13 May 2007

saturday, 12 may 2007

Sunday morning at 7:15 am. I've got a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal beside me. Pretty cool outside and in right now: 48.5 degrees and 60.8 degrees. We've turned the furnace down to around 50 and will leave it there. I can't imagine that we'll be getting any more really cold weather . . .

Scott came yesterday afternoon to mow for the first time. I mowed the lawn for most of the summer of 2006, after Worden, our friend and lawn mower whom we inherited from G&N, died in the early spring. I thought mowing the lawn would be a relaxing, meditative experience. And it was, for the first two or three times I did it. However, mowing was eating up most of every weekend, and when I finished I didn't have much energy left for anything else. So at the end of the summer we found a new lawn person, or rather he found us, and he's more thorough than I ever was, and when he finishes, the lawn looks smashing.

So we went from lush to manicured yesterday afternoon, in about three hours. Not bad at all.

B reminded me to notice how beautiful all of the dandelions looked yesterday morning, and they surely do. I think Scott mowed them all away, because there aren't any visible this morning. I'm sure they'll be back by next week.

A few random observations from our wanderings on the hill:
  • The tree hydrangea hasn't leafed out yet. I can't imagine it died over the winter, or that my early spring pruning pruned off all the living material, but we'll see. I'm a little worried.
  • Out of nowhere we now have rose-breasted grosbeaks (six males and one female at one time on the ground underneath the feeders; reminder to put some sunflower seed on the ground), an indigo bunting, and a Baltimore oriole. I spied the oriole in the orchard yesterday morning. I heard birdsong I'd never heard before, so I stopped what I was doing (dragging branches to the brush pile) and watched the trees nearby until I saw a beautiful orange and black bird.
  • Don't trust the fact that the label on the "Goodwin Creek" lavender says it's perennial: Perennial where? I put three nice plants in the ground last summer and hoped they would make it through the winter. Seems they didn't, so I Googled "Goodwin Creek" and "Lavender" yesterday and found out that it's reliably winter hardy from Zone 7 south. Kind of wish the nursery folk hadn't put it out with the perennials. Well, live and learn: If a plant label doesn't have a zone marked on it, I should wait to buy it until I've done my research.
  • Based on what the deer did to one of our junipers this past winter, I am rethinking planting the L&S slope with creeping juniper. Might work closer in to Salem, at the house where I originally saw it, but maybe there are fewer deer there. At any rate, the Rosa rugosa is coming back in, the Helianthus "Lemon Queen" is sprouting, and maybe we'll just mow the rest of the slope this summer while we think more on it. We've decided we're not going to try to plant a perennial garden on the slope, so that's good. The only problem with waiting on doing something with the slope is that the back of the house is what people see first when they drive up. It would be nice to have it look somewhat finished.
  • We've reached the end of clearing the orchard for now. The undergrowth is really coming in, the trees are leafing out; best to put away the chipper until October. Yesterday it also began chewing the branches instead of chipping them, so I think we need to have the blade sharpened or replaced, and possibly the belt replaced, too.
  • The Hosta "Blue Angel" under the ancient maples is up! I was a little worried, because all of the other hostas we have elsewhere began showing signs of life weeks ago. I waited to weed the bed under the maples until I could determine definitively whether the hosta had pooped out or been eaten by something else; as soon as I saw that it was up, I weeded the bed, and it's looking good. I'm going to spread some old leaves as mulch to help keep the weeds down and hold the moisture in.
  • No signs yet of the Allium moly, although my friend Gina who gardens in Brooklyn says hers are up. Go, Gina!
  • The crabapples are blooming, the apple trees are beginning to bloom, and the lilacs are coming along. If we don't have another frost, we'll have lilacs this year (last year was the first year we had blossoms since we bought Pleasant Hill; the other years they've been nipped by late frosts).
  • Potatoes are up in B's vegetable garden!
  • Finally got around to cutting back the Siberian iris by the garage so the new growth won't be pushing through old leaves.
B drove to town to do some errands yesterday afternoon at around the time Scott showed up to mow, but before he left he asked me to ask Scott to take a look at the growth in the orchard and estimate whether he could give it a mowing. So when Scott had finished up the front and back lawns and the grass between the house and the barn, I asked him about the orchard. He thought his mower could handle it, as the growth wasn't too thick yet, so away he went. He did a wonderful job, so we may ask him to mow it every other time he's here. Stay tuned.

We have a new pair of loppers with a lifetime guarantee as well as a pair of bypass pruners from a company called Corona. Kyle at the hardware store told B they're the ones he uses at home, and that if we have any trouble with them, we should bring them right back. Is there anything better than a lifetime guarantee from the manufacturer coupled with a personal guarantee from the store owner? Salem Hardware is the BEST.

I've been savoring A Year at North Hill: Four Seasons in a Vermont Garden by Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd. I love their writing style, and I love the fact that they mention so many plants by name that work in their Zone 4 garden. I borrowed the book from the library about three weeks ago and am renewing it as many times as I can. I don't want to take it back! I think I'll be looking for a copy to buy.

No comments:

Post a Comment