Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break Project #1

The first day of Spring Break brought the first project on my to-do list - tackling the front bed outside our house. It is technically half in our yard, half in the neighbor's yard (a rental house) but they haven't done anything about this particular bed and it was atrocious. Photo evidence:
 As mentioned in this post, one of my goals was to get this sucker back under control. It had rained most of Sunday off and on so the ground was perfectly moist, prime condition for the weeding of said bed. The former homeowner was a little cute granny gardener and under all of this mess were some really nice plants. So, on Monday of Spring Break, I put on my gardening crocs, got my tools, and dove right in. 
It was a morning of triumph (cutting down small trees), pain (thorns in the hand), and fright (creepy crawly things). The first thing I had to do was take my ole loppers and cut down the various TREES that were growing in this bed. I then tore at the dead things, weeds, and vines. This part was very fulfilling. I happen to know a little bit about yard work, thanks to my parents who fully believed in child labor. I find yard work to be theraputic. It is one of those chores that you do and can see an immediate difference. 
Now - I did get quite a scare during this particular morning, though. I was ripping out handfuls of weeds and felt something crawling in my hand. I looked down to see this:
 That would be a garden snake (after having been thrown into the grass out of surprise). Luckily I am not afraid of snakes, having owned three in my life (Rockjaw and Eyebrite were the best rosy boas a family could ever want as pets) but I did get a bit startled. Upon further examination, I decided to let him live out his life - on the other side of the yard. 
Yet, five minutes later and a little bit down the bed, I found yet ANOTHER snake:
I wasn't as kind to this one, as I flung it on the concrete. They are resiliant little guys - he slithered right off.

And yet we weren't done with the creepy crawlies. I had been finding little snails all in this bed - the size of an eraser at most. And then I saw this guy:
 I happen to really like snails - they are one of my trademarked doodles for when I'm bored. I think their little antenna things are just super cute. But this guy was HUGE. So I let him go on his way, after photo documentation of course. 
A few hours, a lunch break, and four industrial sized trash bags later, I was done with the bed (for now). I had unearthed irises, chrysanthemums, and other lovely (yet unidentifiable) plants. There were some (free) nice things in there. Once they bloom, I'll post pictures. And for the end result...
So now, for a before/after pic:
 Now we're just working on growing grass. We've got a good lawn of grass in the front but the back is a bit patchy and muddy. Good thing I put this on it yesterday:
 See how sad our back yard looks? It needs some grass. Stat.


lauren @ gathering moss said...

yikes! i would not have handled the snake situation as gracefully as you did. well worth it - the garden looks great!

Hilary Dow Ward said...

HOlY-I'm not sure what....If my hand would have come in contact with not 1, but 2 of those rascals....well that would be the end of gardening for me. I came home last year to a a dead one that a neighborhood kitty had graciously gifted right next to the front door and nearly had to contract somebody to fling the dead thing out in the street. EW...EW...EW!
Are you sure that isn't a copper head?


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