I’m a lazy gardener sometimes, I admit it.  Last fall I let everything stay right there in the garden to winter over.  By the time the end of the growing season is here, I’m just about done with watering and weeding.  Cleaning out the beds is the last thing I want to tackle at the end of the season.  So, I usually leave those tasks until spring.  Today the sun was shining and it was in the mid 50’s—a perfect day for cleaning up the planting beds.  I put on my new pink garden boots and headed out to the beds.  We’ve had quite a bit of rain lately, so the yard has some muddy spots.  I began the arduous task of pulling all the dead plants stalks, then the weeds.  As I was clearing a spot that I used for herbs last year I was pleasantly surprised to find 2 oregano plants, thyme, sage and parsley.  These plants typically are not hardy to our area, but because they were covered with the other plant material (weeds, etc.)– they managed to make it through the cold, snowy winter.  I also found my strawberry plants coming back to life in the large container they grew in last summer.  And, finally, the garlic is sprouting up as well. These surprises are part of what makes gardening worthwhile.  Yes, it’s hard work, but there is always a reward, no matter how small, that keeps me returning, just like the plants, year after year

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