Friday, May 8, 2015

Operation Landscape Control

May, otherwise known as the time of year I must face the jungle my backyard has managed to become in the 45 days or so it's been since we last had snow... You might thing I'm joking, but things can get out of control back there quickly. My house lot is just under an acre total and is right in a neighborhood in the city limits, so it's not a lot of land. It is as much as I can possibly handle though.

Here's a strategically posed selfie from a couple of weeks ago; y'all can't tell that it's a jungle back there, can you? Well, it was - just in the areas you can't see. Hahaha!

This past Sunday, the fella came over, chainsaw in hand, and cut up three giant limbs that had fallen over the winter in my backyard. He chopped and loaded the heavy stuff into my lawn wagon while I picked up sticks and drove the wagon around to the curb for unloading. For three hours or so, we both worked pretty hard AND HE DIDN'T COMPLAIN, NOT EVEN ONCE!!! Do y'all know how rare that is? At least it has been with the men in my life prior to this point...lesson in point, right?

Of course, the chopping and stacking was really just step 1 in my 'reclaim the backyard' movement. On Sunday, I also worked on clearing the three inch depth of wet and decaying leaves off of my patio that had fallen since Christmas. The fella spent the rest of his time using giant handheld weedwhackers on the little trees and bushes that had sprouted up this spring season. Once we'd made a good attempt at that, I called it a day. I'd had enough manual labor evidenced by the beginning formation of callouses on my delicate hands. I wish I were joking.

Here's the ginormous pile of brush we accumulated to put at my curb. It was way bigger than it looks in this picture. (Why does that strike me as something a man might say? ;)...)

On Monday after school, I forced myself to come home that evening and mow the backyard. Who wants to do that after working all day? More importantly, who wants to do that on a beautiful weekend? Workday work was the winner then. I'm probably the only person you'll meet who mows her lawn in a dress from school, but I was like, "Why dirty up something else?" Yes, seriously. Time to get to work, I told myself. After all, I needed to chop up all those decayed leaves I'd swept off into the yard, and things were starting to get pretty bushy lawn-wise 'round back. I don't really mind mowing in and of itself. I have a riding lawnmower, so it can be a pretty Zen-like experience if I put in my headphones and just allow myself to be lulled by the sound of the blades and the scent of the fresh-cut grass. When the weather is mild, it's actually an enjoyable experience. (In July, when it's 104 degrees at 7 pm, I don't care for that Zen experience quite so much.)

Check out Charlie-dog watching me mow the grass as he hid in a flower bed behind the garage that has been sorely neglected. Yes, those are weeds all around him. I told y'all that my backyard was a work in progress, okay?  I don't get many pics of him because he's usually moving or doing something annoying, but I guess I love him a little bit.

As I mowed, I realized two important things.

First, my lawn is a veritable minefield of poisonous plants. Check out all the pesky plants of evil poison I found as I cut the grass. (At least I'm pretty sure they're poisonous. Isn't it, leaves of 3 leave them be and leaves of 5 cause you to hive? Idk how accurate that is, but they just look like they're itching to, well, make me itch.) Have I ever told y'all about the time I had poison ivy for THREE FRIGGIN' MONTHS one summer? Oh, no? Well, we'll save that for another rant at another time. (And yes, I do see a lot of leaves there too. Dang those giant trees of mine! I never get all of the leaves picked up.)

What in the world should I use to get rid of them? I'll have to wear long sleeves, long pants, socks, and gloves to even try to treat the dang things. I'm THAT allergic to yard fauna and flora.

Second, my peonies are starting to bloom. Happy, happy, joy, joy. The bud that hasn't fully opened makes me happy, but I love that fully opened flower the best. They're just a fabulous shade of blush, almost like the color of a newborn's cheeks. If I could just figure out how to totally denude the peonies of ants without denuding their blossoms, then my life would be complete. Also, notice how I managed to use nude twice in the sentence just before this one. I crack myself up because I'm 12 years old on the inside...on a good day. Let's face it: I'm afraid to bring the flowers indoors because of the ant factor. I'm soooo not a fan of critters.

Sidebar - anybody ever notice how risque the stamen and pistil of a flower are? I guess I'd never really thought about it. Wowsa - it's getting like National Geographic up in here. ;)

On the happy note of peonies, I think I'll stop my update of Operation Landscape Control at Maison de Lowder. This weekend, I plan to continue to beat my yard into submission. Stay tuned for another update soon!

Peace out my gardening peeps.

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