Ahhhhh...I've finally come up for air and can sit and put together a post. I hope I've gotten around to visiting your blogs, I really put in some time doing that Wednesday and Thursday night. My life has been consumed with cleaning up my backyard here in the city and getting it back into the little woodland forest it once was. I have a confession...I was emailing back and forth with a good friend of mine that now lives in New Mexico (Hey, You!!!). We get into these marathon email sessions which can be very therapeutic. I told her that I had thought my gardening days were over. For the past few years I have really started to detest the heat and humidity, my back has gotten bad and I just didn't think I had it in me to be bending and crouching and lifting. The cost of plants was also driving me crazy...blah, blah, blah. And then my brilliant son said something to me and he is wise beyond his years, "Mom, you can make up an excuse for anything." I was not offended in the least. I told my good friend in my email that I was ashamed of myself. That I had to get back to doing the things I love and stop making imaginary roadblocks.
I made a plan and I stuck to it. When everyone was back to work on Tuesday after the holiday, I put on my safari gear and headed out to the shed. Rake? Check. Shovel? Check. Dead squirrel? Check...WHAT??? Great. What a way to start my big project. And I found two more. I truly think someone is poisoning them. Some of the neighbors keep the big plastic bins we use for trash in the alleys behind their homes. The squirrels will bore right through these, scatter trash and then you have not only a mess, but possibly mice, raccoons, etc. I am so tired of finding their little carcasses and whoever is doing it is cruel and insane.
I worked mostly on the perimeter of my yard, raking and cleaning out old leaves, weeds, bark, sticks, walnuts and so on. Milo and Layla were ecstatic, they acted like they were on an outing! They love being outdoors but only if they have company, otherwise they just sit on the porch and wait to be let in. Layla laid, basking in the warm sun, and Milo grabbed sticks from my piles and took off to gnaw on them in the shade.
This is the main area I'm working on. You might remember seeing pictures of my tulips and daffodils along this fence in the spring. Well, that's all I've had here other than the Sedum that you can see...this sprouts up at the end of August. I worked my tail off here...dug up the bulbs and moved them to the end and turned the soil over. I was quite pleased to see that the soil was dark and rich, all of those decaying walnuts have been the perfect compost over the years. I cleaned out what I call my little Woodland Garden in the corner, just to the right of this fence. I have a forsythia there that takes a lot of space, some day lilies and columbine. I'm thinking a cute bench or chair might look good there next spring.
And I raked out my herb garden and added fresh topsoil. My unrelenting ivy has made it's way over here as well.
All in all, I had five 39 gallon bags filled with debris and a few small carcasses (ugh). It took me about 3 hours to do this and I will admit, I had to take a few Tylenol before bed!
One of the biggest battles I had was dealing with this weed. It comes back every summer on a stalk over five feet high. It has huge leaves that decay right around now and these awful burrs. They stick to your gardening gloves like velcro and it took me forever to cut all the stalks down. I posted a picture on Facebook and someone identified it as a Burdock weed. I Googled it and she was spot on. I was able to dig the root of one up, it was at least 2 feet long under the ground. The rest were just impossible to dig up so I resorted to a little poison. I will NOT go through this again next year.
Well, I hope I haven't bored you silly. Wednesday I treated myself with a trip to Home Depot. Perennials are all marked down, some 4 for $10.00. I will share those with you later. And...my son is going to give me a huge rosebush that he has blooming in the yard of a property he recently bought to rent out. I haven't seen it yet, but if it's free, I'll take it! lol! And yesterday I bought a ton of shredded bark to neaten everything up and protect the new plants over the winter. All I have to do now is add some tulip bulbs as I do every fall. Now...this is a total surprise for The Husband. So far he has not ventured out into the backyard to see anything I'm doing, and in his own daffy way, he never questioned why I wanted him to bring home a few gardening tools from the lakehouse last weekend. This is his second weekend in a row up there without me. He and his brothers have a big reunion there and take in a Notre Dame game (our home is just 30 minutes from Notre Dame). So...I am going to get that mulch in this weekend and I have to return a hose to Home Depot and I think I will use my refund on a few more plants! ;-D
I fiddled with making a late summer mantel the other day. I put my new window up there (on the left), not sure how it looks.
And I went for a clean look on my coffee table after son Jeff repeatedly complained about my "clutter". Boy, he has been pretty verbal lately about my tendencies! So I thought, okay, I'll try it his way, and yes, I like it. And those decorating books are close at hand to peruse through instead of hiding on a bookshelf.
Okay, I'm off to find my gardening gloves. I was in heaven all week long with temps in the low 70's. Today is 88, I don't know how that happened. And we have rain in the forecast tomorrow, So I want to get my work done. I will try to have my camera ready when I surprise The Husband on Monday!! :)