That is May in a nutshell for me.
I love my oak trees for the most part and now they aren't trying to poison me with their prolific reproductive tendencies we are fast friends once more.
On the other hand, my ability to move more freely about my cabin also means no more excuses over jumping in to garden chores other folks have long since accomplished.
Every year it is the same. I know I can't work outside in April due to pollen. I know the chores will all be there waiting for me in May. I read about what I "should" be doing and I begin to look around our property with eyes that start to see every area more as a checklist of outstanding work to be done. It is daunting - no other word for it - to get back outside and have half of March and all of April's chore list to tackle in my garden.
For me it is an exercise in will to look at my flowers and enjoy them, rather than focusing on the weeds in the path or the divisions and transplanting that needs to be done.
The scale of work needed is large enough it can be paralyzing, but with years of similar late start freak-outs behind me I know just what to do. I start with one small job, get that done, and then begin another.
For instance... Out front there were two dead limbs in a redbud we'd thought was a goner. However, it not only didn't die, now it looks better than it has for a good three years so far.
I can't explain why or how the longest deepest drought followed by a fairly cold span of winter days would benefit a struggling redbud so I don't try. I look at it and love it for being so tough and yesterday I by golly clambered up onto our stone mailbox and from there, alternating with perching precariously on a step ladder, I got those dead branches pruned out.
Same goes for an althea out front. It had two dead branches yesterday. Today it doesn't.
Does that mean there aren't 391 pruning and other jobs to be attended to? No it does not. But two major eyesores out front, the ones that bothered ME the most, have been addressed. I can drive in and out and get the mail without feeling like I must avert my eyes.
The length of my May "to-do" list does not overrule the idea that these days I really am forced to pace myself. As a gardener closer to 60 than 50 I have learned the hard way not to push my limits they way I used to so take for granted. If I want my return to the garden to last without a retreat due to injury or overwork? I simply must plug away for a span of time and then turn and walk away.
At least a little.
If I'm not learning something while I'm gardening then I think I may be missing why I even ever tried to garden in the first place.
Plants will grow outside with or without me.
I like it best when they do so with my cooperation.
So welcome to you May! I'm happy to be back in my garden again!