The Cool House: In the yard

Monday, June 08, 2009

In the yard

The last blooms on the azaleas and rhododendrons have faded and fallen and although the peonies and the late dogwood are out there's little color in the yard by the second week in June. That means, of course, less admiring the garden and more chores.
So yes, there was a FOURTH attempt at setting the stone on the steps to the front door - this time scraping it right back to the foundation. (Probably should have done that first time). No one is allowed to look at it, much less step on it, so it could be a while before we know if we are successfully cemented in. Last time it seemed ok - until the torrential rain loosened the side mortar. I have fingers, toes and eyes crossed for this one.
There was the horrible moment when I put the gardening gear in the garage and I heard chewing coming form the overhang - which meant we hadn't killed all the bees last session. I stuck a kid's paintbrush in the poison dust and poked it into one of FOUR new holes - and touched a bee. That surprised both of us! It stopped chewing but turned it into a coughing, buzzing, shiny black mass of madness. It flew out and landed dizzily on the path whereupon I put it out of its misery. Next month there will be the ritual filling of the holes, followed by the staining of the siding, This never gets old. Not.
The Guy lovingly painted several new examples of poison ivy with the most effective of herbicides - taking great care not to drip it on the pachysandra or rhododendrons. (I'm a super swelling, steroid needing, extra-specially sensitive soul that gets a full body rash from touching the dog who brushed against it hours earlier so I leave this to the so-far immune member of the family). I feel this is going to be an on-going chore this season.
All the windows were washed - outside and in. We carried the outdoor pool furniture up from the basement, set it out and cleaned that, too. (The pool is actually colder then when we opened it, 66F. No one will be dipping in there this week).
The lilac bush at the back of the pool that was toppling over and threatening to decapitate anyone going back there was pruned back - hopefully we'll get more growth from the base and many more blossoms next Spring.
A gorgeous new yellow Hosta generously donated by the Awesome Designer was planted, but will be replanted this week in a more commodious spot. White Impatiens lovingly planted by neighbor Barbara the entrance to the cul-de-sac were rescued from under the fringes of the day lilies and given some more light at the edges of the bed.
Weeds were pulled and death was removed from the lawn, the flower beds and the pool skimmers.

Of course it wasn't all work: dinner was eaten al fresco, steak grilled by the Loyal Blog Reader for the Awesome Designer's family from New Mexico, The Guy and I. Later, specimen maple seedlings were dug and bagged ready for a trip to the southwest, where we hope they will find some hospitable soil amongst all the sand... (and fewer weeds as well).


Jennifer said...

Good luck with the step... those projects are so maddening! The bees, too. Makes me glad I have brick...

Sounds like lots of work!

heidi said...

You & the Guy defy the meaning of "set in stone."
Can't wait to take a dip in the pool! xoh

Jean Martha said...

I might need to hire you and the Guy to come kick my yard's butt!

kathleen said...

Is that a Nishiki willow in your photo? Lately, I'm in love with them.

modernemama said...

It is a Nishiki willow, it dies back in the winter and gets to 6' or so this time of year. After I saw your post on them I thought what a wonderful screen it would make around the pool. I'm going to try it in the bare areas in the fall!