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I wrote this post on March 6th, one week before I threw a few things in a bag and left my apartment in Brooklyn Heights to escape the unthinkable over 6 weeks ago now. I have been planning this journal for awhile now. Of course a lot has changed in these few weeks, fear and uncertainty for sure but also a fierce desire to keep hold of ones dreams and aspirations. In the spirit of optimism, I will post the below as-is. We can only lean on each other at times like this and try to move forward as best we can. Please stay safe, be careful and keep on dreaming with me :)

James XOXO

March is pretty bleak in my neck of the woods. It's mostly cold, damp and dreary at best with an occasional snow storm or sunny day thrown in the mix. It's also that time of year when every few days the weather warms up just a little bit and reminds me that spring is just around the corner... which reminds me of all the garden chores that didn't get done last fall. Ugh.

For all you gardeners out there you know exactly what I’m talking about. The guilt of yet again not wrapping the yew hedge in burlap to prevent wind burn and forgetting to haul most of the terra cotta pots and planters into the barn and praying that they don’t shatter in the elements. Not to mention all the leaves that didn’t get raked or blown that form large unsightly frozen drifts all over the lawn and beds. Yeah I’m not perfect I keep telling myself, and neither is a garden.

March is also the time to start thinking about and planning all of the garden projects I want to achieve this year.

Here is my list:

1. Replace the hornbeams that didn't make it after my grand idea to plant a 100 foot long hedge to divide the front and back lawn. Eight out of 32 trees did not make it and it’s stressing me out; this is at the top of my list!

2. Finally finish painting my barn. It's only been 6 years since I started! Almost done. lol

3. Grade and gravel my drive and parking area.

4. Finish the stone border surrounding the Rose Garden and gravel the center for an al fresco dining room experience.

5. Plant a bearded iris border on either side of the flagstone walk from the Secret Garden to the Rose Garden. Too bad the 130 iris bulbs I so carefully dug up, cleaned and divided last year were left in the basement only to be eaten by mice during the winter!

6. Start planting the long shade border on the fence side of the lower lawn.

Seems like a lot but that’s how I like it! There is nothing more satisfying than getting down and dirty in the garden on my days off. Because it's only me out there, I'm gardening from dawn til dusk during the season. Now if I can only find someone to help me (this has also been on my list for 2 years) it might actually all get done!*

* in lieu of the current circumstances, I find myself in the garden every day now, so it looks like I might just get it done after all, and all by myself :)

A view of the Rose Garden with the old raised wood borders.

If you look closely you can see the doomed irises.

The cleaned iris bulbs and a winter feast for the field mice!

A view of the Black Barn from the Hydrangea Allée

A view of the Flagstone Walk. Won't it look great with those Irises?

The just completed Hornbeam Hedge. I can't wait to see how it fills out :)

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