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Crossing off items from your gardening to-do list

There is no getting around it — our lives have changed. I am so grateful that I have our yard. What a great retreat! What great body and mind treatment for us.

I am betting you have changed how you look at things in your yard, too.

There has been more time for day-to-day observation. Watching the miracle of a seed burst forth is simply spectacular. I mean really watching. Experiencing it again for the first time and taking it in through each stage of development. Buds are fascinating to watch grow into beautiful flowers or vegetables.

When this all happened, I made two lists. These are my now-I-will-finally-get-this-done lists. One is for inside (cleaning our closets, etc.) and one is the outside list.

Confession time, I have crossed very few things from my inside list.

My outside list is still growing. I have done a lot. So much, that the old bones, joints and muscles have not stopped aging. Chores take longer. I need more iced tea and rocking chair breaks than I did not so long ago. However, I am lovin’ every minute of it. (Cue the song in your head…)

Make no mistake, I still have a great deal to get done out there and need help that I never needed before. But it is different now. When I get down to pull a weed and I see many more while I am down there, I pull ’em all, not just the big guys or the one that is about to flower — that means more seeds will spread.

When I see an insect, I watch it. If a bee buzzes around, I follow it. I find out the flower it seeks out for the things it needs.

I have never been a big rose fan. I always thought they are so needy. I do not give them the care and feed they need.

This year roses are just spectacular and I am grateful for not getting rid of them.

Poppies and bachelor’s buttons have put on a marvelous display of color for our eyes. The peonies have been are heavy with gorgeous blooms, and the heavy scent brought back so many memories. The grass grows so fast, too, so I feel like I get to mow every day. I enjoy mowing. It is time I spend thinking about my garden and taking it all in.

Another very gratifying thing has happened. I am not a vegetable grower. However, my son, who lives three hours away, has put in a garden.

Overseeing the process, mostly with help from OSU, has been rewarding. We now have a whole new world of things to talk about, we have become closer. My grandsons have taken an interest in gardening, too.

I have many perennials and have shared some with my son and his family. The boys talk about how great their yard looks, compared to those of their friends. They tell their friends that the things came from Grandma’s yard. Yep, I’m a proud grandma.

Yes, things are different. Take more time to take in your garden. Enjoy.

McKinley is an Ohio State University Mahoning County Extension Master Gardener volunteer.

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