Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Dark Side

I bought something I thought I would never buy (after a snow blower): a leaf blower. The problem was all the clumps of dead leaves crowning the cotoneaster and mugo pine. I have tried all kinds of rakes to try to clean up the area, to no avail. So last night my SO and I trucked over to Home Depot to check out their leaf blowers (do we know how to have a good time or what?) My intention was to buy the smallest electric one they had, but did you know that the bigger models can also vacuum? I did not know that. And the more I thought about it, the better that sounded. Why stir up a bunch of dead leaves into a whirling mass only to have them land somewhere else, when I could suck them up instead? And shred them in the process? Sounded good to me.

After crabgrassing today, I was feeling lazy and contemplated skipping the blower/vac thing. But I decided to at least put it together, and once it was together, I had to plug it in and see how it worked, and once it was working, I thought I might as well suck up those clumps of dead leaves. My technique needs a little work - the extension cord kept winding up between my legs and I had to adjust the strap on the bag several times - but I did suck leaves. At the same time, I was acutely aware that I was vacuuming my bushes. How anal is that?

Time to tour the yard. BTW, I took these photos before vacuuming, so please excuse the mess.

The rabbits have not eaten the crocus... yet.

The tulips have made an appearance.

If you look closely, you will see the coreopsis starting to peek out.

The hyacinth are up, too.

And the daffodils are almost ready to pop.

In the foreground are chives, in the back spearmint.

And the rhubarb lives, although the strawberries are looking thin. I planted the rhubarb in the top level of a strawberry pyramid. I love strawberry-rhubarb pie, so it only made sense to plant them together. Right?

The rabbits gnawed on the burning bush this winter.

And I wonder who lives in this little hidey hole. Maybe a chipmunk? Under ordinary circumstances, a hosta grows here, so I am curious to see what happens later on.

Today was the first shorts day of the year, but I am trying not to get impatient. Two years ago, I put my houseplants out on the deck too early and lost a huge Norfolk pine. Last year I hit the greenhouses before they peaked, and had to return again and again to get everything I wanted. It helps that I am planning to take a week of vacation in May, just to play in my yard. Hopefully, I will be in better shape by then.

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