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The Ugly Time of the Year

March is probably my least favorite month in the garden. We have endured the slow, cold, gray, constant drizzle that is the Pacific Northwest for four months and, dammit, we've earned our bountiful explosion of growth. But March isn't giving it up. In fact, it is often the cruelest month occasionally tricking us with a very late snow. I am a Big Cry Baby when it comes to March, but at least I have stuff to do. That is what we call the Great Clean Up. Actually that makes things worse, because cutting back some plants makes it appear as if I've killed them. So. There you have it, the weather plus the ugly of the freshly-cut-back sub-shrubs make for a lovely "tundra" effect. Not the best look in the garden. My sore arms, bent back and crampy legs will tell you the snow is gone and the chores are tended to. To begin, the massive limbs that fell from the sheer weight of snow have been schlepped away along with the 4,876 pinecones. The grasses, large and small, have bee

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