For those of us in the back-and-forth weather between winter and spring – one day scarves and coats, the next short sleeves and open windows – it can be a crazy time of year.
The pull toward consistently warm weather becomes stronger with each intoxicating 60-degree breeze, and if it has this affect on us, we know it can be brutal on our kids. Why not try some gardening activities that will not only prepare you for the coming season in a practical sense, but can be spring-fever reducers in the process?
Take inventory of the tools and supplies you’ll need for your yard. Look through pictures in landscaping books to find the best flower and plant arrangement. Then help your kids brainstorm what you need for the work; shovels, seeds, trowels, gloves, pots – the possibilities are endless. I even draw crude little maps of where I’ll put which plant so when the ground softens, I’m ready to get digging.
Going crazy for some blooming flowers now? My husband and I have a tradition to ease this desire. Any time between Christmas and spring, we buy a potted plant from the grocery or flower store that has yet to blossom (usually a hyacinth because they smell amazing). For the next few weeks, we get to watch it bloom. Then when it’s finished, we have another bulb to plant in the yard. You could also buy some silk or fresh flowers to put in vases around the house for a splash of spring.
Start veggies, fruits, or flowers indoors in containers. Use anything from cut-up milk cartons to pots made specifically to get your seeds budding. Make sure you set them in a south-facing window for the best light exposure after they sprout.
Dole out the responsibilities. Is your oldest finally big enough to help with the mowing? How about your younger ones; are they able to help pull weeds or throw renegade rocks or wood chips back into the landscaping areas? Then there’s every dog owner’s favorite job – the pooper scooper. Charts are a colorful way to keep the kids and yourself on track with these outdoor chores.
Fortunately, we know that spring really does always come after winter. Sometimes it just feels like it takes longer to get here. If you spread these activities out over the next couple of weekends, your preparations will usher you right into warmer weather.