I really tried. I ventured out into my winter-burned, long-forsaken yard last weekend with every intention of sprucing it up. Trimming back the dead butterfly bushes. Raking up the Himalayan-sized mountains of leaves.
But it’s sad, isn’t it? Even depressing? Spending a beautiful weekend trying to improve a brown, sickly-looking yard that resembles a Siberian waste dump.
So if you’re like me — suffering from pre-spring yard depression — you need some tips to overcome those landscaping blues:
• Don’t take the comments of neighbors personally when they say things like, “Boy … um … you really nailed the Colorado wildfire look!”
Just shake it off. Maybe they mean it in a nice way. Like how a forgotten Gateway to Hell might actually appeal to some people. Besides, positive thinking will help you with great comeback lines. For instance, “Boy, your hair stylist really nailed my dead bougainvillea look!”
• Recognize it’s not your fault. That’s half the battle. The other half the battle is recognizing it IS your fault. That your precious plants wouldn’t have burned in the freeze if you had covered them like your neighbors. Or if you had raked, say, once the entire winter. Or if you didn’t have a dog who runs through wood chips like a demon-possessed bull. Instead, put the blame where it’s due: global warming or Southern pine beetles or Yankees. The more irrational and absurd, the better you’ll feel.
• Do some yoga or mediation (maybe acupuncture) before you try to start your lawn mower the first time. Because let’s be honest: It’s not going to start the first time. It’s not going to start the 300th time. You’ll pull your shoulder out of socket before it will start. Yoga or meditation will give you the strength, clarity and mental fortitude to see that the only solution is running it over with your car. (Ironically, at this point it might actually start.)
• Read all the spring gardening advice you can find on the Internet. You know, tips on how far to cut back plants. Giving your roses food. Planting now before the heat of the summer arrives. Read it all! Really do your research. This will make you feel so much better — like you know something! — when you give up and hit the sofa with a beer and a bag of chips. Understanding how to fix your problems will chase away the spring blues. Avoiding those problems altogether will keep them away.
I can tell you from personal experience, your pre-spring yard depression will be gone before you know it. Besides, if you give Mother Nature enough time, she’ll cover up those unsightly brown spots with acres of fresh, green weeds. And you don’t have to get depressed about that until summer.