Yes, it's the first week of April and my tulips are just about ready to open up. I'm not complaining; I'm always proud and grateful when they make it this far without being frozen or beheaded by rodents. I have counted almost 20 buds/blooms in my small planting and 35 in my larger set, though that bunch is lagging a bit behind (aka slightly less ahead of schedule).
I can think of only a few perennials around my flower beds that have not come up yet, and that may just be because they're not going to come up at all. That's the sad bit about perennial gardens: when a plant just doesn't come back. I almost feel like I offended it somehow. Sorry, dudes :(
The weeds will surely always come back, however. These past few days I've spent some time hoeing out dandelions, other weeds and rogue bits of grass. While I've been out there, I've had a few lost-in-the-garden moments when I decide I really need to start working on some problem I'd never really paid much attention to or even realized existed before. Tuesday it was rearranging a few stones on the patio and yesterday it was completely tearing out the pachysandra behind our grill.
I always forget before pictures, but imagine this entire space filled with horrible pachysandra
When we first moved into this house five and a half years ago, we had lots of pachysandra in the backyard. Pachysandra is a pretty good ground cover option if you want something you'll never get rid of. It has these roots that are just a huge pain to get out of the ground and then if you leave bits of it in the soil, it will start growing back. I hate this plant. Sometime during our first summer here I tore most of ours out in an agonizing process that involved a garden claw *and* weasel. Neither was anywhere close to the right tool for the job, but I did it. A patch remained in the bed next to our back patio but I left it alone because it was out of sight behind our grill and I couldn't bear the thought of dealing with it. Until yesterday.
It turns out pachysandra is much easier to tear out in early spring because the sun isn't beating down upon you as you toil fruitlessly and because the soil is wet, so your toiling is actually quite fruitful, as the roots of the plant are much easier to dislodge. Also, it is probably a good idea to not use a garden tool that you heard about on TV. I had much more success with my handheld hoe, seen in the lower right corner of the picture below.
This is me not making a hoe joke
I also decided to pull out the stone border at the edge of the bed because the whole thing was just a mess. I managed to dig some ruts for the stones to go back into, rearrange them and pour some extra dirt in there before it was time to go back inside.
And I did it all without getting my pants dirty. *smug*