Yard work day one

Today was the day we were going to get the twenty bags of black mulch we purchased from Andrew’s Boy Scout fundraiser out of the garage. The bags were delivered on March 3, 2013. There were actually twenty five bags of mulch sitting in the garage because dad also ordered five bags. I really like fundraisers like this where they actually provide you with an useful end product. The problem is that this product requires a fair amount of prep work sometimes.

Today was the day for all the prep work. Of course, this also means that there might be some sweat involved in spite of the cool weather we have been blessed with. Fortunately, with the temperature never crossing the 75˚F mark today, we were truly blessed and there was not too much sweat to be had.

That does not mean that there would not be other concerns…

First you start with the fairly clean sneakers. These have seen a couple of years of use. I bought these right before we went to London, England so they have even seen a few miles put on them. They have seen almost two years of walking and biking to school, although I will confess that we are not as consistent at that as I would like us to be at that anymore. Still, they are still in good condition and while the souls are starting to show a good wear pattern they are still comfortable and still look nice. Let me just say that black mulch is not friendly to nice clean tennis shoes so this should prove to be a challenge of just how clean I can keep these.

Our yard has these large bushes. I like them. Bottle Brush bushes that have these red blooms on them that look like bottle brushes that you use to clean out baby bottles. They are amazing for attracting humming birds (and bees). Ben hates them. They are scruffy looking bushes. They quickly become over grown and have been an over sized nightmare from time to time. They are hearty bushes, however. We have managed to not kill them in the twelve years we have been in the house. They have survived the last two years of droughts. They have survived my “black” thumb and they have survived the cold freezes where we do not cover the plants and the droughts where they do not get enough water. I like them. They survive me. They bloom and while they look scruffy they have these pretty red blooms on them that while they look funky, they attract my favorite bird, the humming bird. We’ll ignore the fact that they also attract plenty of bees.

We will also ignore the fact that they were these overgrown obnoxious bushes…

Notice, I said “were” these obnoxious overgrown bushes. Today, they met their fate. They are not longer obnoxious overgrown bushes. Their overgrown and scruffy portions are now laying on the driveway. There are two of them. Both of them have been trimmed back.

Yes, I got tired of looking at those overgrown bushes in all their scruffiness. In all actuality, I just did not want to go crawling underneath them to spread the mulch. Who wants to crawl underneath the bushes to spread the mulch? Not me. Not the children. I had willing children. Well, mostly willing children. I wanted to keep it that way. So me and the reciprocating saw got friendly again. We do not do it often. We confronted those two bushes and well…the rest…the rest of those bushes were on the driveway to later be bundled for the garbage men to pick up in the morning.

One of our new “bottle brush trees” shaped from our previously overgrown bottle brush bush. The bush itself went all the way down to the ground in the flower bed. I have been wanting to whack them back and shape them into trees for more than a couple of years now so this was a major victory for me to overcome the fear of killing the bushes and just doing it. There is actually a smaller hedge/bush behind the bottle brush bush/tree that through whatever luck it has managed to survive the two years of droughts we have had where its other matching bushes did not. They have been gone for a couple of years now. They used to run all the way across the front of the garage in this large flower bed. At any rate, this bottle brush was the less healthy of the two bushes and while it is still probably the most scruffy looking of the two I rather like how it looks. I can almost walk under standing fully upright now.

The front view of the house where you can see how much we chopped back both of the bottle brush bushes on the front of the house. There is one on the left of the window and one to the right of the window (off set a little) in the front, large curved flower bed. I can almost walk fully upright under both newly sculpted trees now. As you can see from the pile of branches on the driveway, I took white a bit of the branches off of the bushes. I really like how they look. The goal was to make the block of numbers on the wall of the garage visible from the street. As you can see that is not entirely accomplished. You can see it from different angles, but not from this particular angle. I am not too worried at this point because these bushes have not put on their summer growth yet so we will see what they do when they start putting on some growth over the next few weeks. We will probably trim them back some more and potentially remove some more of the larger branches later in the year.

Of course, the picture would not be complete without the adorable and willing helpers, Lance (front right) and Kyle (back left). They worked so hard to help get the yard ready for the summer months ahead of us. We were prepping the yard for the twenty bags of black mulch we had purchased, but there was a lot of work get it ready for everything summer ahead of us as well. Might as well get everything done. As you can see the green grass is starting to peek through, but we are going to have to start mowing, edging, and ultimately watering the grass to get it to come back to its full green coverage. Hopefully this year ahead of us will not be one of “lack of rainfall.”

I worked this helper (Kyle) to death. I worked him until he dropped. I am not sure those socks are going to come clean. We managed to get one of the flower beds mulched before we ran out of energy to do any more. We got that flower bed lined with a thick layer of newspaper (to block the weeds) and then covered with 7 bags of black mulch.

I am pretty sure that I bored this helper (Lance) to death. He was tired of working. He was being a trooper, but he was tired of working. We had worked straight through lunch and it was getting close to dinner. He was tired, dirty, and hungry. There was still clean-up work to be done. Here he is slowly picking up the small branches and twigs that came off the bottle brush bush.

My helpers still working. I am not sure those socks are going to come clean. Whatever it takes to keep the workers working. You might notice the strange tool over Kyle’s shoulder. Yes, that is a snow shovel. What are we doing with a snow shovel where it does not snow?

A little bit of team work between brothers to get the last of the branches that were too small to be bundled off the driveway and into a trash bag.

This is what you use a snow shovel for in Texas. You use it to shovel yard garbage. You use it to get the yard garbage into the garbage bags. You use it like a dust pan…super sized.

Or you could use it as a sword…sword fighting anyone? A snow shovel versus a push broom? Who do you think is going to win? The 8 year old or the 12 year old? The sock footed child or the bare footed child? I ended up laughing at both of them when they stepped on things. Of course I was laughing at them anyway because they were so funny to watch with their makeshift swords.

Or maybe it was jousting? Wait a minute…maybe I should be a bit more worried? In all honesty, I was laughing too hard to be worried even though my 12 year old son was jousting my 8 year old son right down the drive way straight for the street. They did stop at the end of the driveway before they hit the street. I have trained them well.

When all was said and done, we were all dirty and sore. I have to say that aside from the dirty socks my shoes were no worse for wear. They were a little dirty around the soles but not too much dirtier than I began. I am pleased to announced that I survived a day of yard work. Unfortunately, we have to do it again tomorrow because we still have thirteen bags of mulch to spread and three flower beds to go.

I have also discovered that our front yard is actually quite shady…who knew. Of course it has taken a few years for it to get this way.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.