One of the projects that I had on my todo list for my sabbatical was to fix up the line of boxwoods we added at the back of our property line. We started some aspects of it earlier this spring, but I was able to complete it today.
Shortly after we moved in my Mother gave us 14 boxwoods that she no longer wanted. We planted 12 of them along the back of our property to have a bit of a divider and something that would stay green year round. The thought was that maybe they’d grow big enough that we could form them into a hedge. The other two we put one on each side of our front doorstep.
After a couple years, during a bad winter, two boxwoods didn’t fair out to well. A large tree that has now fallen down dropped a big load of snow directly on top of them and some branches as well. They were still alive, but very small, and a lot of dead parts on them which had to be cut away.
I’ve been meaning to move the two from by the front step and replace the two which were in rough shape in the back. This early spring I finally did that. I combined the two nearly dead ones together and planted them at the far left of the properly line where they are much smaller than the others, but still living and hopefully will grow up again. Jen and Ella also gave them a good pruning and did some weeding.
My main project was to make this all look nicer and to be easier to manage. I started yesterday and dug out the grass and weeks from all around boxwoods along the whole property making a large bed. Thanks to fine friends I was able to put down some fabric to keep weeds from coming up, and got a trailer full of mulch to put down on top.
Although I’m pretty sore, things look much better back there now and will be much easier to keep looking nice with less weeds and much easier to mow.
There are a number of yard work related chores I’ve been needing to get done. So far I’ve been picking away at them. Last weekend it was literally picking away at them. The front yard has been overtaken with weeds, so I spent time picking a bunch of them out. There are still piles there but I put a pretty good dent in them.
When I was out there weeding I had wished I had some better earphones to wear while listening to music out in the yard. I didn’t want anything really good though for fear of wreaking them. Yesterday I remembered that I still had the pair of WordPress earphones Automattic had sent me when I first started. They were good and comfortable but they had broken not long after getting them. Part of the plastic broke which connected the left ear piece to the head band piece. After trying a couple types of glue, which didn’t hold for more than 5 minutes, I had put them away and forgot about them.
Before I went out to mow the lawn yesterday I pulled them back out again. This time I brought out my soldering iron, got an old tip for it, and melted the plastic causing the two sided to bond back together. Now I don’t think this will hold for a really long time, but they held up yesterday while mowing the lawn and today out in the yard!
Today was un-fun yard work. Last year we had a strip down the side of the house which we had turned into a bit of a vegetable garden. It worked really well so we decided to expand it this year. We decided to use the whole piece of land on the side of the house. The sod has been all dug up and Jen poured the bags of mushroom compost my sister picked up for us all over, now it had to be tilled up and the compost mixed in.
We looked into renting a tiller to do it, but it would have cost more to rent it then to hire someone who had one to do it for us. So instead I went out with the garden claw and turned up the soil that way mixing in the compost at the same time. It’s times like this where it is obvious the only work I do with my hands, is really with my finger tips on the keyboard. My right hand especially feels like just one big blister.
Although there are a bunch of little projects I would like to do to the yard, the only other one I really want to tackle this year for sure is along the back of the property. We had planted a bunch of little boxwood plants. We were in a hurry to get them in the ground so all we did was dig a hole for each one and put the in. This makes it really hard to mow around, and in behind especially weeds end up growing really tall. So this year I want to make it like a long strip flower bed along the back. Where we dig up the sod again and cover it with mulch in between the bushes. We will also likely plant some flowers in between and around to give it a bit more life.
That won’t happen this weekend though, but hopefully I’ll make time coming up sometime soon.
The view from my office window is great. Our backyard always has some critter running around out there it seems. There are lots of birds flying and singing. A few weeks back the big attractions was watching the squirrels sneaking around, climbing and jumping.
We have deer who are semi regular visitors. As the clover gets growing more in the yard I expect them to make more regular appearances again like they did last year. Pheasants are a pretty regular sight to see as well.
In the past few days we’ve had some new friends join us though. We’ve randomly caught glimpses of them in the past but they seem to be hanging around a lot more now. Wild rabbits. Maybe they like to come visit our pet rabbits, but they were inside when I caught this little one out there this morning.
Out of all the critters we do get out there, my favourite are watching and listening to the the kids playing back there.
Since February 16th I’ve had a web cam setup in my office window looking out over my backyard. It’s set to capture an image every half hour when it is light out.
The camera is not great so the quality isn’t very good but it’s still pretty cool watching the snow disappear and the grass take over. This time lapse shows the images from February 16th until May 6th 2015.