I would say that it is our first full Spring in our house, but with the way that the weather has been, I think both the plants and myself are confused. It has been so deliciously warm the past few weeks that, as I’m sure you know, all the Spring flowers, that typically are only beginning to peak their heads out to see the sun in the coming weeks, have begun to bloom now.
Because we moved in mid-May of last year, we missed many of the typical Spring flowers and were bewildered by what was in our garden beds. The only thing I knew for sure was that we had some daffodils in the front.
I spent most of the warm weather last year ripping out lots and lots of English and Boston ivy as well as honeysuckle off the side of the house, where it covered the dining room window, and out of the garden beds where it was trying to strangle our plants and trees.
The past few weeks have been a joyful discover of color. However, I still didn’t know what half the trees were in our yard. We contacted a wonderful landscaper to come over and get some opinions on what to do with our yard, as well as to identify the U.G.Os – unidentified growing objects.
What we found out was that we had a whole lot of orphan trees and seedlings all over that should be removed. And I had my own personal tutorial in what lives in my garden.
We have a young Crape Myrtle next to our weeping cherry, common lilac, and Star of Bethlehem. There was a dogwood tree hiding under a see of ivy, and a flowering quince that I felt bad for hard pruning the previous summer (when we didn’t know what it was and I was avenging wrath for the holes in my gardening gloves and fingers that it had caused). Finding the Grape Hyacinth all over the beds was a delight, and we have more Rose of Sharon than we know what to do with. Perhaps most exciting to me was that the tree right by our back door is a double flowering cherry tree. I can’t wait until it sets its blooms.
The front of our house was very plain and very symmetrical when we bought it, and only has a few rhododendrons, azaleas, and a whole lot of weeds. The trees are beautiful, if not a little close to the front of my house for my taste, but the azaleas were hugely overgrown, and the parts that you could see from inside the house were largely dead or thinning.
Unfortunately (for the azaleas) I hated how big they were and how close to the stairs they were. So the obvious solution was to rip them out. With a tow rope and a Ford Ranger.
Removing large bushes is always a challenge. And very heavy. But the man did so admirably. After reversing down the driveway with the azalea in tow, he had to drag it to behind the garage. We learned the hard way with the first azalea we removed the our garbage men are not a big fan of actually taking the garbage with them, even when we had hacked it into itty bitty pieces. So instead, the area behind the back of our garage has become a bush graveyard.
After the azalea was safely behind the garage, the man and I walked across the street to get a good view of the change. I cannot tell you the joy!
So now with a lot of raking, grass seed, and new plants, we will begin the restoration of the gardens, front and back.
One of the biggest frustrations prior to buying a house was that I wanted to be able to sit in my own backyard and read a book or plant some vegetables, or simply enjoy the sun (while slathered in 70SPF). The past few weeks, I have pulled into the driveway, gotten out of the car, dropped my work bag on the patio, pulled out a book, and sat myself down to read for an hour. How can you not love that?
Most nights during the spring and summer, the man will turn on the grill, cook dinner, and I spend the time either reading or chatting with him. Being outside and simply enjoying the colors of our yard is beautiful, relaxing, and even joyful. And now that we no longer have any UGOs, I feel at one with my gardens. I know what lives there now, and can’t wait to tend to it.