Get Out Of The Coop

By the time spring arrives, many of us are ready to crawl out of our skin. As much as we love winter, it doesn’t take long to start feeling cooped up. Spring is our chance to get out and do something. That usually means creating something wonderful in our yards.

I grew up with a big yard. Our family didn’t have a lot of time or money for vacations, so the yard became our retreat. With today’s uncertain job market and rising cost of living, more people are doing the same. They’re vacationing closer to home—discovering the richness of their local state park, the zoo, the movie theater, the back road, and yes, even the back yard.

But if you’re going to have a back yard escape, you need to start planning now. Take a fresh look at your yard as though it’s a blank canvas. What would you like to do with it? Do you want room for volleyball games, a vegetable garden, a fire pit, a grilling station, shade trees, arbors, trellises, soft grass for the kids, or even a pool? Your options are limited only by the space you have—and of course, your time and budget. It pays to spread your projects out over time, perhaps even over multiple years.

 Designate a binder or notebook just for your yard projects. Use dividers and labels for each area in your yard—the vegetable garden, the entry gardens, trees, rosebushes, container gardens. Each of these items will be on different schedules. You’ll plant your peas and beans before you plant your tomatoes. You’ll prune your trees before the snow is completely melted. You’ll fertilize your lawn at least twice, and likely 4 to 5 times during the growing season. Schedule each of these activities in your planner so you’ll have a constant reminder.

Find some simple projects to spruce up your yard. Some can be done in less than an hour. For example: You can recycle or repurpose to enhance your yard. Have you ever considered using an old bedspring, wooden door, or window frame as a trellis? These relics add a fun touch of whimsy to your garden, cost very little, and reduce waste. Plus, they look stunning draped in a clematis, Honeysuckle, or black-eyed Susan vine.

Spring is finally here. Let’s get outside and see what we can create.

 

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