Feeling a little overwhelmed....

lavender_lass(4b)April 23, 2011

I went out to work in the gardens...and there's so much to do...and the dirt is still too wet to move anything very large. Kind of a trowel only, situation. Did I mention, I have so much to do?

So, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.

I tell myself it doesn't all have to be done at once...and maybe I'm taking on too much...but I know it will be beautiful by June. It's just muddy and little weeds coming up everywhere and I do NOT want another summer of weeds in my kitchen garden, like last year.

Maybe I should have picked labor over plants, on CMK's question! LOL At least for the next few weeks. I have grass and wormwood coming up all over the kitchen garden...and I need to spend a couple of weeks, just getting the front beds ready.

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. I really feel better already!

Okay, so focus on one bed...get it done and then move on. So, I'll start with the little bed under the Italian plum trees. I'm off to plant the woodland strawberries (and move the ones the deer are eating) and plant them with my two woodland (?) phlox (very pretty purple flowers) violets and lavender alyssum.

Does anyone else feel a little overwhelmed? Too long a winter, too wet a spring and now, too many weeds? Please share so I know I'm not alone :)

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lydiasmomma(z4 NY)

Yeah... last year we brought our third child home from Ethiopia as a crazy toddler who was into absolutely everything. Then I had a wicked case of Mono from April-June and missed Spring entirely. I never did catch back up and everything went to heck, so I'm feeling very overwhelmed this Spring! Plus I may have ordered ungodly amounts of veg. seeds, potato and onion sets, 5 apple trees and a pie cherry... What was I thinking?

I also have a big hankerin' to turn the center of our U-shaped driveway into a beautiful courtyard type area inspired by Mary Lu's photos that I have drooled over for the last few years. DH thinks I am out of my mind, but Hey! I tell him, it's less to mow!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 8:27PM
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Renee, congratulations on your new child. Wow. that is a big step. Tell us more.

Lavender have you watched a BBC show called the Edible Garden? Lovely show. I just felt overwhelmed watching the star trying to deal with her small backyard veggie garden. she did so much to work on her yard and then hail comes on to destroy her work.. Mucky soil, rainy days.. yet the yard came to life.. Watch it on Youtube if you haven't seen it yet.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 8:51PM
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I was feeling overwhelmed back when the 8 ft. of snow finally melted and I saw all the work that needed doing to clear the winter debris out of the flowerbeds. The first decent day when I could get out there I bundled up in plenty of layers, grabbed my small collapsible barrel and a rake and just started. I figured I had to start somewhere so I picked a bed that wasn't too huge and intimidating and once that one was cleaned up, moved on to the next.

I'm nearly done and I did it all myself which feels pretty good. It just took a lot of effort but I paced myself and am glad it's finally almost done. Fingers crossed we get a break from the rain and I can finally clear the small bed under my crabapple tree. I need to get the hay bales loaded onto my truck and dumped down back out of sight.

I laid down lots of cardboard/newspapers & mulch last year so the weeds are much fewer and farther in between...so far. You're on the right track: "Okay, so focus on one bed...get it done and then move on." Keep in mind how pretty it will look once the worst is behind you!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 7:38AM
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I am feeling very overwhelmed this year. Bermuda grass has invaded two of my gardens really bad. We are comtemplating just moving out what we want to keep and basically start over. One of the beds is my sedum/succulent bed and you just cannot separate the sedum from the grass. I have been pulling out small pieces of sedum and potting them up so I have good clean plants to replace the grass invaded ones.

I really think the key is to concentrate on one section at a time and get it to the point you like it and then move on. I do think we all as gardeners feel overwhelmed in the spring regardless of how our gardens look. There is just so much general clean-up and planting to do and for many of us around the country the weather has NOT co-operated ......


    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 7:43AM
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Yes, as Lynne said,the feeling is entirely normal, big garden or small garden. Let's face it, we're off and running from April until October when the garden goes back to sleep for the winter. Unless you can hire a full time gardener to do all or help with the work, you won't have a magazine picture flower or veggie garden. This probably doesn't help much at least you know I sympathize.

My main problem is I'm lazy about trimming the small and odd areas of grass with the push mower after I mow the lawns. "I'll get it next time", is my motto. Next time comes and the grass is a foot high!

