Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Cleaning, Again

 Fuzzy baby lupine leaves - they are so delicate.

Some people manage to get their spring cleaning done in one cathartic swoop, hoeing out the entire house and cleaning top to bottom in one go.  My spring cleaning tends to range over several spring weekends, depending on the weather and what needs doing.  I put the kids to work today, Safety Guy doing windows, and Princess Yakyak matching videos and discs to cases (a never-ending source of annoyance around here - wanting to watch something, and finding an empty case).  Safety Guy and my husband will be building me a couple new raised bed boxes today, too.

This weekend I started the great summer/winter clothing swap, which also involves seeing what the kids have outgrown that can be passed on to the Salvation Army.  My closet also gave up a bag of things that are too small/too outdated/too worn.  I've saved a handful of things I hope to wear again, but mostly I want to keep only what I'm actually using.  Looking at things I cannot wear right now is just plain depressing.  When I lose the weight I want to lose, I'd rather start fresh with my wardrobe.  I also need to go through Princess Yakyak's dresser with a vengeance, since I'm sure she's outgrown a lot from last year.  

 Our front entry, ready for planting later this month. 
I think I'll put some small sedums in front of both containers, 
and callibrachoa (like cascading mini petunias, warm yellow and apricot) 
with something tall and spiky in the middle in the containers .

I enjoyed some garden time yesterday.  I dug some garden gold out from the bottom of the compost bin and dumped it in one of the new raised beds.  I also started putting a fresh top dressing of mulch on the beds in front of the house, including adding some topsoil around where the juniper stumps are (just in front of the new containers), to raise that area so I can plant there.  It will take quite a few bags of mulch to do the whole bed, so that will get done over several paychecks.  We mulched that area heavily last year, so we only need about 1" all over to dress it up now.  I prefer to use pine bark mulch, for its natural color, and for the way it decomposes nicely into the soil over several years.

I've got sprouts in several winter sowing containers now:  alyssum, onions, the first of the zinnias, annual phlox, California poppies - spring is sprouting!  (That's alyssum to the left - I'll just break the seedlings apart into clumps to plant them in May.)  It's always very exciting to see the sprouts each year.  Another week and I might start seeing tomatoes and peppers popping up.  I also planted carrots in one garden bed a couple days ago.  The peas I planted in March don't appear to be doing anything - I suspect they were eaten by birds.  I'll sow another batch and cover them with wire, and see if that helps.

And, one last sure sign of spring:  I saw the male bluebird checking out the nest box a few days ago, his brilliant indigo feathers flashing in the sun.  Now that's a joyful sight indeed.