After almost a month of enjoying unseasonably warm weather and watching masses of leaves and flowers unfurl from sleepy stems, I decided that spring was here to stay. I took in the scene of my tropical garden’s gingers, tree ferns and bromeliads and decided that it was all too good to be true. So I checked the forecast, muttered an obscenity or two, and got out the frost blankets because – surprise! – there was a hard freeze warning that night.

Luckily for me, most of my plants are hardy evergreens.

Cool-season veggies seem to have enjoyed the cold!

Despite the surprise cold snap, I seem to have caught this ‘spring fever’ thing that I’ve heard so much about. I really can’t get enough of gardening lately, and my toddler certainly doesn’t mind getting to play outside more often. Having spring fever, I decided, was pretty great. I happily sneezed and sniffled my way through weeding, mowing and edging and enjoyed the view of blooming orchids and azaleas through the fog of my teary eyes. Gardening makes me emotional, you see. Emotional and itchy. When temperatures reached the 80’s one day, I became so caught up in my spring fever that I overexerted myself, collapsed on the grass and likely got dehydrated. Having spring fever, I then decided, wasn’t all that great. But the next day I still couldn’t get enough gardening. It’s just as well – summer will be here in a month, I’m sure.

I protected these nun orchids from the freeze…

As well as these bromeliads and cordylines.

Gardening with my son is usually all fun and games, but sometimes, I do have to put my foot down and get onto the little guy. It’s unfortunate that I have to be the bad guy every now and then, but somebody has to be the responsible one, right? After all, how will he stay clean unless I get up from my gardening to wag a dirt encrusted finger and shout “Hey! Stop spraying the hose in the dirt and getting all muddy!” and then “point that nozzle over here to wash off my muddy hands.” While digging the other day, I found an earthworm and let him play with it for a while, as long as he was gentle. After inadvertently slicing through more worms with my spade, I found another intact one, handed it to my son and warned ‘make sure you don’t hurt it…” Sometimes getting onto him is a matter of safety. I’ll often catch him recklessly running over loose pavers (that I hadn’t gotten around to fixing), and I’ll obviously have no other choice but to act decisively and shout “Hey! You might get hurt!” I’ll fix the pavers later, I tell myself, because somebody has to be the responsible one. Eventually.

Nothing like a tiny lawn to enjoy in the garden!

I should probably pick up those rocks.

Yardwork has gotten a lot easier now that I’ve traded in my riding mower for an old-fashioned and gas-free reel mower, and my new half-moon edging tool keeps me from getting sprayed by the string trimmer’s onslaught of dirt and grass juices. I could claim that I’m being environmentally friendly, but I’m really just too lazy to perform maintenance on the mower. Besides, my throwback approach to lawn care makes me feel kind of cool. I can spot my neighbors glaring in wonder at my old-school ways, but I feel the way hipsters must feel when they lug record players and typewriters to the park and congratulate each-other on their quirkiness. With that same kind of confidence, I forge through the grass with my manual mower and smile confidently through beads of sweat at passerby. I’ve got spring fever, after all.