Every day for the past 2 weeks, Jerry and I have been elbow deep in dirt. Who are these garden gnomes I speak of? They’re me and Jer.
It all started with an innocent visit by my Mom (aka Joanie Liverwurst – don’t call her Bologna, she doesn’t like it) and my Step-Dad (aka Tony aka Zippy) the weekend after Mother’s Day. My Mother always seems to visit me just around Mother’s Day to give me my birthday present even though my birthday is April 13th. What’s that gift you might ask?
Sweaty, tiresome, manual labor. Every year, in my garden. It’s really why I have a garden to speak of at all. She makes it pretty and I keep it up when she goes home. And trust me, the sight of me with dirt under my fingernails and a smile on my face is all my Mother wants for Mother’s Day. She’s weird like that. :)
Onward to the photos!
When the Mr. and I purchased our home in 2006, Joanie Liverwurst and Zippy were some of our first visitors. They’re the kind of visitors that can’t sit around and enjoy your company, they need to move. They need to get stuff done! Who were we – new homeowners with a project list that would rival the Nile River – to stop them?
We started with the side garden looking like this:
Not a short while later, it looked more like this:
So what if they (b/c Jerry and I didn’t do much of this at all) made a tree off balance and fall to its almost death?
How does a tree fall to it’s almost death? Well, if part of said tree is still firmly attached to its roots, it will find miraculous ways to sprout up and up again and again. We pretty much left this outdoor project for the million waiting inside and when we came back to it the following Spring, it looked like this:
That, my dears, is Japanese Knotweed. Scum of this round Earth. I’m too jaded after fighting this stuff for the past 6 Springs to tell you more than this: if you see it in a yard of a house you are about to purchase, rip up the offer and RUN away. It is so invasive that the tiniest piece of the tiniest leaf off of one stalk can replant itself and grow into an enormous root system that you will NEVER get rid of. Not to be dramatic or anything.
A short while later the yard looked like this:
That has pretty much been my battle every year since we’ve lived in this here house of ours with that there yard of ours.
Have I mentioned the hideous fence yet? Ick.
That’s all I have to say about that. Oh, and it’s on it’s way out prompting us to question the future of those trees since we kinda wanted to kill everything else over there (after saving my hostas and rose bushes which is another post b/c this one is long enough already).
Coming back around full circle to my original point:
My Mom and Tony were here and my manual labor card was stocked full of hours. Mom and I got to work and did this:
Holy Bananas, Batman! Oh yeah, Jerry came in during the 11th hour to help finish things off when we were losing steam (read: I was losing steam, my Mom could do this for days).
Please note the haze and the appearance of our clothing. It wasn’t so hot that we hosed ourselves down, no such luck. It was raining the entire day. And this took all day.
We were in such a worked-so-hard-my-brain-neurons-are-misfiring mood that we needed a picture like this:
12 evergreens that I don’t know the name of and 1 Blue Spruce later…we had made quite the mess:
The one on the right still against the fence is a dead man. He was too intertwined with the knotweed to be considered for replanting…poor guy.
I leave you with this picture since it seems as though we’ve been so busy replanting these suckers that I have yet to take a photo of where they are going/have gone/their final resting place (I have been begging them not to die on me every day)!
Boy, oh, boy does that fence look like one puff would blow the whole thing down or what?!