But I have been raking out and mulching up the rafts and tons of leaves that spent the winter in my borders.
The weapon of choice this season is the electric lawn mower. The leaf-vac takes too blinking long. As for the mulcher/chipper with the Briggs & Stratton engine I borrowed from some friends last week, I couldn't get it started.
And although I'd swear that everyone else in the neighborhood must've dumped their leaves in my piles when I wasn't looking, I am making progress. At a blinding rate that should see me done sometime around leaf fall next autumn.
And this evening, under all those gray and brown leaves, look what I uncovered . . .
No, that isn't some dead man's fingers reaching out of a shallow grave.
It's the blanched version of some kind of hosta. Don't ask me what kind; my previous owners put it in, along with about a hundred of its kin.
Well, it seems like a hundred. And they do self-sow! I have mercy and leave them there because I haven't thought what else I might like instead.
This is a flowering quince.
At least, I saw a picture once that looked like it, and that's what it said it was. I found this shrub as a few poor, stunted, ground-hugging twigs with thorns and not a lot of leaves. I pruned it and propped it up on bricks and this is the reward I have for my charity.
Nice reward, actually. I just have to keep it tied back, or the thorns will lacerate anyone who tries to use the garden path.
This is one of the miniature rhododendrons I transplanted last fall, to get them out of the full sun where the POs' landscaper put them.
So far so good. Haven't killed them yet, as I did their cousin the azalea. They may actually survive.
This is a climbing rose I planted, Sympathie by name.
It'll have masses of bright red remontrant blooms when it gets really established. Right now I'm just pleased to see it's healthy and sprouting.
And these are the daffs I planted last fall.
They look kind of silly up against the fence, don't they? But now that I know how tall they get and what color they are, I can decide where I'd like to move them for next year. Think of it as an experimental bed.
So do you think it really is spring? Is winter really gone for good? I mean, the temperature got down to 26 degrees two nights ago; I had to do the ghost in the garden thing with the climbing rose!
I'll go with hope and say spring has truly come.
But if we get another four inches of snow before May, I won't be shocked or surprised.
I also won't shovel it. This time of year, that's the sun's job.