This morning I planned to get up, do some chores, and start getting the patio ready for spring.

I was busy working on the patio yesterday afternoon. I raked up leaves and muck, all while sitting down on my garden stool, and put the wet leaves in a lawn bag.

But this morning I got up and as soon as my right foot hit the floor, I knew I was going to have to get my ankle brace on or I wasn’t going to be mobile today.

A few years ago I could do many things I can’t do now. It seems that after I sprained the bad ankle last spring it has weakened it substantially.

In getting the patio ready for spring, I thought I'd use my galvanized tub for chores.

Charlie’s Acupuncture:

I took Charlie to acupuncture this morning. Then I came home and called my next-door neighbor’s grandson who’s still living with her. I asked him if he’d do some chores for me on the patio and said I’d pay him $50.

I know he’d do it for free, as he’s done other things for me. But he also doesn’t have a job yet after he graduated from heating and air school. So he needs the money.

I had him get the big box that arrived this morning that I guess holds the two new planters I ordered and put it on the patio. I’ll put them together later. The soil isn’t here yet.

Vinca in my patio garden

Then I had him move the galvanized tub garden out to the middle of the patio as I had it a few years ago. That was to make room for the new planters to go against the fence where they can get the proper amount of sunlight.

I had planned last night to do it myself. But this morning I knew I could probably physically still do it, but that I would pay for it afterward. And I just can’t take that chance.

Raking Leaves:

If raking leaves and putting them into a lawn bag while sitting and then moving some big pots around did my ankle in, I can only imagine what moving those heavy galvanized tubs of plants would do.

Then I had him dig up a dead lemongrass plant I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to dig out so I can use the big pot it was in. It was even hard for him to get out.

The lemongrass is an annual. I bought it last year from Southwoods in I think a 2-inch pot. But put it in a bigger planter or in the ground and it grows fast. It ended up being about 4 feet tall by fall.

I cut it back a few weeks ago, but even with my sharpshooter shovel I couldn’t dig it out of that big green pot. The roots were really entrenched.

In getting the patio ready for spring, I noticed hosta shoots coming up

Hostas & Peppermint:

Look, my hosta plants are coming up among the peppermint plants.

Hosta shoots and peppermint coming up in my raised bed on the patio

Then I went to get Charlie after his acupuncture appointment. His regular vet from Bartlesville was not there. I asked where she was when they brought Charlie out to my car.

Apparently, her aunt has tested positive for the virus, so she’s staying away from work for now.

This virus is spreading so fast. There are people that don’t seem to be taking this thing all that seriously.

Some young people gathered on spring break like they normally do in some locales. They must think it’s just an old people’s illness. But all ages have been testing positive.

So stay safe out there my friends.

Take care of yourself and order as many things as you can to be delivered to your door.

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  1. Hey Brenda, I learn on much about ordering on line from you. Please tell me where you ordered your soil. I want some so bad, but I can’t let myself go to the garden center. Thanks for your most informative posts.

  2. Brenda, I use pine cones as fillers in
    large & exlarge pots/containers.
    provides great drainage & prevents
    compaction of soil
    for roots to breathe.
    Cones don’t use as much soil & pots are
    Happy you were out and hope CharlieBoy
    feels better are his treatment.????
    You & IvyLou & CharlieBoy are loved by me.
    Thank you for bringing sunshine ???

  3. We only had one nice day here – yesterday. And Brian was off work so we were able to rake the front yard and ditch. It’s still too cold here to rake out the garden beds. The perennials still need protecting. No signs of life from my hostas yet. It’s been raining all day today and looks like that will be the case all weekend.

  4. Well, it is so gray and dark and cold here I can’t even imagine being able to work outside. It is super-depressing. Especially in my state of low, low energy. I am trying to figure out which of my medications may be causing me to be so tired. And depressed. I wish someone would bring me a bouquet of daffodils. They are my absolute favorite and especially cheering at this time of year. Alas, I will have to wait until the ones in my yard bloom. They are already poking through about two to three inches so it won’t be terribly long.

    I think you were careful enough about your exposure to the young man who helped you on the patio that you will likely be just fine. I wouldn’t worry and just avoid any more contact for now. By the way, I read that we should wash any money we handle, too. Seems bizarre, but I guess money carries lots of pathogens. At least washing hands after handling it makes sense.

    Stay safe and well, Brenda. I’m sorry about your ankle. I hope it’s better soon.

  5. The man was probably outside and six feet away. I added topsoil under a tree where the grass does not grow. Part of that soil has washed onto the sidewalk, and been there all winter. That is my next project. I have a wonderful neighbor who power washed my mailbox and porch last week!

