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I have rarely felt a case of the gardener guilts in mid-December. Gardeners are allowed to go whole hog on the holidays because, for most of us, there are few gardening tasks to be tackled at this time of year. The garden has been put to bed for the winter and it’s too early to plant seeds for next spring’s garden.

The creek through the back yard is full up and flowing fast.

But as most people in the northern half of the country have noticed, this is not a typical winter, so far, at least. We’ve had a couple inches of rain in the last few days and the temperatures for more than a week have been stuck in the 50-degree range. The normal temperature this time of year is a high of 35 degrees and a low of 19.

I never did get around to cutting down the monarda this fall, a job I like to do to keep the reseeding to a minimum. Look how green the grass is!

The ground is not yet frozen (or really, even thinking about it). The grass is greener than it usually is in early June. And the creek through our back yard is flowing at the same rate we see during big spring thaws. I can’t say I’m unhappy about any of it. Winter will come soon enough and there will be plenty of it.

It actually is pretty, just strange to see it this time of year.

The other day I was walking through the back yard and noticed a nasty weed in the garden. Without a thought, I just leaned over and pulled it out. Satisfied with the full root now in my hand, I came to the crazy realization that I’m certain it is the first weed I’ve ever pulled in December. Since then, I’ve noticed many other weeds in the garden standing out as bright green in a see of brown, all waiting to be pulled or thrive where they are. I should be out there pulling them.

Of course I’m busy with other things: Christmas shopping and baking and wrapping and decorating and partying. But as I was doing those things this weekend, I had that nagging guilt that sneaks up on a gardener who is neglecting a less-than-thrilling job that needs doing.

Just a little sneak peek of one of the containers.

As I finished up the outdoor decorations (photos to follow when it dries out a little) this weekend, I couldn’t help but think that if I put down the garland and instead put on my gardening gloves and got out there with my soil knife, I’d be a big leg up on the spring gardening duties. Oh well, old habits died hard.

How’s the weather where you are? Any gardening jobs that you really should be doing but have been pushing off for more seasonal duties?

6 Responses

  1. I keep hoping and praying that it will still be warm enough after the holidays to get out there and do a bit more too. After the family leaves on the 26th, I hope that it's warm enough to head out with some clippers and do some trimming. The other day, I was gathering some twigs for my outdoor arrangements. Normally I buy some dogwood. But this year, I took to the backyard and trimmed a beauty bush that was looking a bit wild. It felt like March out there. This weather can last till then as far as I'm concerned. But it likely won't.

  2. Yes! I know just what you are feeling! It was in the 50's here (outside of Boston) this weekend, and I was out in my yard, wandering around not sure what to do- I just felt the need to be out there because it was so warm. I did cut holly and evergreens from my shrubs to use in my widow box and front porch urn. I generally leave most of my perennials that go to seed alone til spring, but I almost cleaned them up just becausee I wanted to be outside!

  3. We are having the same warm weather here. It feels odd. I should finish cutting down some of the heavy self-seeders in the garden but can't hardly make myself do it. It is December after all.

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