Spring Sprung Splat

| 3/31/2015 11:31:00 AM

Susan Slape-HoysagkThere is an old Chinese proverb that touts “rain in the spring is as precious as oil.” I dare say these words have never been spoken by anyone here on the Oregon coast! Here spring = rain. Even more so if it is spring break. I remember my own mother lamenting the rainy weather spring break always seemed to attract, and we lived in the less-so-rainy Willamette Valley just south of Portland, Oregon. I sang the same song when I had school-age children.

Beautiful fluffy ephemeral flowering cherry blossoms usher in spring. 

Beautiful fluffy ephemeral flowering cherry blossoms usher in spring.

Rain is precious, and I would rather have more than less. However, boggy, soggy spring clay soil should not be messed with lest you desire a nasty compacted earth. Not good. The difficulty with spring, speaking only from my own experience in the Pacific Northwest, is that we can have some really rockin’ weather. Warm (for us) sunny days are great medicine for the winter weary soul. And us dreamy-eyed, winter-weary gardeners are waiting in the chute, chomping at the bit with seed catalog orders and starts in hand, ready to charge out the gate into the garden! Stop!

Spring is not for the faint of heart or the impulsive soul. Frost dates are quickly forgotten when seduced by the beautiful nursery plants waving their gorgeous herbaceousness in our faces. Some of them could survive some chilliness while others would be dead, dead, deadski. It is hard to reign in that anxious glee like that felt by a child lying awake in the wee hours of Christmas morning.

Winter is nice, a good down time from the physical toils of gardening. A time to relax, rejuvenate, rejoice, dream and plan. I embrace the time. Then around the beginning of February the cabin fever starts to creep in. Cutting back the rose bushes helps a little but the musky, sweet smell of the earth entices. Plotting and planning the garden helps until the sun comes out and I wander outside to find some weeds are already taking up residence. The nerve. Those weeds are unfortunately much hardier than a good number of those nursery temptresses.