Winter was hard on the rue, which looks begraddled. The deer have munched away on the rugosa rose, which nevertheless is spreading on suckers and looks a little crazy. The artemesia was a knobbly mess till I cut it back. Sow bugs and slugs munched the rising shoots of the calla lilies. The weeds, of course, thrived.

Still, my little spiral garden of mostly herbs and deer resistant perennials doesn’t look half bad on a sunny morning, despite my winter and early spring neglect.

It’s a good reminder that a little bit of work (in this case, a couple hours of weeding and sweeping) can make a big difference.

Here’s what’s blooming on the shady side: sweet woodruff (the plant in the banner picture at the top of my page) the corydalis in pots on the front step, the bleeding heart, the Mexican organge. Soon the rose campion will be blooming electric pink, and iris buds burst open.

Part of gardening is knowing what can survive my sporadic ministrations.