So much to do, so little time

Spring is upon us, and as happens every year around this time, my thoughts turn to gardening. I have new challenges ahead of me this year as my husband and I bought a house in November. I now have a new yard in which to design a garden.

The front yard has existing landscaping, so for the time being, we're leaving that as is with minimal changes, such as the removal of a shrub neither one of us liked.

We took care of that and replaced it with two humming bird bushes, and I was ready to move on to the back yard.

Before we even moved in, I had a design all drawn out and ready to go.

Then I found out where our septic tank was and had to make some revisions. That was the first of many setbacks.

I had visions of getting everything laid out and all the prep work done during the winter so things would be in the ground, growing and ready to bloom when spring arrived.

But you know what they say about the best-laid plans. I certainly don't want to complain about all that rain we got this winter, but needless to say, it interfered with my landscaping plans.

That, along with a neighbor with a severe septic problem that was oozing over into our yard, wound up holding things up quite a bit.

Work, housework, a spring cold and everyday life cut into my gardening time as well.

I got so frustrated with being unable to put seeds or plants in the ground that I wound up going out and buying several whiskey barrels; not to drown my sorrows but to start a garden. We have a back porch and I decided if I couldn't get to work out in the yard, I would just garden on the porch.

I started with one half whiskey barrel and an old wheelbarrow and filled them with flowers and some daffodil bulbs I had chilling in the fridge. That worked so well that I went out and got two more half barrels and stuck my irises that were waiting to go in the ground in one and planted my own personal salad garden in the other. Then the garden bug bit me hard, so I figured I should get some herb seeds started so I would have plants ready to put in the ground whenever the ground was finally ready.

And the trumpet vines I had brought from the old place were sprouting leaves in an old bucket by the front door that they'd been over-wintering in, so I planted them in pots till their spot of dirt is ready.

And while I was at it, I figured I should go ahead and repot my houseplants too.

Now, my back porch is filled with containers of plants.

It isn't quite the same as getting my landscaping going, but it takes care of some of the urge to garden and puts me that much closer to being ready when I can start putting plants in the ground.

And now that our fill dirt has arrived, I can finally get started.

My next step is to order some grass seed. We don't plan on having much of a lawn because I have so many flowers, trees, shrubs and vegetables I want to plant that I only reserved a small area for grass.

But since I'm so far behind where I wanted to be at this time, we've decided to seed the entire back yard in buffalo grass for now.

That will help make the yard fit for company, and I can remove the grass a section at a time as I'm putting in my flower beds, vegetable garden, walkways and so on.

While I'm waiting for my grass seed to arrive, I can rent a rototiller and get the ground ready, my compost tumbler has arrived and is awaiting assembly, and the front yard needs watering.

Spring has arrived; it's a beautiful day; I'm heading out to do some gardening.

Pam Bartmus is the Miner's copy editor.