Saturday, April 27, 2013

Front yard frenzy

There was a teaser a few weeks ago about the upcoming activities in our front yard. Today was the first of what will likely be several days. At least. Maybe more. Just in the front. The back yard is a whole other world. The use of motorized equipment is being seriously contemplated.

Mostly these are before and after photos. I knew this would be tough, but I was in the mood for it. I was out there at 8:30. By the numbers:

  • 2 cups of coffee, with a good breakfast before starting
  • 2 slivers (an amazingly low total)
  • 1 blister
  • 2 cat supervisors
  • 5 bags of yard waste, only 3 of which fit into our black garbage bin
  • 2 more bags containing cedar chips to be recycled and reused, along with other gunge
  • 20 photos taken during the day, some of which were tweaked in Snapseed and appear below
  • 2 litres of water consumed, and 1 snack, over a 4 hour period
  • 2 chats with neighbours
This photo does not do justice to how bad it looked. 

You can see some of the bits of wood that used to be that left hand set of boxes. A long time ago they used to be 2x14. The widest piece of wood left un-rotted is about 3 inches.

Of course I couldn't be trusted to do such an important job on my own. I had two volunteer supervisors.  Curtis in the front window, and Celina in the side basement window as I was doing that part of the yard.


You might remember this photo from a couple weeks ago, showing another view of how bad the front was. From a different angle, here is some of the thatch after being scraped off.




This is our mint plant. Although they are supposed to spread, this one seems happy here. I trim it from this

To this every year.

The front beds have some plants left at the end closest to me, but they are pretty well choked out by grass and weeds. The rest of the beds had a nice layer of cedar chips at one time, but the weeds have been getting the upper hand.

All I've done is taken out the chips to be washed and reused, and taken off the top layer of loose stuff. Later will come the actual digging and removal of unwanted plant material. Much later will come the addition of some fresh soil and new plants. In the corner of the box, inside the rounded stone border, lives a day lily. It's pretty happy there, but it's under siege from the weeds as well.

I double raked the entire front lawn, first with a garden rake to get the loose stuff, then the toothy rake, as I think of it, to deal with the thatch. By the time I started the side yard, the wind had begun to gust so I didn't get to the thatch raking there. It ended up being a pretty windy day so I'm glad I got an early start.

Overall this is a really good workout. The raking is a cardio, muscular, and stretching workout. Lots of kneeling and squats to work on the boxes. Bends to pick up garbage. My legs feel pretty good out of this.

Dealing with loose plant material in the wind wasn't much fun anymore. I changed tack, and started on the barbecue. Normally I clean it every time I fill the tank, but I missed last time. It was really, really cold then, and being outside working on cold metal was not to be thought of. So it was pretty gucky. It's a small price to pay for rack of lamb, bison burgers, lamb burgers, various cuts of chicken, many in specialty Linda-made marinades.

A remarkably short time later it was looking like this. Much better.

The secret? 

Stupid photo rotation issues. These are a special fibre that for all intents and purposes sucks the guck right off the barbecue. Rinse a few times and it keeps on working. Afterward a wash in some dish soap and it's good to go for the next time. A clean barbecue is a happy barbecue. An added benefit to washing the cloth is that the micro fibers also wash everything out of the creases in your hands. Other than a few chipped nails and a blister, you'd never know I'd been doing yard work today.

During the afternoon quiet period I signed up for fotopedia. I've browsed some of the stories and enjoyed some amazing photos. Maybe next week I'll try my hand at a story of my own. Of course I'll tell you about it.

In a little while we leave to have dinner with friends. Looking forward!

 


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