Thursday, March 26, 2020

The trials of March

"Sheltering in place" does not mean one cannot go out in the yard and work on spring clean up chores. The front yard looks relatively tidy, so I've been concentrating on the backyard. If I lived in the country, I would just do a controlled burn to get rid of all the dead plant material, but alas, I am a suburbanite and must abide by local laws.

The dogs have been inordinately interested in the garden shed and now I know why: something (I'm guessing a woodchuck, hence the name of this blog) has managed to breech the hardware cloth barrier I oh-so-carefully-but-apparently-not-carefully-enough skirted the shed with last fall. Some of this damage may have been inflicted by the dogs, though. There are days when I wonder why-oh-why did I adopt these knuckleheads?

My SO suggested we cut up some plastic trellis and use that instead of the hardware cloth. I agreed but have this sinking feeling that an animal that can chew through hardware cloth will have no trouble with plastic.

While a construction crew toils away resolving the neighborhood-wide drainage issue (getting us high and dry must be an essential service), I have drainage issues in my own backyard. The clay soil does not help. Yesterday the ground wasn't too bad, but of course today it is raining AGAIN.

I like to get a pic of the few remaining crocus blooms before rabbits eat them. The snowdrops and snow crocus are already gone, and it occurred to me that perhaps they *have* bloomed before this year, but I didn't notice because they haven't created clumps yet, so come and go without much fanfare.

Last summer I thought I had eradicated the cocklebur, but apparently not. The dogs come in with these things stuck to their collars, then they stick to whatever I am wearing, like Velcro.

I looked through previous March blog posts, to see if this year is different, but no. March is the limbo between winter and spring. Last year my hip was a good excuse for not keeping up. This year, thankfully, that is not a problem anymore. Time to get crackin' - if it ever stops raining.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Something new

Yard and garden cleanup continues, but this week with a surprise. In fall of 2017, I planted some pink snow crocus (Crocus tommassinianus 'Roseus') and early snowdrops (Galanthus woronowii). (I wouldn't know that but for this blog entry.) I don't think they bloomed at all... UNTIL NOW!

I had given up on them. Oh, ye of little faith.

I hope they spread far and wide in my front yard.

And then I dreamed that the regular crocus had bloomed as well. I checked yesterday, but it was just a dream.

Meanwhile, the ornamental grasses in the front are gone, as are many dead flower stalks in the back. The grass is turning green s-l-o-w-l-y. Buds on shrubs and trees are starting to swell. The vultures are returning from wherever they spend winter. It won't be long now.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

A beautiful weekend

The weather is such a tease, warm and breezy one day, wet and wild the next. Yesterday and today were just great, though. Saturday, my granddaughter and I wheeled around the nabe a bit, her on a scooter, me on a bike, my first attempt since hip surgery. Actually, I have not been on a bike in years, but now that urban trails are sprouting all around me, I plan to make cycling a regular activity.

"They" took down a couple of locust trees across the street, in anticipation of the new storm sewer installation. The neighbor over there rented a log splitter and has been running it nearly non-stop all weekend. Not as annoying as a leaf blower, but a pretty constant drone. Other homeowners are out picking up sticks and hanging laundry and just piddling in their yards. I trimmed back the 'Limelight' hydrangea a bit; it needs more shaping and cropping, but my hip doesn't feel ladder-ready yet.

Inside, I had all the wall-to-wall carpeting replaced with laminate. I really like the results, but I have not yet completely recovered from the interim chaos because I am also decluttering and rearranging and discarding. Two rooms remain to be "tidied", the den (or what my granddaughter refers to as the "junk room") and the spare bedroom that serves as my fiber studio. Then I want to tackle the garden shed and the garage (shudder!!!)