Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Has Sprung and So Was I...

KCB is a professional gardener and friend who does wonderful work in the Greater Portland area. KCB is also an accredited Master Gardener by the Cooperative Extension Service and we are proud to tell you that KCB rules as the 2008 Maine Master Gardener of the Year. And we are honored to have KCB as part of our Skillin's Garden Log family.

As we in Maine enter our first full week of spring, can ‘mud season’ be far behind?

I don’t know about you, but I am so anxious to be outdoors on a full time basis. Still too soon to do any real gardening tasks for my clients, and having no garden of my own, I am going a little more than stir crazy. Fresh Air, exercise and interaction with nature that is surely the key to getting me thru the next couple of weeks. Besides it is time to get in shape to garden. What to do? Well, I did try……….

Late last week I experienced the fruitless attempt to walk the area of my new neighborhood known as ‘The Boulevard’. I awoke with the vow ‘today I am going to start my new regime and walk ‘The Boulevard’, or at least a part of it, each day’. Enthusiasm on overload I prepared for my outing.

As is recommended, I dressed in layers, including pocketing a fleece headband just in case my baseball cap didn’t do the trick. Bottle of spring water tucked in the side pocket of my well worn cargo pants, I was on my way.

The walk -way to my destination is in the city streets. I say ‘in’ because the sidewalks are nearly impassible. Snow in many instances is still piled in front of some residences. Those that are clear are so full of debris and things I’d rather not think about I don’t even attempt to navigate. I feel the streets are the safest bet. In the distance I can see that I am not alone in my ‘walking’ quest, the Boulevard is as active as I have ever seen it. This time of year we look for any excuse to enjoy the sun. Joggers, families, lovers, dogs & strollers made up the assembly. I was pumped.

The section of the path I entered was currently in full sun. I was ready to remove my 1st layer yet opted until making it past the first turn. Never can tell which way the wind is blowing. All seemed to be relatively calm. Face forward, arms at my side I was ready.

After a few steps something had gone wrong. So intent on joining the throngs of people I didn’t really look at where I was stepping. No, it is not what you think, perhaps that would have been a little easier. I was stuck, or at least my right foot was. I equate the feeling to stepping in a suction cup. I made the effort to become unstuck, with all my force, I did, but my slip-on walking shoe didn’t. Having recently awoken from its long winter nap, the mud appeared to be hungry. My foot would have been a good snack, but it was settling for my shoe which was being devoured in front of my very eyes.

Try as I might, I could not contort my foot in the same direction that my shoe had come to rest. Never a gymnast, a dancer or anyone with any semblance of balance or grace, I struggled to stay vertical. My arms whirled as I teetered. There was no way my foot was going to get back in that shoe. To reach over in an attempt to loosen it with my hand was not going to work. The more I reached, the more my socked unshorn foot went in the air in an attempt at balance.

Joggers, families, lovers, dogs & strollers, streamed by. I pretended to be in control of the situation. I smiled in exasperation. What seemed like hours were surely only a few minutes. Dressed in a pink hooded sweatshirt, I must have looked like an over-grown pink flamingo. Alternatively, they do not seem to have any problem balancing on one foot.

In one last effort I willed my one ‘good’ foot to steady and my arm to stretch to rescue my shoe. And then……………… it was over. I was down on one knee with my mud coated shoe as my victory baton. Mud had also found its way inside my shoe. Not fun walking with the squish squish of mud between sock and sole. This would mean my walk would have to wait until another day. That was 5 days ago.

So, keep this in mind as you walk around your property to inventory your gardening plans. Wear proper footwear, watch where you step.

Timely Tid-bits

Feed/Fertilize Rhododendrons & Azaleas soon if you didn’t do it late fall. They prefer well-drained acidic soil. I rely on Espoma’s Holly-Tone to do the job!

KCB for Skillin's Greenhouses
March 25, 2009

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