Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Madness of March

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 honored to have KCB as part of our Skillin's Garden Log family. KCB can also be found at the awesome Finishing Touches website.

Can it be? Really? Is truly March?

March is the month in which we must fear ‘the ides’, become caught-up in college basketball, celebrate the anniversary marking the death of a certain Irish Saint, rejoice in the Vernal Equinox, and move the clock ahead one hour.

Where has the time gone? Not the hour lost but the months passed. What have I been doing? I had a list of must-dos to be completed before the start of the pending gardening season. Ok, nothing was put in writing, nevertheless it was a list. Some of the goals were even shared with others. True madness is voicing ANYTHING that can be perceived as a mission. Just think ‘diets’ or ‘quit smoking’ and you know what I’m talking about. Another madness takes hold with each gentle reminder, or inquiry as to the success, whether from those who mean well, or your own nagging conscience.

Regrettably, no manuscript has been sent to a potential editor. Nor an agent found to perform said task. Not even manuscript completed which clearly has some bidding on the first two failures.

Other deeds left undone; knowing and perfecting the correct Botanical names of all my favorite plants, shrubs and trees. Knowing is one thing, the pronunciation could be a real challenge. Not possessing the finest of public speaking voices, I often trip over the simplest of words. Just try saying ‘brewery’.

The other list item, to find gainful, yet temporary employment. An economic downturn and pending college educations caused some clients to cut back on my services. Add this to moving twice within 6 months (movers do not come cheap; especially when moving from one 3rd floor to an even more challenging attic space) and a truck on life support, my coffers are in dire need of filling. While my wants are many, needs are few. A warmer than predicted winter, understanding landlord and a friend who enjoys my company so much I am often treated to dinner, has lessened any catastrophe. Many think it madness that I feel so blessed. Yet, I do.

Now it’s March. If really pressed, a manuscript of short stories could be compiled, self edited and mailed away to brace myself for the outcome. Botanical infiltration may well be obtained, by streaming taped messages directly to my brain. Now for the temporary job? Not likely. March is much too busy. Maddening so.

How could I possibly look, procure and actually work a job? As it is, I am teaching several classes for area adult education programs, am volunteering each day of the flower show, sitting on 2 committees involving the establishment of public gardens, one in Gorham, the other in Cape Elizabeth. Then there are nursery open houses to attend not to mention that thru the 10th it is Maine Restaurant Week. My friend would like to try at least 3 new restaurants of my choosing. Many menus to mull and reviews to read. More madness!

I like being this busy. Having nothing to do gives cause to slacking, playing foolish internet games, and moving papers from one pile to the next. Idleness brings on Madness.

With a month of real events on my calendar, a need to focus on tasks is awakened. Now is the time to review the garden ‘journals’ for all the beds in my care, compose mailers to entice new clients, sending the spring newsletter to current, add finishing touches to garden designs in process and start those commissioned during end of year consultations. With each completed design a shopping list must be compiled. Submitting an early order helps to procure enough of my desired perennials, shrubs or trees.

March is a month of madness. For college basketball, and for many who are in the gardening/landscaping business, most notably small operation self-employed. Our season has begun. I can feel myself panic. Will I get it all done? Will I have the funds to keep my truck afloat? Will I obtain new clients to fill gaps? Will the weather be warm enough for me to walk to The Portland Flower Show? Will I be prepared for first quarter tax filing?

March is a month full of promise. Returning birds, first blooms. Seed starting. Return to Daylight Savings Time. St. Patrick’s Day! Isn’t there a little Irish in everyone? You’d think so on the 17th of this month. Spring!!! We attend nursery open houses, flower shows, lectures and classes. We walk more, breathe in the fresh air and scour the ground for the first pop of color. The garden trance will begin. I will be possessed through very end of the gardening season. I cannot walk past the dilapidated plot I call ‘my garden’ without staring at every sad inch of it. The hyacinths are poking through. I pulled my first weed. Madness? Perhaps. Isn’t it great?

KCB for Skillin's Greenhouses
March 3, 2010

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