Friday, May 15, 2009

Free Labor! (or Dave, You'll Have to Suffer Through More Ugly!)

Nothing I love more than something for nothing. Did that make any sense? :)

I'd been on the fence for a long while (like, over a year... you all know I'm a Virgo, right?) about what to do with the Spiraea fronting our bungalow. They were here when we moved in, but there was always this very awkward gap between the bush right next to the steps and the rest of the hedge. When we had our fence put in, I tried to transplant two of the Spiraea's that were in the back of the house into that gap, but they promptly died on me. I don't think I got enough of the root. Those suckers were HUGE and well established. So, the gap stayed. And stayed. And stayed. And drove me nuts.

But one day, one fine and glorious day when I realized that the rest of my yard and house were in shambles because of my indecisiveness, I made a decision. *enter the heavenly chorus* I posted my Spiraea to Freecycle. If they'd dig 'em up, they could have 'em.



All the twiggy looking stuff you see there is mown English ivy, the bane of my garden. And yes, I'm still frantically trying to convince The Husband that ripping off that dreadful dun-colored aluminum siding would be a good thing.

I got an amazing number of willing volunteers and actually had to hold specific bushes for people. It was pretty crazy!

Do I have any regrets? No. Well, okay, maybe one. Nearly every house in the neighborhood has these same bushes somewhere on their property, so I kinda feel like I'm outta the club or am breaking some sacred neighborhood vow of unity. But then again, every house in the neighborhood has these same bushes. The truth is, these bushes were taller than me, which made it very difficult and dangerous for me to try to trim them. The Husband sure wasn't gonna do it. Oh, and those bushes collected garbage like you wouldn't believe. Never OUR garbage of course. Just whatever was tumblin' down the street on those fine blustery days here in good ole O-H. You wouldn't BELIEVE the amount of trash I found lurking under and behind them. They really look their best when they can run wild and free too which just made our house look sloppy. Their blossom laden boughs were always gorgeous, but I'd rather have something useful there (and there will be something useful there... someday).

I have big plans for the space, but they won't get done this year. I've bigger fish to fry, as always seems to be the case with old houses and young gardens. I'm okay with that though. I finally made a decision in under two years! It's a miracle!

And did I mention that I got people to dig out my pain-in-the-rear bushes FOR FREE!?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Neighbor Troubles

All winter I was researching and drooling at the prospects come this spring when the white mulberry tree on our property burst into all its fruited gloriousness. Alas! There shall be no white mulberries for me this year and probably not for several years to come.

Why, you ask?

Because the neighbors on the other side of me (not the neighbors with the foul kennel) decided to chop down half of the humongous white mulberry tree at the back of our property before mysteriously vanishing from their home. Here's what it looks like now:

Why they cut down only the top half of the tree is beyond me. It is already beginning to put out some new branchlets (no, I don't know the technical term), so it will need to be cut again someday. Um, over my dead body.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Goin' to the Dogs

Last summer's garden

Believe it or not, I AM putting things in the ground this year. I didn't really know how much I'd actually get to with such a new babe around the homestead, but I decided to take it in slow, small increments and see how I fared. I'm trying to get one bed planted a day, and it's been going well (not counting the rain... oh! the rain!). I am truly the sort of dame that revels in having her hands (and feet and knees and face) dirty, so it's been blissful tying the baby to my back and setting about my work in the garden. Unfortunately, there's one thing ruining it all for me.

Dog poop.

And I don't even have a dog.

For whatever reason my neighbors, whose yard is actually smaller than my teeny yard (you can see their house in the picture above), decided to get not one, not two, not three, but FOUR dogs. Whaaa? They got a puppy last year shortly after they moved into the house, and the poor pup spent all his time outdoors in the kennel come rain, shine, snow, hail or whatever. No dog house. It was dreadful. Now they have all four of the dogs in the kennel! Everytime I go out to do my garden chores, I am beset by the foul fecal smell of those animals. Now, I love dogs. I may be a cat person, but I love dogs too. But come on! Four medium-sized dogs in a kennel meant for one? And no poo cleanup!?

In a neighborhood as closely packed as this one, there has to be a little consideration for your fellow human beings, don't you think? I mean, I asked them before I decided to bring bees onto the homestead, and I nixed the idea because my canine-lovin' neighbor is allergic. Where's the love?