Monday, March 22, 2010

New Directions

Almost exactly a year ago I posted that I was "bankrupt" and taking a break from blogging. At the time, I felt as though there wasn't enough of me to go around and I needed to re-prioritize my life and see where blogging fell on the list. Obviously, the blog made the cut.

This past weekend I started feeling the same way, that I have too many irons in the fire and I need to simplify. I was minutes away from writing a post entitled "Goodbye" or something like that, and then I realized that this overwhelmed feeling is seasonal. It has to do with coming out of winter hibernation, finding the renewed energy of spring, and having too many outlets for that energy.

I am confident that my freak out will pass, and that blogging will once again make the cut; I've always enjoyed writing and I need the creative outlet.

But, I am interested in writing some off-topic posts (e.g. posts that aren't about Evie's latest activities).

So, one of my projects this spring and summer is to re-claim our yard. We bought our house 8 years ago from its original owners, who built it in the mid-1960's. By the time they sold it to us, they were elderly and retired. Elderly, retired and gardeners. They had time to putter in the yard and prune bushes and weed flower beds.

Then we moved in, a couple in our 20's, both with full-time jobs and hobbies other than gardening. We managed to maintain the lawn, but we pretty much let the beds and bushes "return to nature."

For the past few years, I've resolved each spring to get out in the garden and take it back from the weeds, but grading finals and parenting an infant have gotten in the way of those plans. Until now. Until this spring. This spring I will conquer the rampant entropy that is our back yard!

This past Friday, before we were hit with a spring snow storm, J and I filled our yard waste bin with fallen twigs, prunings and other yard waste. It was our first stab at this year's gardening project. Then, before the snow began falling, I took a few pictures of our yard. They aren't truly "before" pictures because, as I said, we had already done a couple of hours of work. But they are close enough. Behold the chaos. I hope I have some impressive "after" photos to offer you in the fall.

Here is where our sump pump empties into the side yard. We have a natural spring on our street, so the sump pump works year-round. I am plotting to turn this into a little rock pond with lily pads:
This is where the pleasant creeping ivy that the house's previous owners planted has threatened to consume our home:
This was a sweet little rock garden with succulents when we moved in. Now it just looks abandoned:
This weedy plant is a rose bush. We have ignored it for years and yet it still produces a few roses every year. Imagine what will happen when I take an interest!
This is the back border of our yard. In summer it resembles the deepest, darkest jungle of the Amazon. I have always been afraid to weed it in the summer, for fear of being strangled by a python or bitten by a tarantula. It looks much less threatening in March, before it becomes dense and green.
Today most of our snow melted, and tomorrow should be pleasant. I'll be back outside, filling up the yard waste bin again. If I have any gardeners reading, feel free to advise me; I'm all ears.


  1. I'm glad that goodbye post never got written! I enjoy hearing about your life. :)

    And your house is amazing. And I'm sure your yard will come together nicely! I'm so jealous that you actually have a yard. Sigh...

  2. Yay for keeping the blog alive..

    in a past life I was a master gardner (read public servant) and loved gardening.. hrs a day were filled with gardening..... sigh

    If you ever want me to come take a look at it I might be able to help you identify plant from weed lol :).

  3. Awesome idea! Fun! Will be excited to see upcoming posts about it.

  4. just keep blogging, blogging, blogging ...

    i, too, love the outlet - even though i (almost) always feel like 1. i don't have the time, or 2. i don't have anything to say. even though i blog in my head a lot - many thoughts that just don't get down.

    have fun in the yard!

  5. I'm a Master Gardener and I have issues, too. Last year it was that we traveled all summer. This year it looks like we're staying put (for the most part) and I have BIG plans!

    My sister has a sump outlet like that. She has a little sprinkler attached to it. My 4 year old nephew loves to watcht the "fountain" go off! That might be an idea for you

  6. You're so noble to reclaim your yard! We took more of the slash n' burn approach. Rather than maintain any of the stuff the previous owners had started (some of which was really quite hideous), we just ripped it all out. I like to think we're just meadow people rather than garden people. (aka: a couple of lazy bums!)

    Can't wait to see pics of how your efforts shape up!

  7. I'm glad you recognized that seasonal impulse for what it was -- I would miss your posts, & I enjoy reading about whatever you have to write about!


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