Waiting for spring in Minnesota

Nothing is more discouraging this time of year than getting pictures or reading blog posts about what is growing in friends’ yards. Here in Minnesota, the only thing new in our yard is the most recent bunny damage as the snow melts.

The dad, the big one, the little one and I have lived in this suburban Minneapolis house for just about five years. At the house closing, the previous owner said, "Oh, nothing will grow in that backyard." We've made it our goal to prove Helen Larson wrong.

Each year we've tackled a few projects, including garden beds, brick and pea gravel paths, a fire pit, and stone retaining walls. This year, in addition to maintaining our garden, we'll build a new deck and, if things go as planned, a little garden house.

We've had many failures and a few successes. Most of our neighbors don't garden. Most of them don't even mow their own lawn, so we are pretty sure the omnipresent pile of class five gravel in our driveway is how they identify our house.

Our house faces north and is in the middle of a hill sloping from back to front, so most of our yard is shaded. We have lots of rabbits and deer, lots of trees and lots of strong opinions, like how much I hate marigolds. Last week the snow began to melt and I noticed little crocus peeking up from the garden bed the dad ran over with a backhoe last fall. Things are looking up.