“In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move.” – Henry Rollins
Going to school for horticulture has taught me a lot about the environment. I have always been an advocate for the planet, and now I am really learning the fundamentals of what it takes to have a healthy planet. And if you haven’t heard it by now – news flash – the planet is in trouble on its current trajectory. Every little bit helps.
Remember my composting blog? I bought a tumbler and a counter top container, and so far have almost filled BOTH sides of the tumbler. I even took the hair in the shower drain and the lint from the dryer and put it in the compost! Before I throw anything away I ask myself if it can be composted instead. I am even ready to tackle a composting bin in my back yard – go big or go home!
As the calendar turns to March, I am just ITCHING to get out into the yard and do some work. But we had to take an important first step and get rid of the invasive plants that grew in our backyard, mostly honeysuckle. I am SURE you have seen this all over the place, it grows prolifically along roadsides, the understories of forests, and in just about everyone’s yard. It is native to northeastern Asia, and has no known enemies. The birds love the red berries, and then poop them out all over the place where the plants take root and grow like crazy. They have white flowers in mid to late Spring, and their leaves stay green well into the fall. Photos: http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/honeysuckle
I came to realize that if I wanted to improve my yard, I had to get rid of this stuff first. I hired a local company, Indigenous Landscapes, to come and take it all down. It took them about 3 hours to cut it down and into pieces to line our fence. In a year the branches should break down. It is done, looks great, and makes me very happy!
There are a few more steps I need to do before I can plant, because the stumps will actually sprout new leaves. That’s when they will get doused with herbicide (which I usually try to avoid, but nothing else works with honeysuckle). A few weeks after that I intend to put some seeds down to grow NATIVE plants that will attract all the beneficial insects and birds.
I started thinking about this process and how it closely resembles the human process of rebuilding. If you want to grow, you need to get the shit cleared out of your life. If I were to ask you what was holding you back from being the truest sense of you, what would you name? That’s what needs to go. It doesn’t all have to be at once, it can be gradual. I would love to remove not only the honeysuckle, but about 1/3 of my turf too, but I can’t do it all right now. One step at a time. I will rebuild the area that was cleared in stages as well – kill the honeysuckle, plant seeds, and much later plant trees or shrubs along the fence line. But I have a plan. Same for working on yourself–identify manageable steps and create a plan of attack.
What does all this mean for you?
- Identify what junk needs to be cleared from your space – it could be honeysuckle in your outdoor space, or negative thoughts in your indoor head space.
- Take small steps to clear it out – dig some plants out of a corner of the yard first, or have an inspiring mantra for your indoor head space.
- Have a plan to replace it all with beneficial things – flowering native plants in your outdoor space, or positive, productive thoughts in your indoor head space.
Invest in yourself and take time to go from dark and dreary to bold and colorful.
P.S. Some garden centers are already promoting that they have spring annuals like pansies. I say bring on Spring!!
“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!'” – Robin Williams
I’m not a trained professional, but if you ever need to talk, contact me.