Weeding one bed at a time DOES work. Plus you might not want to start ripping out those weeds too early or when the beds are soaked, often a plant gets its roots disturbed that way. I'm always doing that to Iris because the weeds grow up and in between them.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 9:24AM
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koszta_kid(Iowazone 5)

I was overwhelmed this year also. Didn't get beds cleaned out last fall.But my weed is creeping charlie. And dividing plants to give away.One lady said she would take them.And then said where (I) could plant them for her. She has NEVER worked outside the home.I going to dig out my sedum and take some to plant sale for local park repairs. Putting down rock for some mulch.Can buy sepitc tank rock is small enough to make paths. Go to local gravel pit buy it by 5 gallon buckets-very cheap and looks nice. Have to load it myself in buckets. And DH will help.Going to to put wet newspaper under it.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 9:49AM
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I did get almost my whole bed weeded...and planted my strawberries! So far, the deer have not found them :)

While I was working, I found some daffodils blooming on the other side of the farmhouse. I'll post pics when I get back. Happy Easter!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 10:30AM
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Yes, I'm feeling overwhelmed, but not as bad this year - I'm finally retired and can spend a great deal of time in the garden. Unfortunately now I'm expanding my horizons with a huge wide curved flowerbed that runs about 70' feet along one side of my yard. There's always an urgency for me to get plants planted, mulch in, etc. before the heat sets in, and so far I'm on schedule, but can see the large flowerbed is not going to happen on my timetable, due to my son, the contractor, apparently is putting his mother last on his list - he's going to fix minor drainage problems before I can proceed. All threats, guilt trips, etc. are not working (seriously, though, I DO know he's overwhelmed, it is spring). Once it gets hot things will slow down and I'll get a start, have potted up shrubs, roses and such for fall planting.

In this area we must use edging or the bermuda and St Augustine will quickly take over. He tells me we need huge loads of landscape soil for this bed; I wonder how he will react when I tell him about using roundup, then using the lasagne method with mulch, which I've always used with success, forget that expensive soil). Mother knows best.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 10:07PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

LL, I'm glad you got some tasks done in the garden. I'd love to see some pictures!

I'm not sure why, but I'm not feeling too overwhelmed this year? Maybe I should take my temperature because that's not normal for me. We had snow on the ground it seems like forever. I was going to get out to spray some deer/rodent repellent on Sat but alas, it was snowing. Really? Snow? I've been more anxious about things like perennials I started from seed and WS perennials and stuff coming back in the garden. I worry about why one seedling all of a sudden died and will the others follow, will the WS sprouts do OK (this is basically my first "real" year of WS), will the trees that the voles almost girdled survive, where is my double bloodroot, etc...etc....It's things like that making me feel overwhelmed and anxious.

I try to work one bed at a time but I swear I have Gardener's ADD. I see something else in the yard and go over to that, then I pull weeds there and then prance over to somewhere else. But I do find that you can get a heck of a lot of work done in the garden if you give yourself a couple hours at a time (sometimes time is hard to come by though) and I think knowing how much I can really accomplish in chunks of time makes me rest a little easier. I did get my tall grasses cut back (well, all but the beast that is 12' tall) so I feel better about that! We're away now for a week just during peak garden-cleanup time. I'm sure the voles and deer are partying. I swear they know when we go away and call their friends.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 8:07AM
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Ogrose- It sounds like it will be a beautiful bed. My mom is the same way...she retired a few years ago and now she's even busier in the garden, because she added more beds. This year is the shade garden :)

Thyme- I hope your WS plants do well. I've never tried it, but I think here, it would be spring sewing...although, you've had a really late spring this year, too.

I think the voles and deer DO tell each other! LOL

Here's a picture of the daffodils, on the other side of the farmhouse.

And here's a picture of some violets blooming, in front of one of the sheds.

I didn't plant any of these...the daffodils are from my husband's grandmother's garden and have naturalized over the last 60 years. The violets just show up, but I'm thinking of moving some to the shade garden. I need something to crowd out the stinging nettle...and they just might do it!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 10:14AM
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Okay, misery does like company!!lol! I feel better now just Knowing, that I'm not the only one feeling overwhelmed! I have the Hort Soc. coming on saturday, and am SCRAMBLING to get the yard tidied up, never mind all the planting that needs to be done(have to create the beds first!) Got pnumonia, lost 10 days cuz of that, then the weather has been bad, I'm not a organized gardener, I think my style is Jane-O-Sidetracko, with a Lazy factor....Plus I come up with great ideas,which ususally require scrounging items for said project(think I'm up to project #879!lol!)so> many "stashes" of said materials)around the yard! But this Garden Tour is just the ticket to get me kick started with lots of the projects. I have had big piles of bricks/blocks/soil, piled up all around and now it is being utilized>YES! My "Vision" is starting to come together! One feature of my yard is the pond, and I had spent 1/2 a day cleaning it out redoing it, and added kitty litter to the tops of the waterlilies I replanted...and I used the wrong kind of kitty litter!!! I have a huge milky pond with "Clumping" kitty litter in it!!!! ARG!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 10:50AM
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Daffodils are so cheery and so strong. They remind you that
someone you knew or someone you did not know planted and enjoyed them long ago.

