Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Behold The Lawnkeeping Glory Of My Husband

Or, "How To Make Hypomania Work For You." (Click to enlarge pictures, as ever.) The man did all this in less than one day, really. First, the wild, unkempt crape myrtles were brought into line. Mrs. Previous Owner, it seems, couldn't bear to have the trees touched with any sort of pruning device. Which was her prerogative, but insulted every crape myrtle sensibility I have. They were just OUT THERE, these crapes. Alex knows of my feelings about ornamental trees, and worked like a dog to subdue them. After all was said and done, he had filled a 16' flatbed, several feet high, with crape myrtle limbs. And we have now liberated them all from the ropes and bungees that were wrapped around them, trying to hold the sprawling limbs up.Isn't that better? Now you can actually mow around the trees! And you can pick up limbs and leaves, but there are always some Ninjas scattered across the lawn, as seen above.I'm not totally against the "wild" look...I kind of like the area on the other side of the house, the part we view through the living room windows, with the koi pond and the mishmash of lush growth that is there. To the left of those purple iris, there are dozens of cannas just sprouting. I can't wait to see what color they are!The bamboo here is just starting to come up. I don't know what the flowering white stuff is, but it has now been overtaken by honeysuckle, which was smelling divine tonight. I won't let it enthrall me, though, because I know its true desire is to take over the place.I have always, always, wanted big ol' yucca plants. And that weeping variety of holly.The pond, besides having flowering waterlillies greening up and making pads now, sports Japanese iris, both in the water and bordering it. It's beautiful.You can't imagine the leaves that were just everywhere like snowdrifts, that Alex got rid of somehow. The "front" (which to us, is actually the side) of the house even looks nice and neat now.Check out this crazy rosebush that can't decide what color its blooms should be--isn't it great? (Of course, in that first shot, the rarest rose of all is the one pointing at the camera!)Anybody got a guess on this plant? If it helps, the leaves are succulent. Some kind of sedum, saith Sue.And then there's this...some sort of ornamental plum, I think. I like it better for its crazy lean toward the house. This area, someday soon, I think will be Barbecue Paradise for Alex.He also built raised beds for some rosebushes, and planted them, and made another one for the Dortmund rose that we transplanted from the other house, and put in solar-powered lamps all throughout the landscaping, and all kinds of other stuff, but I think my favorite thing was still the glorious lack of dead LEAVES everywhere!Oh, and tucked away in a leaf-covered hole, Alex discovered the creature we are simply referring to as Number Two, for obvious reasons:We have not yet discovered Number One, or anything past Two, but Alex did stop on the busy highway and rescue a companion for Number Two yesterday. We're imposing on the new addition that it is the opposite sex of whatever sex Number Two is, and we're calling it "Letter B."


  1. Neat stuff there.

    I wonder if the rose bush had been grafted from another at one time - I've never seen a 2 color one.

    And your turtle must be a refugee from a turtle race!

    I envy you growing yucca and bamboo - too cold here for that!

  2. It's gorgeous... any chance he's available to come tackle my yard? The only thing the previous owners did for yardwork was to stash as many beer and soda cans as possible, everywhere.

  3. Oh, that rose bush is BEAUTIFUL. I am soo jealous of you now.

  4. I love that rose bush, the yellow/peach colored bloom reminds me of my Peace rose (which I lost and haven't found one yet to replace it). I like the crepe myrtles everywhere, they will look nice when blooming.

    You would not believe the number od turltes we rescue that have been painted. My mom started the T.I.T. Team (Turtles In Trouble) and gives out membership to those who help our slow moving friends.

  5. Wow, that's some yardwork! Careful that the bamboo won't be the death of poor Alex.

    Bella fades the rosebush.

  6. Maybe your turtle has incontinence problems. (Get it? Number 2?? Ah...nevermind...) :)

  7. If we get half that much accomplished this weekend we'll be doing great. And maybe we'll find the missing hermit crabs.

  8. Here's hoping that by naming my son Alex he will just as industrious and useful as yours! Great work.

  9. We had a turtle that we glitter painted years ago when we lived on Peters Rd and every spring we would see that same turtle in the yard. They don't go far!

  10. Beautiful. I'm jealous. *grin*


  11. So the next time it's 7:30 a.m. and you already wish someone would come and take you away because Alex is driving you crazy, you'll remember this, right? :)

    Also, Bella...sigh. So pretty.

  12. I think your multi-colored rose is the variety called Joseph's Coat of Many Colors. I've been trying to find one for ages--but I haven't even seen one so far this year. Ok, so I've looked twice. I'm just jealous!

  13. VERY nice.

    I'm jealous, too.


  14. Your yard is huuuuuuuge it makes us cramped up city people crazy with jealousy!

  15. The white bush looks like Spirea and the other plant appears to be Sedum.

  16. Oh, wow, honey! Your house and grounds are BEAUTIFUL!!! I'm jealous! I hope you're feeling better. Love the turtles -- too cute! And Bella is, as always, completely adorable! So expressive, that one. What a face!

  17. Very nice yard! I'm jealous! And you guys just have turtles running around? That's so cool! We're not allowed to import turtles into Canada anymore because of the risk of salmonella. The only turtles that are sold here now are the offspring of turtles that were brought into Canada before they changed the laws! And the ones that we CAN get are close to $100!! I shoulda got you to send me a turtle with the poodle!

  18. Ok, I'm a guy. And even I've always wondered what fascination human males have with the common yard.

    We're creepy if you ask me.

  19. Good Job! I leave all the yard work to my hubby too. I look at a plant and it dies. Oh, the crape myrtles! That reminds me of the South and home! My parents have some out of control crapes. It is like they attack you when you go in the back yard. Definitly a tree (bush?) that must be controlled.

