Hola! It's been so busy here. Whenever the weather has permitted since our wonderful warm streak of about 10 days where we sometimes hit 70F ended, I've been outside working the winter and pandemic blahs away. Whew! The result is a front yard that has fresh mulch and leaves cleaned out of everything and the lawn, which had exploded in growth, had it's first haircut on Friday 4/16.
I was so tired out after shoving my electric lawnmower for more than an hour I didn't have any ooomph left to attempt doing the trimming, let alone the edging I really want to do and that is really needs. I did get the trimming done the next day, but the edging will have to wait.
After I got the grass trimmed all around the front yard on Saturday, I pulled the electric mower back out and plowed away at the backyard. Whew! I thought I had kept myself in pretty fair shape over the winter because I didn't gain any weight and exercised daily, but boy oh boy, I was aching after I finished mowing that back yard. But it looks good - if I didn't look at the areas where the mower is too large to fit and a lot of trimming needed to be done.
Which brings me to today, Sunday - the day of rest, peace and quiet, right? Except people who work (I'm retired so I don't worry about what day it is), who didn't get out on Friday like I did to cut their front lawns or backyards, and people who didn't get out and do it on Saturday, although I heard mowers going throughout the day, decided to get out and do it today before the temperature plunges back down again and we may get freezing rain/snow overnight tonight or possibly tomorrow. I wonder how far the sound of a power lawn mower travels when there isn't a strong breeze? More mowers were going this morning as I waited until a respectable 9 a.m. to go out and start trimming the backyard.
What a chore! But I got it done and cleaned up part of the refuse left behind afterward while I was waiting for a visit from a rep of a local company that specializes in tree and shrub trimming.
|Here's my beautiful Japanese maple in summer 2020. |
As you can see, it's far too large for the space and already
this year the branches have gotten even taller, more full
and are rubbing against the rain gutters, the siding and the roof.
Yep - I decided - sob sob sob - to have my Japanese maple in the backyard garden area removed, as it was planted far too close to the house. I can't really handle the pruning that it needs yearly to keep it in control by myself any longer, I have to face it, I'm not as young or strong as I used to be - and the six years I've been in this home I've noticed the difference as each birthday has passed. This year I'll be 70 - in 4 scant months. I will replace the Japanese maple with a smaller specimen tree that I will plant out in the lawn area of my back yard, because I do love their gorgeous colors and form. It will be able to grow freely out there.
The beautiful flowering cherry that the former owners planted far too close to the house for its ultimate size (and it's still growing) - I couldn't bear to take that down yet. What on earth could I ever replace it with? Instead of the drastic measure of either removing the tree completely or pollarding it, we're going to limb up the tree quite a bit to raise the canopy, do a severe cut back along the house side so branches are no longer scraping against the house and on the roof, try and balance it as much as possible from street and side views, and do a lot of trimming/thinning out of branches on the inside of the tree to let more sunlight come through to the struggling lawn areas and plants growing underneath. I'm prepared to do this for the next two to three years since to keep the tree healthy we shouldn't remove more than a third of it at a time. Fingers crossed I don't have to make the sad decision to have the tree removed in a few years.
The purple - whatever it is - (I've called it a purple plum) that anchors the other side of the house next to the driveway, oh my. It grows faster than I can keep up with. The arborist suggested digging it out and trying to transplant it but there is a beautiful peony shrub (planted by the previous owner) coming up all around the base of that tree/shrub now and I just couldn't do it - plus I don't want it planted anywhere in the front or backyard - nowhere to go with it. So, we settled on extensive trimming and we'll see how it goes over the next year. I may have to have them come out every year from now on and continue to trim back those two trees (or one tree and one shrub-that has pretensions to turning into a tree).
The two giant pines on the other side of the driveway will get a haircut so there are no branches hanging down too low over the driveway and some broken branches (from various windstorms) on the interior of the trees will be removed.
I'm also having some trimming work done on the arborvitaes in the backyard so they are not encroaching over my neighbor's narrow walkway between my fence and the side of his garage, or scraping on his roof. Heaven forbid, I don't want him out there on a ladder hacking away at my beautiful trees!
Total cost: $550. Not inexpensive, but for the amount of work that needs to be done, a really good price. Having it done by a trained crew also saves me a lot of work that emotionally I would find difficult to do (I'm such a wussy), that I don't have the proper equipment to do for myself (or the know-how), or the strength to be able to do for myself anyway.
I have to say, I was very impressed with the owner of the business, who came out on a Sunday to see me. I didn't expect that, but he called within less than hour after HomeAdvisors notified him on Saturday that I would like to receive a quote for the work that I wanted done. He's young and has started up a fairly new company, but he knows his stuff. After years of watching gardening shows and home improvement and landscaping shows, I've learned a lot, and I saw quickly that he knew what he was talking about.
The work will be done sometime next week. I'm not limited as to time, so it will really depend upon the weather, which may be turning nasty on us.
Meanwhile, I've been working off and on as weather and time has permitted to try and get the garden beds in the backyard cleaned out. What a chore! My first priority is to make sure the front and sides of the house that people view as they drive by or walk by are in pristine condition. As I've been out working during the past 3 weeks or so, I've received so many complements from neighbors walking by the house. Just amazing, and very gratifying, I have to say.
The poor backyard is always at the end of the list. But it's getting there, pant pant pant...