    1. I tried to stay 6 feet from him, but had to also direct him so at times was closer. When I went to the bank and got his $50 I put it in their mailbox and called to tell him it was there. He’ll still have to bring in the soil when it gets here. I’ll maybe stay in my chair and just tell him to put it out on the patio.

  6. I love you to the moon B. But social distancing isn’t really having someone over to help right now.

    I just want you to be safe.

    I couldn’t imagine life without this space to find peace in.
    Stay safe and be patient.

    Lots and lots and lots of love.


    1. I know. I didn’t want to be close to someone. But I didn’t know how else to get my gardening started. And I’d be so depressed without my garden.

  7. I’ve been itching to get out in the yard since February, same thing happens every year. Today the weather was good enough to work outside for a good 3 hours, then it started sprinkling rain. It sure didn’t feel like 3 hours. I worked hard and steadily but when I look at what I did, the chores still left are overwhelming! I raked (my shoulders are already starting to feel sore and it’s not as if I have been using them), I swept up leaves and gunk and loaded bags and bags filled with the mess (oh, my poor nose, dripping like a faucet from my allergies), along with what seems a million pine cones, pine needles and small branches. Then I pulled out a flat head spade and scraped inches of mud, muck and gunk including several inches thick of mud-coated half-decayed leaves, out of about half my lot line along the street gutter (curb) in front of my house that was left there by city crews last November when a water main broke in front of my neighbor’s house to the north of me. It left a horrid mess and the city never came back to clean it up! As the rain picked up slightly I was already running out of steam, fast approaching going past hour 3. I loaded up umpteen bags of that gunk. Had a hard time wheeling the trash bin back to its place after it was loaded with the bags, it was so heavy. I know I’m not as strong as I used to be, but boy oh boy! I got it back to its place but had quite a work-out this morning. I won’t be adding any more trash to the bin for a week (next garbage pick up), but as a single person I don’t generate a lot of trash from inside the house – it’s mostly all yard waste and things storms blow into my yard, driveway and stuff that falls from my two large pines flanking the driveway. I had planned on starting to rake the front lawn today in preparation for spring fertilizing, but my body told me NO! Today I continued cleaning up along the driveway. You would think it would be clean because I run out there nearly every day to sweep, even in the dead of winter with snow on the ground because of the stuff that accumulates on the concrete that I’ve shoveled out. But it seems to multiply like rabbits no matter what I do and how much I sweep up. Before I begin tackling the front lawn, I want to finish cleaning out the gutter curb side to the end of my lot line. I HATED looking at the mess and I had to stare at it all winter long when we didn’t have snow covering it up. There was no way to tackle it when it was frozen or covered in four foot piles of plowed snow. It’s unbelievable how much there is to do this year in clean-up. I’m trying to think back to what it was like last year, when our snow didn’t even stop until close to 2 weeks into April, but I don’t remember it being as much work as this year. Maybe my memory erases all the struggle and long hours doing what seems to be endless clean-up every year, LOL. I’m glad you are able to tap the assistance of your neighbor’s son – you help each other out, he with chores that you can’t manage because of your various permanent injuries and you with some much (I’m sure) appreciated cash. Have you considered having your planting tubs put on rollers so you could move them around much more easily? They are not necessarily inexpensive, but they would give you the freedom to be able to move your planters readily and rearrange them whenever you want to or need to because of changing sunlight over the growing season. Just please be careful not to overdo. I know we all think we’re Superwomen and we are – at least mentally – but probably physically, not so much!

    1. I’d love to put rollers on those galvanized tubs. But they’re full of dirt. Don’t know how I’d get under there! I need to buy more round rollers for round pots. Will look online I guess because moving those heavy pots yesterday is I know why I can barely walk today.

  8. So nice you can see life coming back after winter. We are seeing a little bit here in Illinois. Lots of rain moving in which will help all the new buds and flowers popping up. Not so great for me I wanted to work on my she shed this weekend but we are suppose to get heavy rain. Stay safe.

  9. Today is such a lovely day and I would really love to be able to be outside doing some spring clean up in my garden…..BUT I have to wait for this last batch of snow to melt, sigh. The sound of it melting and sliding off the roof in big chunks has frightened the life out of me twice already today, yikes!!

  10. Stay safe yourself. It’s so nice of you to provide work for someone who needs it. My son just got laid off today. He’s down but I feel happier with him at home and not out in the public every day..
    Going out to garden too, and working on a quilt…

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