Itchin to get my hands dirty

By Carol / March 14, 2011 /

I’ve been off the farm for years, but I’m a farmer at heart. Every spring, I can’t wait to get outside and get some dirt under my fingernails. Friday was the day.

Temperature almost 60. Sunshine. Mild breeze. I was on it.  I removed the dried remnants of coneflowers and black-eyed Susans, astilbe and meadow rue. I picked up twigs knocked from trees by winter snow and wind. And I walked around the prairie.

This is the second full summer for my prairie. The first following a summer where the flowers and grasses reached full size.  As promised, the prairie stood strong throughout the winter. And it stands strong now. New growth is beginning to show at ground level, but it will be a long time before this year’s plants reach the height of last year’s.

I’m curious how the new growth will replace the old. My husband volunteered to mow it off.  I declined. Prairies existed before lawn mowers and I presume every square inch wasn’t tromped down by buffalo.  I could do a little tromping of my own, but I’m waiting. Impatiently as always.

Having spent my life making my gardens conform to my idea of beauty – tidy, weed free, contained – it remains a challenge to my sensibilities to just let it go. But I’m committed to trying with the prairie.

When I walked around the prairie and my hands were still itching to do something, I walked back to the gardens around the house to clean off more garden debris.  I’m still learning about prairies, but one thing I do know already – the prairie will do just fine without me.

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