What’s cold, bitter, always arrives at the wrong time, and never seems to want to leave?

No, the answer is not the second place winner of a drag queen beauty contest who’s had too much to drink, and refuses to leave your table.

Although I am sure that description could also be suitable for said drag queen.

No, I’m talking about WINTER!

Today I got to take a walk through of the house and yard that my friend is going to be working on all winter, and I got the all clear to start work this spring.  Excitement does not begin to describe how I’m feeling.  Both my brother and I got to see just what Dave is going to be doing to get the house in shape, and he went over some ideas he had for transforming it.  New porches, a driveway out front (parking is at a premium here, and apparently if you park in front of a neighbour’s house street side, they get a bit edgy), new basement floor, paint, new bathroom…it’s going to be transformed.  Excited doesn’t begin to describe how my brother and I are feeling right now.

What got me pumped was being able to get a closer look at the back yard!  My blank canvas…. a very white, blank canvas.

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So I was going with the idea of creating an enclosed space, something that was sort-of cloistered.  Luckily, there’s been trees trained around the yard.  I’m not sure what they are (they look like they’re maybe lilacs) but the snow is pretty deep so to traverse towards them would mean getting…my feet at this point were already really cold.  Minus 20 celsius, a wind chill.  You’re lucky you’ve got these pictures.

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The back of the lot has several spruces, a reasonably sized garage in the south west corner.  The actual garden plot fits behind the tree centre right of the picture, and goes towards the back.  I’m thinking this’ll be the new pond with a seating area under the spruces.

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So far, the back yard looks…well white.  There’s a lot of grass, some planting next to the house that looks like smaller lilacs (but I’m not sure).  Dave, the guy I’m buying the house from, tells me it’s a double lot.  After the driveway goes in front there’ll be about 1/2 open space for grass…or raised vegetable beds and flowers mixed is what I’m thinking long term.  There’s one elm in the front yard next to the sidewalk so I think shade and leaves won’t be that much of a problem.

Winter on the prairies forces otherwise impatient gardeners to be resourceful, and to develop a sense of patience that other gardeners in warmer zones aren’t used to.  Our growing season is marked by this period of stark whiteness, an imposed zen landscape.  This also forces us into maximizing our growing season, maximizing the amount of time and enjoyment we need to get from our green spaces.  I’m very excited to have the opportunity to have a space I can transform.

What’s cold, bitter, always arrives at the wrong time, and never seems to want to leave?

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