Now it’s spring, both by the calendar and in reality. We’ve had several days this week with high temperatures in the double digits (just barely, though, unlike the mysterious East, where summer arrived early). With daylight lasting longer as well, it’s time to get back into the garden.

So far, all I’ve done is wander around the place taking note of things that will need to be done eventually and picking up wind-pruned birch twigs and Ailanthus branches. Pruning — I’ve also done some of that myself, notably whacking hollies down to a reasonable height and shortening the lollipop photinia by two feet to prevent it from getting too friendly with the power line from street to house. But that’s all. There are still some of last year’s dead perennial stalks around, even as the plants prepare to start growing anew. And I haven’t even planted tomato seeds inside yet, something I usually do in mid-March. It’s  just as well that this spring looks like being cool and damp.

Today an unexpected project came up — removing parts of an old white lilac that developed a westward lean after recent windstorms, exerting pressure on the metal pole that anchors the far end of my clothesline. A section of the shrub now looms over a neighbour’s garage. I managed to extract several sections of the plant, liberating the clothesline pole and with luck reducing the possibility of further collapse for a while.

Slumping Lilac in Need of Removal

I have noticed this tendency of old lilacs to keel over. Usually there are enough new shoots to keep the plant going, but this habit is something to keep in mind if your garden has a mature lilac bush.

As if this garden needs more challenges, it has acquired a new one, in the form of the buck with the injured leg that turned up a few weeks ago. This week he was back, snacking on hyacinth blooms and tulip buds. Only the flowers of the hyacinths were eaten, but some of the tulips were reduced to half-inch stubs, so I wonder if they will survive. I can’t think of anything to do about this guy, since he can cruise the neighbourhood early and late, chomping plants while their owners are asleep or away at work. And he does add a certain excitement to the garden; I never know if I’ll see him out there.

Peering Over the Fence

So back to the endless list of Things To Do — turn the mess of the ex-vegetable patch into a “herb garden,” distribute the old compost and “manage” the new compost, edge all the beds, start tomato plants, hoik out dandelions, cut the grass. And keep an eye on that buck.