As for your nettles, Eat them! Be sure you wear gloves when
you cut them and rubber gloves when you wash them. They taste like slightly sour spinach and give everyone vitamin C.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 10:56AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Everytime I look at our back yard I feel overwhelmed. But the other day I went out and spent 45 minutes pulling weeds. I got a 10 foot square done (yes, THAT many weeds) but now I can see all the bermuda grass I need to kill, lol (which I never had before).
I only have 1/2 an acre more to weed, and that had the fewest weeds.
We built the huge stone garden last week, and the soil in and around it is ROCK hard clay. Terrible compacted stuff that needs most of the fortune of compost I purchased dumped into it and mixed up together. I spent 1/2 hr. turning over and breaking up clumps of clay today and that was a 4' patch!!
Luckily I found two folks who have crazy like minds like I do and like to work for 4 hours a day or so, and work very hard during that time. One is thinking of borrowing a tiller from the place we met and trying to mix everything up together to save time so we can get this planted and beautiful.
I am still waiting for the guy to come and bulldoze the mounds of soil the contractor left as "top soil" (no, it's not!!) so that the fence can go up easily.
And then of course I still don't have a contractor to work in our back yard. I HOPE (fingers crossed) the guy doing the lumpectomy in the back yard will do it......

Sigh. Overwhelmed and feeling like I live in the money pit.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 10:27PM
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It's just the spring sputters. We've been wanting it and longing for it and waiting for it, but heck! It's a lot of work...

"The ground is a mud hole or the the dirt is rock hard.
The weeds have been growing all over the yard.
There's plants that need planting and seeds to be spaced
But all those darn weeds are all over the place"

My spring came before yours, but I think I was on one forum or the other every day for a while, talking about how tired I was, and how little time I was able to work before I gave out.

But we get back into the groove,and it sounds like you are already there...a precocious gardener! How about that.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 12:08AM
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gail_ish(5a ON)

Oh, me too! Can I jump on the âÂÂoverwhelmedâ bandwagon? This weekend was my busiest weekend of the year because IâÂÂm the music director at my church & there was a celebration every day - Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday! So, of course, my family decided that Easter supper should be at my house! I still hadnâÂÂt gotten all the kitchen cabinet doors back up from the repainting, the dining room was a mess from re-varnishing to of the room doors (drop cloths & saw horse) and the whole house needed cleaning because like Calamity J, I was sick for 2 weeks. So it was a mad scramble to get everything presentable for the big supper yesterday. The one good thing about having people coming is that itâÂÂs motivation that I wouldnâÂÂt normally have when itâÂÂs just me having to look at it - haha!
But the darned quack grass has been busy outside while IâÂÂve been busy inside & it all looks a mess. I had piled whole newspaper sections (not just a few sheets) covered by literally 10 inches of wood chips & still the quack grass comes up. And you canâÂÂt buy Grass-B-Gone in Canada, so after a lot of internet & Gardenweb forum searching, I have decided my only option is to go with the aluminum flashing underground around all the beds, because I just canâÂÂt keep up with all the weeding. And like Kokszta Kid, I didnâÂÂt cut anything down last year, but at least the house it tidied up, so as soon as the good weather comes back, I can get out there & get started. The problem is I also have gadd like Thyme2dig (gardener attention deficit disorder - or is it gardener add because IâÂÂm always add-ing projects to my list!!). So I want to get started on lining those beds, but then there are the window boxes I want to add, and I have vowed that I will not have a single unsown seed this year! So I might alternate - do one bed, then build a window box, so a couple packetsâ¦

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 12:12PM
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Thank you all for sharing! It's good to know I'm not the only one feeling like I'm getting a late start and already falling behind. It does help that one bed is almost finished and I have the front beds close to being weeded :)

Kay- Great poem...and so true! LOL

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 1:02PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

OT ...

Ianna, I don't know if you visit the Conversations side, but Renee posted info about the adoption over there. Thought you'd like to know since you asked about it.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 1:34PM
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