That debris will make good kindling next year for the wood stove, but picking it was a full morning's work and not what my bad back needed. In fact the only other job I could tackle that day was one that didn't
involve leaning over - cutting back the autumn clematis beside the front porch. It always amazes me how fast the new stems of that clematis will sprout and climb and even reach the porch roof by June. That is
not true of my other clematis vines which I must cut back in a very limited way.
Since my back is still in bad shape, I was relieved when that one warm day was followed by more cold and rain, but how to finish the rest of this column presented a problem. I decided to fill it by mentioning a few of the other jobs I will tackle when my back and the weather improve. You probably won't learn much, but it might make you thankful that your own garden chores aren't as major as the ones I'll face on Locust Hill.
As you can see, I don't tidy up my 100-foot perennial border each fall. The big reason I wait until spring is because the stalks of all the tall plants, phlox, asters, daisies, etc. if removed in late September or October must be individually clipped, while in April they can be broken off by hand, a dozen at a time. Plus the fact that doing the job in April is much more fun - discovering the first green leaves of a lupine pushing up through the debris, uprooting a thistle with ease from the wet soil, or releasing a struggling daffodil of the old dead leaves strangling it.
And lest I forget - there's the yearly chore of mending the sheep fences. This is usually not a big job, but after the winter's heavy snows, our fences, as you can see, are showing their age. Hopefully you will not have quite so many spring chores to tackle when warm weather gets here. Surely we will wake up to beautiful sunshine on Easter morning.