Spring clean-up just starting

After this past weekend, I now can put my snow blower into the back of the garage and move my lawn mower forward.
By this time last year, my lawn already had two clippings. The tulips were pushing themselves out of the ground and my day lilies had bright green shoots sprouting through the tangled brown leaves of the previous year.
The lawn had been raked at the first part of April.
Jumping ahead to this year, I hadn’t expected the snow to disappear as fast as it did this past weekend. The clean-up is just beginning. Six months of dust, garbage, twigs, and branches have left my yard in a state of total disrepair.
The snow in front of the house has disappeared, and Marnie was able to walk up and remove the Christmas wreath from in front of our home. Much of the snow had melted away from the shrubbery and the Christmas white lights that were on the shrubbery were removed.
Long extension cords, which connected the lights between the trees, reappeared on the ground after melting out from under the ice of early January.
They’ve all been rolled up waiting for next November.
Every year, I’m amazed at the number of branches and twigs that fall from the trees over winter. Probably there are no more branches than normally drop each month, but a six-month accumulation is significant.
My shrubbery, meanwhile, seems to catch any paper garbage that gets tossed and I’ve already partially-filled a trash bag with that debris.
One of the surprises this year is that we lost one major branch on our lilac tree and two major branches on our flowering crab, both located on the south side of the house. Both have had their bark stripped away.
The trees will require pruning, and I’m hoping the rot from the one branch of the flowering crab has not spread elsewhere on the tree.
The flowering crab tree is more than 30 years old and we enjoy its brilliant pink blossoms in June. The deer often come by and nip the apples off in September.
Around the yard, the cedar hedge that was planted three years ago has risen from the snow and seems to have wintered well. The deer already have begun inspecting those tender green leaves and have begun pruning them back.
As they nip at those morsels, the deer are leaving piles of mementos in the grass.
John Pierce was telling me Monday morning that the tulips that had shot up through the earth at his home had been consumed overnight by the deer in his neighbourhood.
Our gardening guru, Melanie Mathieson, has written columns on the best time to rake your lawn. Her take is that you should wait until it is well dried so that you don’t tear out those young grass shoots.
I’m not sure I have that patience. I would like to have all the raking completed by the town’s free dump day at the local landfill, which is set for Saturday, May 11.
Spring clean-up always seems tedious. But being outdoors, raking, bagging, and clearing up the flower beds, sure beats the cabin fever we have been suffering.

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