Flowers and bees

One thing I don’t enjoy about March is that the yard becomes a sodden, muddy mess. But the flowers and bees… oh my!

Ode to Joy, and Flowers, and Bees, and Grass, and …

Oh, March, how I’ve missed you. You and your compatriot April are the reasons I suffer gamely through Indiana’s fickle winters with nary a complaint. The upside to the most recent winter’s frigid temperatures? Hopefully they killed off more of the insects than the milder winters have, at least enough to make up for the constant sound of trickling water at almost every faucet in the farmhouse.

One thing I don’t enjoy about March is that the yard becomes a sodden, muddy mess. This year already has been particularly bad for this because most of the landscape near the house was stripped of grass during summer construction projects which finished too late to put in new grass. On the back side, I had water and electricity trenched out to the chicken coop. Instant light when I need it and no more carrying buckets of water every day! On the front of the house, I now have a brand-new porch that ties in to the metal roof of the kitchen for the first time ever.

But right now I’m excited about new landscape opportunities. This is a great time of year to take a look around before new growth starts to hide old problems and maybe realize a new dream. Of course, having a delightful new porch on my house is a real dream (the bill, not so much), but this is a great time to think about something as mundane as getting in and out of my house over the next 20+ years.
Take time now to consider changing something you’ve just learned to live with over the years. For instance, instead of hastily installing an access ramp when an unexpected fall makes walking difficult, engage a landscaper now to design a ramp and rails that accentuate your home. You can enjoy them now and prevent potential mobility difficulties in the future.

As you can see from the photo, my new porch doesn’t have steps yet. I’m currently trying to decide on the best width and breadth that will be comfortable over the long haul and hand rails that look welcoming as well as being serviceable. I want the porch railing to be equally attractive, but I’m debating rails to easily hold window boxes or a dinner plate. Surely there must be a way to have both – flowers everywhere while dining al fresco.

It can be difficult to look at our landscapes and decide what will work best for our aging bodies, but I think my policy of reigning in the hard work while amping up the enjoyment is a good place to start. That grassless, muddy expanse in front of my porch presents a great opportunity to redesign access to the house. The idea of sweeping the driveway up to the porch steps allows for a centerpiece garden in the bright sunshine.

So get outside and take a look with fresh eyes – you may have more possibilities before you than you think!

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