No spade sharp enough

I can see spring. Sunday, though, I had to admit I was delusional.

I have been able to see spring for pretty much all of winter. First off has been the weird weather, without any terribly long cold stretches. Then there is my stubbornness in not pruning the butterfly bushes. We have three at the edge of the yard and I love the silhouettes, so I let them stand all winter.

Sunday, it was bright and enough snow had melted away that I could see bare dirt in my driveway. (It’s not paved, so this is OK.)

I padded around a little and came inside, complaining to my beloved. It’s so bright out that I really want to work on the yard, I said, but it’s too cold and the ground is frozen. He gave a sort of “what did you expect?” grunt.

I know it’s way too early to plant anything. In fact, I told him I was largely fine with living in Michigan, except I wished the growing season were longer.

Instead I am contenting myself with looking through a colorful guide published by a plant supplier, making note of possible additions to the yard, preparing a list to take to my dad so I can ask, “Am I crazy to think this can thrive here?” What the book calls Zone 5 and what Zone 5 actually will support are not always the same, I have learned, and once I factor in my sandy soil and general inattention once plants are in the ground, I need the hardiest of specimens.

This post originally appeared on, the online home of the Midland (MI) Daily News. Republished with permission.

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