Life Returns to East Tennessee

It’s been a few weeks! To be honest, I’m not sure if the break had more to do with exhaustion from finally finishing the master bedroom or with a general end-of-winter malaise that I feel every year about this time. I looked on Facebook. I start complaining about the weather and begging for spring about the middle of February. Every. Year.

But there are signs that life is returning to East Tennessee and for that, I am eternally grateful. Spring is my favorite season in this state. It’s really lovely, and it comes, mercifully, earlier than in the Midwest.

First, Pete’s been making a lot of progress on the front porch. We tore out the old posts and rails last summer after discovering some dry rot. We don’t think the previous owner used treated lumber when he built the front porch, and in the humidity of Tennessee, that’s a big no-no. It looked awful all winter, like the house had lost its smile. But it’s starting to come together. I’ll post more about that soon.


The Boy likes to help haul materials.


In the meantime, I got busy readying the garden for mulching next weekend. I wanted to get at some weeds (why are they always the first things that start showing life this time of year?). I’m sure my Grandma would have told me to cool it on the weeding, but I couldn’t wait! It was nice to get some (very bright) sun!


I love this time of year because I can start finding out what made it through the winter and guessing what I planted where.


I like to leave the twigs and branches from the previous year, even on plants that will start from the ground each spring. It keeps me from accidentally digging something important up in the spring when, surprise, I jump the gun on cleaning out the garden. Above, some catmint peaking out from the dirt…


…and some coral bells putting out some sweet new leaves. I know there are more frost days ahead, and I don’t want my babies to get too ahead of themselves because they’ll get bitten by a hard chill…but it’s hard not to keep dreaming about the day when it looks like this again…


…only better, because 4 springs of weeding and planting and dreaming and tending will have a BIG payoff this year. I can feel it!