Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back in the Garden, Back on the Road

I had a few days off, AND it stopped raining, so I took advantage of this by crossing a few things off my TO DO list:
  1. Vaccum the whole house and wash the floors. Check.
  2. Haul four weeks worth of trash, recycling and kitty litter to the transfer station. Check.
  3. Laundry and sheets- especially since Sorcha kindly left a dead, headless mouse in my sheets while I was away. Um- good kitty? Check. Also ironed.
  4. Visit the parents- coincided this with trash/recycling day and watered their garden. Check.
  5. Buy a lawnmower. Check. Sears Craftsman electric- I am nervous around motors and sharp spinning blades. I borrowed my neighbor's little B&D electric last year and it was just right for me. I looked for the same, but Home Depot just had some no-name, so I went with Sears- I know they fix and back their products. While I was out, I also hit JLPlum's, Christmas Tree Shop and a few other stores. Woo-hoo!
  6. Buy a lopper to trim out the forsythia bushes in front, the spirea next to the steps and the lilacs on the upper level. Check.
  7. Mow the "lawn". This is not actually grass, but a succession of weeds. The upper level was knee-high; the lower level not so bad because Ted had come over and mowed it once for me. Before I could do this, I had to weed- as in bend over and yank out by hand thousands of knee-high, tough-stalked weeds. I don't know what they are but they are not grass, they are pervasive, and they grow like crazy. I also had to...
  8. Trim out the forsythia bushes in front, the spirea next to the steps and the lilacs on the upper level.
  9. Trim out the dead lilacs; the last of the big hedge work we started in June. There were a lot of dead lilacs on the upper level. See?

That's a lot of stumps. Glad I had the lopper for the the smaller branches, but I used the shark saw on the bigger stumps. Still need to rake but first the lawn...
I also pulled an incredible amount of weeds:
There is still a considerable amount of gardening to do; I need to weed my stone garden out, & dig up a marsh rose in it that's trying to rule the world (I cut it back, but it needs to be eliminated.)
Lora came over and offered me a Rose of Sharon bush that will do quite well in place of the marsh rose (which is too thorny and send out huge long creepers that tear me up when I'm gardening). I am pretty excited, so I will do the perennial garden next. Because I knew I'd be digging and planting, "I was at Home Depot and could not resist these:
Fleabane, phlox and something else purple. All the deadly things in my garden have died off (gardening irony?), so I have some empty spaces. Also, between Ted's mow job and the avid helpers, my butterfly bush got yanked up. I'll need a few more fillers, and I usually get my plants at a nursery, but these will do fine for now and the price was right. So "I am off again on my travels, then when I return, I will finish the yard, if the creek don't rise and the Good Lord's willin'.
The kitties will be pissed- they love the jungle. Can you even see Sorcha hiding in the perennial bed weeds? Only if I move them...
Of course, Cujo prefers to just loll around in the catmint:
So the "lawn" looks at least more controlled. I need another extension cord so I can reach the very end, but the jungle has been tamed.

Hey, look! The Alzheimers fundraisers forgot to take down their sign from the race last week!
Is that more irony?
OK, I am all stinky and sweaty, so it's time to take a shower and get packed, and get ready for a cookout. I am so psyched, but I will have to leave it early to drive up to the place I am working tomorrow (more that 2 hours away from where I will be:( !)
But my jungle is starting to be tamed. Look at these rust-colored daylilies!
And the mallows! I found a scion growing in the center of the lower lawn, so I transplanted it to the corner and I hope it takes. This one is the mommy...
Even though I am far from done, I made a very good start, especially since I have to do it in spurts. My energy is not consistent, and I wheeze when I work too hard. But I am glad I got so much done, and I look out and feel satisfied. I think the day is fast approaching when I" will need to hire someone to come and do the yardwork for me, but for now, it's ok.

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