Sunday, April 16, 2017

More time for fun

For over 20 years, I've pooh-poohed the need for a riding lawn mower, primarily because mowing was part of my exercise protocol. The past couple of years, though, it seemed like too much effort for too little return. Last summer my son did all the mowing, but he is not available this year. So I bit the bullet and purchased a Toro 'Timecutter'.

Given all the stuff I need to mow around, I opted for a zero turn mower. It's a little tricky to learn to maneuver, but I anticipate it will suit my needs. I still use the Personal Pace Toro for narrow margins and the string trimmer for up-close-and-personal work, but this 32" beast will greatly reduce the time spent on lawn care, which means more time for actual gardening.

I have three redbud trees, all the same type, all from the same source, all planted in the backyard at the same time, yet they each perform a little differently. Two are close to the house, one near the back fence. This one at the southwest corner of the TV room has the densest and the most intense blooms this year. The other two are pretty but do not have the visual impact of this over-achiever. I don't think of my yard as having micro-climates; apparently I am wrong.

The serviceberry has never achieved its full potential, thanks to rabbits that girdled it its first winter here. It looks more shrubby than treelike. As long as there is not a heavy frost, it blooms nicely. The robins strip the berries before I even notice them, which is okay. The cherry and apple trees are blooming too, although scantily. If I pay attention, I may get to the cherries before the birds.

The weather this spring is predictably unpredictable, with an unusual number of rainbows accompanying the April showers. I have yet to spot a pot of gold.

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