Saturday, March 18, 2017

Things Spring Brings

Spring, glorious spring. As the Winter of 2017 ends, and with it the pounding rains, blasting windstorms and the near catastrophe at Oroville Dam, the Sacramento Valley is in its best shape in a long time. The Sierra Mountains got their snow, the tree roots got their water, the reservoirs will have enough water and we can all flush our toilets whenever they need to be flushed. Life is super.

The irises are popping up, the daffodils did their thing and the tulips are next. Last fall on a particularly hot day, I dug up all our irises and daffodils and redistributed them all over hin and yon. Halfway into that project, with the sweat dripping off my face like water off a dam's spillway, I wondered if it was really necessary. But I'm glad I did, because nothing says hope like spring bulbs. And nothing says garden laziness than iris beds, because long after the blooms are faded, we are left with spiky green plants that need no care. I say cover the world with irises, and I'm doing my part part to make that happen.

After the ground dried out a bit, it was time to do a little walkabout the yard and see how things fared. Not too shabby. There is still a lot of work to do in getting this place in shape so we don't have to do so much work. But that takes work, and the window of opportunity to do that in nice weather is closing soon. Soon it'll be my most dreaded season, summer, when that sweat spillway on my face is in full swing.

First up was weeding. So far I've only tackled the front yard and the fountain yard in back, where we put down mulch. The places in the yard that have yet to receive the mulch treatment are just too scary. I'm just pretending for now the property line ends where the weeds start. It's a coping mechanism, and it works for me. All told, even with the thick layer acting to suppress weeds, I filled a large green waste bin. You can see clearly from the pictures below what a huge difference this made.

Before I weeded
After I weeded.
OK, maybe not worth all that effort after all, it looks just about the same. Moving onward.

The back patio - otherwise known as The Place We Put Stuff That Doesn't Belong. This winter, in trying to avoid the mud pit of the backyard, a lot of stuff ended up on the patio. It was time to tackle it. You can see clearly from the pictures below what a huge difference this made.

Before I cleaned it.

After I cleaned it.
Now there are some good Before and After pictures, wouldn't you say? We had exactly one meal out there, and then the weather turned a bit cooler and we gave up on that for now.

The Alligator-Lizard-Monster Thing
This thing, this abomination of nature, did not appreciate me cleaning the patio. He stared me down. He glared at me. He won that battle. I went back inside. But it's going to be a long summer, Buddy, and we will use our patio. Go live in the weeds for now, the ones in the way back.

Not interested one bit in lowering the Alligator-Lizard-Monster population.

With spring comes the plans for an abundant and amazing veggie garden. All the hopes, the wishes, the visions of cabbage-sized tomatoes ready for slicing, zucchini-sized zucchini that don't go all Lizard-Monster on me, and luscious fruit free from bugs, worms and squirrel bites. It's spring, let me have my dreams. 

A few years ago we planted two cherry trees, and wouldn't you know it, they weren't the kind that, ahem, get along, if you catch my drift. Cherry trees need certain other cherry trees to set fruit, and of course the two we bought weren't the right kind. They needed some cherry romance, another tree with the goods. So we had to buy a third cherry tree, and we're hoping that between the birds and the bees, their pollen all gets to where it needs to be and we get some fruit from these trees. But of course it will - it's Spring and all things are possible.

Don't be shy, come on over and talk to her!