulated in the base of the grass
Now the garden is clear of dead growth from last year. I managed to fill 4 brown bags this last weekend. The spring clean out is really critical. I save the final clean out for the Victoria Day weekend. The garden is ready to start growing again! I can already see green plants bursting out! That’s it for Part 1 of our Spring clean out. The Part 2 will be all about planning…take a look around your landscape and think of what could be.

To Be Continued.
Veronica Slater presents April 12, 2011 at 10:27 am

Great post, Jen! Glad I’m on the same page as you so far!! I also cut off the grass and other plants I had kept for the winter and so far I don’t think I’ve messed anything up! The pruning class I took last year is paying off :) I am about to plant bulbs (I forgot I had!) Hope it’s not too late! Happy Spring, friend!

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