Friday, June 22, 2012

Another Outdoor Project

Behind the house, next to the deck and the air conditioning unit, is a large flower bed. It used to, when we moved here ages ago, have peonies in it. But I didn't like peonies so close to the house. Peonies need ants to help them blossom and I could just see the problems that would create. So, we dug up the peonies. That allowed some tulips which had been buried by the peony bushes to blossom. The area was flowers for awhile and then a small garden when the garden I had at the back of the property got to be too much of a chore.

But, gradually, as my ability to pull weeds and kneel to dig in the dirt became restricted, I fell into a depression about the state of the lawn and the gardens. Weeds and volunteer trees overtook sections of gardens and just grew. Occasionally, I would make an effort to clear something but I tend to look at the huge picture, which makes me very depressed at all that should be done. Instead of breaking things down into, "Do this much today", it becomes, "I'll never get this cleared so why bother?" The futility of doing everything becomes the futility of doing everything and I give up before I even start.

In the glorious warmth that was March, Zeke came over and cleared the yard of winter debris in anticipation of having to start mowing earlier than he expected. One of the things he did was clear the trees behind the house.

I had trimmed back some branches last July, branches that were over the AC and over the deck. Zeke took it one further and really cleared things out. I have this amazing sundial which has always sat behind the house. It was a Mother's Day present some 25 years ago.

Of course, every spring and fall it has to be adjusted so it tells the correct time, but it was buried in the brush. Zeke cleared the trees down to trunks. All I had to do was go out with my Round-Up and spray the trunks. Round-Up will kill the tree trunks and, probably next year, they can be removed much easier.

Well, the weather being what it was, I couldn't get out there to spray. You need 2 days above 60 and without rain. April and May were cool and wet. Trash trees, as we call them, being the opportunistic plants that they are, regrew. The back looks like this now.

Now, I can, very easily, get depressed, throw up my hands and decide I'm terrible; beyond terrible, horrible, awful, for not spraying these back when Zeke had so meticulously cleared the area. That little voice has been sitting on my shoulder scolding me this week when I've come home and watched the trees reclaim the space in this heat. They love it. I feel miserable looking at this and thinking of how it could have looked had the weather cooperated and I had gotten right on it.

I'm going to fight this. First order of business is to get the front steps painted. Then, I will sharpen the loppers, haul the Round-Up up from the basement and get to work on pruning things back and spraying. I've been telling myself, "Baby steps. It's like a cross-stitch. Each section contributes to the whole but you don't work the whole thing at once. Baby steps." It's going to be a perfect weekend to reclaim bits of my space.

Beverage:  English Breakfast tea


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