First Day of Spring (A Month Late)

A sunny day seems even sweeter when it comes during a week plagued with rain in the daily forecast. That was today, and even though spring is late-coming to Cleveland this year, this day could have fooled me.

 It was a day for yard work indeed – but early enough in the season that those two words don’t sound like a second job; instead, a chance to enjoy the long-lost sun. And, believe me, in Cleveland, the sun is a stranger, so I make the most of these days when they come.
For the third year in a row, I practiced my strategy of waiting till spring to rake the leaves. Isn’t that just procrastination, you ask? No, it’s a strategy. Of waiting. And hoping some leaves might disintegrate under the snow or something and, by chance, fertilize something else, making my excuse for procrastinating sound really impressive. Whatever the motives, today was the first day I raked leaves to ready my flowerbeds for spring.
The rake awakened plenty of plump earthworms from their leafy layers of slumber, and drove the creepy-crawlies toward the warm comfort of, probably, the inside of my house. Once the dirt was revealed underneath, I discovered my first flowerbed inhabitants of the year: several clusters of lemon balm left over from the invasion that overtook other greenery last year…and I still don’t know what to use it for.
I already placed my order for the flats of flowers that will soon join the lemon balm – there’s impatiens, of course, and wave petunias. Dusty Miller and salvia are familiar flora from my childhood, but firsts for my adult life. And, with Million Bells thrown in, I’m looking at 100 flowers – 100 holes to dig – and about $60 invested in Mother Earth.
Spring, we’re ready for you.

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