Assets include four Russian sage plants (planted by me), two trees that survived out of the lot of 10 from the Arbor Day people a few years ago (though one is pretty bent and needs staking), a rhododendron (one of the three great objects, don't you know), a pretty carnation-like plant that has tons of little pink flowers, three pussy willows and an assortment of hyacinth, grape hyacinth, tulips and now about a half-dozen lunaria (those really cool silver dollar plants that have the funky seed pods and look like this when blooming (thank you UNH Cooperative Extension for the photo!):
However, as is so true of most of life, assets have been outnumbered by liabilities, including:
- Crabgrass (I'm thinking it's so named for its weird shoots that usually run underground)
- Armyworms (curses!)
- Weird wild carrot/parsley type weeds that are nearly ineradicable and unusually numerous.
- Other weird wild carrot/parsley type weeds that are nearly ineradicable and unusually numerous.
- Assorted weedy grasses, which combined with the crabgrass apparently give the armyworms a great neighborhood to live in.
- A square concrete pad, about 4 feet on a side, which I was reminded today is (was :) about eight fucking inches thick (code for sidewalks is 3 or 4 inches), poured by the city in the distant past to accommodate a previous resident.
- Three oddly placed square concrete tiles, about 15 inches on a side, maybe for a walkway? (these are now an asset, of course)
- 400,000 river rocks varying in size from thumbnail to Palestinian grenade (heavy enough to dent a tank, in other words).
- Relentless sunshine and a busy street with the mountains on one end and damn near Oregon on the other, which is another way of saying about 400,000,000 weed seeds blowing into the yard a week.
I rearranged the concrete tile things so they are now three diamonds in a row, kind of Japanese walkway style. I dug up maybe 250 pounds of weeds, too. I got two blisters and a good night's sleep.
Today (Sunday), I dug out the other side of the yard, but not completely, because I did the same thing when we moved in so it wasn't critical. But I did zap most of the crabgrass and dug out several armyworms. I observed a wolf spider, several centipedes, some unidentifiable spiders, a ton of people at the neighbor's yard sale and some pretty clouds.
I also demolished the concrete slab using an electric jackhammer (I did sing Jackhammer John while I was at it (for two hours)) borrowed from my neighbor, whose kindly daughter and several other relatives helped me chuck into the back of a truck. I got the hang of the jackhammer when I had about 1 square foot left to demo. Today, I re-got the two blisters, plus another. But it was well worth it.
Anyway, the plan is to plant eight lavender plants (picked up in Oregon - no sales tax and friendlier businesses with lower prices than up here), stake the tree that needs it - and maybe move it - and infill with poppy and black-eyed Susan seeds.
In case you were wondering, and had the patience to get this far, black-eyed Susans are my favorite flower.