{the winter garden} trees: recycled

In late fall, when a gust of wind propelled a stray twig into our electrical transformer, rendering it useless, we weren’t thinking, “What a blessing!”  Our thinking ran more along the lines of “Where are the oil lamps and matches?” and “Can we manage to get everyone fed and out the door on time without power?”
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But after our power was restored and we had received a lengthy visit from the power company’s tree trimming crew, we were seeing things in a much different light.  After the last truck rolled down our driveway we were relishing our role as the owners of our very own freshly processed, full dump truck load of wood chips (and the promise of more for the taking if we wanted them).  Oh, the possibilities! 
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Since then, Cowboy, Jr., and Bug have spent two very cold, very long days and other spare moments in between putting our pile of gold to good use.
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Our top priority was covering and leveling the walkways between all of our raised beds.  Now that they’ve had some time to settle we have lovely cushiony pathways throughout our garden space and significantly fewer weeds to contend with this summer.
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With the garden finished and barely a dent made in our pile, we moved on.  Yesterday the mud puddle where I usually park was filled in and compacted (above),
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the trampoline received a new soft cushion of protection,
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and the blueberries and lilac bush received a good mulching (this one is a gamble, as there is quite a bit of evergreen in our chips, but since these plants haven’t been doing well anyway, we decided to go for it).
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Also, in late fall, inspired by a post (links to her site were not working at the time I posted—will try to edit later) at Chiot’s Run, we acquired 6 gigantic bags of leaves from my parents’ yard and used them as mulch in our flower and garlic beds.
Although I love winter, I usually find that after the holiday bustle and warmth has died down, I begin looking towards spring and the promise of the garden and all it brings.  I know, too, that this hard work of mulching and preparing that we (well, ahem, my loving family) do is even more important than the ordering of seeds and dreaming of bountiful harvests because it makes all of that “fun stuff” possible.
How are you preparing for spring in your garden?

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