Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring is Springing

Well, besides the positively schizophrenic cold-warm, snow-balmy days we've been having, that is. 
I love all the seasons here in Virginia. I mean just having four totally demarcated seasons is awesome. Spring may be my favorite though. I love watching everything come to life, walking outside to truly perfect weather, the days getting longer, and eating meals outdoors. More than anything though, I love to spend time doing yard work. Not even gardening per se, but hard, physical, tool-weilding yard work. 

We have a slight hill in our backyard along the far back edge which is one big, wild tangled mess of volunteer plants/weeds. In the summer, clematis,  English ivy, and some very thorny greenbrier seem to take over the entire 8 foot swath. Except for the part with the entrenched black raspberry bramble where they only seem to cover about half of it. I also have a lot of couple of magnolia, a dogwood, some juniper, a couple of different hollies, and some Rose of Sharon hibiscus trees/shrubs that multiply faster than anything I've seen. 

Eventually almost everything will probably come out, but because it's a slope I don't just want to tear things out until I have things to plant in place of what I remove. Otherwise our entire lawn will become a soggy, muddy mess. But it's going to be awhile before I start planting the hill myself; it's a large enough space that I want a landscape designer to look at it. In my mind, there are terraced garden beds with herbs and flowers, built-in benches, lighting, and maybe a slide with a knotted climbing rope to get to the top. Of course, my plans may be scaled back once budget enters the equation, but for now, my "vision" keeps me motivated to at least tame the wild that's there now. 

So a couple of times a week, I wrestle the rake through long grasses and various vines to try and get the layer of old leaves off of the ground. I prune the black raspberry so that it and its thorns only take over one area of the slope. I'm hoping to stake some of the canes so we get more fruit and it's easier to prune them in the future. I've been clearing off the English ivy that has climbed our back fence and invaded the neighbor's yard, and I'm trying to clear some paths through the vegetation so I can keep the pokeweed at bay when they start to turn into the overnight-eight-foot-high-monsters that they inevitably do. At some point there will be actual gardening too. I have loads of wild daffodils that need thinning after they bloom, same with the tiger lilies, and I'm at least going to replant the gladiolas. I also would like to encourage the peonies that I literally mowed over half of last year before they had bloomed and I knew what they were.

Plus, there's the vegetables. I always have big plans for vegetables, but I end up with mostly herbs and tomatoes. We had really good luck with squash in our community garden, but it was kind of a bust in our backyard last year. Plus the vegetables require more deer, squirrel, bird prevention which involves extra money, effort, and generally ends up being an eyesore, so I haven't bee super-excited about that part yet. Maybe I'll start expanding in the fall with cold weather veggies. Mmmm, kale, cauliflower, spinach.

The hacking and carting away, though, those things excite me enough to get out there every time the weather and the boyos have coordinated cooperation. C has gotten a little guff for my love of yardwork though. Today, one of our elderly neighbors commented to him that he had me "up working on the bushes again." He was playing soccer with Wiggle at the time. He told her that I liked to do it, that  I wouldn't let him do it until I tired out, but you could tell she wasn't convinced. Luckily, C's masculinity cannot be threatened by such a trivial thing. Plus, he helped me clean-up, so you won't hear any complaints from me.

Tonight, I go to bed tired, a little sore, and covered in scratches, but I'll be hoping for nice weather again tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sitting here laughing at the idea of C commanding that you go out and do some more yardwork!