  20. Wow. Life somewhere green. Just when I was feeling kinda proud of my yard, I see your cheerful massing of green.

    Le sigh.

  21. This is my most favorite post of yours. Know why?

    Now that I know what your house looks like, it will be much easier to stalk you.

  22. Alrighty. I'm gonna 'sing it' in the form of a confession. I should be writing a paper, feeling dumpy, didn't have time to read this (but looked at all the pictures!) and realized I came here for some NinjaPoodle Love.

    That's all I needed. Some NP Love.

  23. Wow - we've done a lot of yardwork in the last few days (the snow has finally melted), but our yard is NOTHING like yours. What gorgeous landscaping!

  24. Jeepers creepers...can you loan him out?

    We're currently cultivating a crop of dirt in the front of our house. Although, I'm thinking of spray painting it green.

    Lovely roses!

  25. What a beautiful yard! Ours looks like the crotchety old woman who everyone thinks is a witch in the neighborhood's house. My azaleas have gone mad and are protesting their neglect by trying to climb out of their bed. It's sad, sad, sad. I'm trying to teach the poodles how to garden, but the most I get out of them is trying to wreck my poor dahlias that actually survived the winter. And all the Man cares about it getting the stupid pool in order...a pool that I won't even use for another month because the water will still be too cold!! Jeez!

  26. Wow! Your yard is gorgeous! I am in awe!

  27. Leslie, I wondered that myself, but I know zippo about roses (or any plany, really)! I love the yucca, too...I gripe about the heat here, but I do adore the tropcials and semi-tropicals we can grow here. Hibiscus are a big fave of mine.

    WWK, yes, I think perhaps we could sub-let him on a limited basis...unfortunately, what comes after the hypomanic phase is not always lovely. I'm proud of him for doing as well as he has this year, because it's been a bad one, and we haven't gotten great help from the doc this time.

    Kari, if you're ever out this way, we'll cut you some of it, and maybe you can root it at your place!

    Kim, I stop for turtles constantly. Alex used to laugh at me, but look at him now--stopping on his own, risking life and limb on a busy highway!

    Doug, better tell us what you know of bamboo--this one's our first. I remember reading something once about them uprooting your house if you're not careful. You ol' daughter-flatterer, you. You know how to get to me, that's for sure!

    Adena, you and Alex would get along great. ;-)

    Anne, I still am in a state of wonderment about the missing hermit crabs. And if you get half as much done this weekend, then you're probably doing just fine! Alex "on a roll" is a force to be reckoned with.

    Chantal, 'Alex' is a fine name. I like it for boys and girls! I wish your Alex all the great qualities of mine, half the silliness, and none of the grump!

    Melissa, that poor turtle is probably shunned by the mainstream turtle community!

    nikkirae, thanks! Bet you won't be jealous in July and August when it's 105 in the shade. Bleah.

    elizabeth, yes, I do try to do that. He's on another industrious streak right now, and I appreciate him mightily for what he does. He still makes me nuts, though. And yeah, the girl-child has that effect on me, too. A feeling I'm sure YOU well understand!

    Dana, you're not the first person to have suggested that rose variety, so I bet you're right!

    tony, you live 5 miles from here. Come over and take cuttings of anything you like, plus we have lots of bulbs (iris, cannas, daylillies, etc.) that you could dig up and transplant. I SWEAR we'll have you over when I get things under control in the house!

    deodand--Trust me, there are times I'm jealous of you city-folk, too! You have such easy access to so many wonderful things. Lots of culture at your fingertips.

    semi-gardener--YES, thank you!

    PIM--Make me an offer. ;-)

    jessica, thank you, and thank you. I wax and wane, I do. Got another stupid headache today. Blecch.

    cece--Canada doesn't allow turtles? Now I am just officially mind-boggled. Are there no native turtle species? Box turtles are actually close to endangered now just because of getting squashed in roads. We should talk about getting into the bootleg turtle business. Hmmmmm...

    Dan--I don't know if "creepy" is the word I'd choose, but you're definitely different from "us!" Gotta admit, though, that I enjoy the instant gratification of lawn-mowing, myself.

    claire, yes! You must go to your parents' next February, and hack them back mercilessly! They do grow back, and I like them ever so much better when they're naked from the waist down. Is that wrong?

    Pat, just wait around for the "cheerful massing of green" during sinus infection season.

    Mr. Fab--this house is so far down in a holler, you'd never spot it, ever. The driveway even has to wind back and forth to get down to the house, it's so steep. Stalk away! got it. All the NP love you need, Baby.

    Erin--it's all thanks to the people before us, the landscaping. And if it thrives, it'll be because of Alex!

    jozet--I dunno, you wanna talk barter? Hee. And dirt is good. From dirt cometh life.

    poodlebugz--Get that man in line by withholding...FOOD. The way you cook, he should be begging for mercy within the week!

    kapgar--It's pretty good, I admit. If I had my druthers, there'd be fewer trees and more grass, and, um, WAY fewer ROCKS. But look at it this way: You have CHICAGO. And book-signings. I am green with envy.

  28. I am in love! I had no idea, until today, that you were from Arkansas. We just got back from the NW portion of the state. My family is all from Lincoln, Springdale, Prairie Grove and Fayetteville.

    I would move in a heartbeat!

  29. Our town has lots of Joseph's Coat of Many Colors roses. I soooo envy them! We have 20 different rose bushes, even many native wild roses, but no Joseph's Coat of Many Colors. You are so lucky!

    I love crepe myrtles, too :)