I love our yard, I really do. But you know how the reality of something is a lot different from the love you might feel for that something? Yeah, makes shit hard, right?
Our yard is a constant space for discovery. There is so much going, it is impossible to keep up. You might go so far as to say that when it comes to yard maintenance, me and The Candyman may have bitten off more than we can chew. Or mow. Or weed. Or prune.
Two months ago I took the below photos (I meant to post them then, but blog technical issues and lack of time have been a bitch). Like much of the Southeast, we had a slow spring. The other thing we’ve had is bucket loads of rain. BUCKET LOADS, I say.
When I look at these two-month old photos, I laugh. I laugh a maniacal, Count von Count kind of laugh. Why? Because this was just the yard getting started with us. This was the yard waking up, still a little groggy and in need of a cup of coffee.
Last fall, we cut our King Humbert Canna Lilies back to the nubs – because that’s what I read you were supposed to do with Cannas. In March and April, The Candyman and I were nervously waiting for things to bloom. Had we cut them back too far, too late in the season, too early?? I mean, what the hell do we know about Canna Lilies? Nothing, that’s what.
Now? Now the maniacal laugh comes back into play. Those damn Cannas are over 6 feet tall now.
See those Elephant Ears just sprouting on the left there? They are now up to my hip.
These little baby buds exploded into the Confederate Jasmine that covers half of our pergola. The scent was absolutely intoxicating.
Know what these became? Blackberries. We have freakin’ blackberries. The vine is buried deep in the depths of some backyard brush and I can’t get to them, except for this part that’s grown over the fence.
What I need to get are some wellies to get at those berries, but they are more difficult to find than you would think. They are all over the interwebs, but I want to try that shit on and can’t find them anywhere. How odd is that?
Anyway, there are lots of places I need to get into when it comes to our yard but can’t because I need those wellies. Why? Well, when I first started messing around in the yard for real, I came across not one, but TWO little baby snakes. Both were light brown with little spots. In hindsight, I should killed those little fuckers because now (after freaky internet research), I’ve come to realize they were most likely copperheads. So no, I’m not going traipsing through parts unknown without a little protection.
Last week I was yanking clover and felt a little crawly something in the ass of my jeans. No biggie, not the first time, so I smacked at my jeans a little and went on with the weed yanking.
Later that day, I was showered and clean and about to leave the house when I felt a horrible stinging pain in the same spot where I had earlier felt crawly things. The stinging was so bad that I ran to the bedroom and ripped my clothes off and literally, poured rubbing alcohol on my ass. Not sure if it was fire ant bites or chigger bites, but the welts and itching are just starting to go away.
Let me tell you how klassy it was digging at my ass all week at the office.
“Yes, I’m totally scratching my ass and I don’t care what you think.”
That’s how bad that shit was itching.
So there’s this whole other side to our house that we have been kind of denying exists. It’s basically all brush and vines and I’m fairly certain it’s where all things creepy, crawly, scary and biting live. Our neighbors recently informed us that one of the trees from our yard is dropping dead branches on their roof. Being the conscientious neighbors we are, we immediately called the arborist to clean up our tree-act.
If you didn’t know it, I’m here to tell you that arborist ain’t cheap. We’ve got a Red Oak, a Post Oak and 5 Pine trees, all on one side of our house. The good news is that if they ever go down in a storm, the arborist told us that they are actually a little too close to our house to do major damage. It’s the neighbors who are screwed!
We’re having massive dead branches removed in the next few weeks. The arborist recommended that I be the one to stay home that day. He was encouraging watching strapping young men climb my trees. This is the kind of arborist I like.
We had all sorts of plans to build a raised bed for a garden this year, but with the late spring we had and constant rain, it’s been too hard to get to, so I planted tomatoes, a few herbs and some cucumbers in some pots. The dirt from our yard is so freakin’ fertile that those things are over hip-height and I’m no shorty. Baby cukes and teeny tomatoes are popping out! Fresh food! From our yard! Love it.
So, it’s Saturday and I’m sitting on the couch staring at the clover gone wild in our grass. We haven’t been able to mow in two weeks because of the rain. Honestly, it’s just too early in the morning to think about.
I think I’ll seek out that triple-shot latte my yard consumed a few months back.