Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two Weekends on the Road Demand a Full Day in the Yard . . .

I love to travel. I should rephrase that -- I LOVE to travel. I also love working in the yard in my spare time. But in the spring, the yard has a tendency to get away from me if I'm not out there every few days. I was in Akron last weekend and in the Grand Canyon the weekend before that -- and while I was on the road the weather was beautiful at home. But every day I have been at home since Easter it has rained -- until yesterday. I had already planned to take a day off Monday, so I knew where I would be most of the day.

I had run through the front yard with the mower in the rain before I left for Akron, so it would look like someone actually lived there while I was gone. But the grass in the backyard was swaying in the breeze (a machete would have come in handy). It usually takes me about three hours to mow with a self-propelled mower (with a ball game on the radio, those three hours are all mine), but it took an extra hour to hack the backyard and then mow it again to even things out. Then another hour to drag out the edger for the first time and clean up the sidewalks and driveway.

But the most important task of the day was to put a fence around the new Venus Dogwood in the backyard to keep the critters away. We love dogwoods, and our favorite nursery person told us this is a new strain with six inch white blooms late in the spring.

It has buds that are just beginning to swell, so we should have something to look at after the blooms from our other dogwoods are gone.

It was amazing the changes in our yard in the 3 1/2 days I was gone. When I left, the daffodils were still in full bloom (they lasted more than three weeks this year). When I got back, they were done, and the dogwoods had exploded -- this is a little white dogwood we got last year (it's my wife's favorite tree).

I love red dogwoods (there are white ones everywhere around here). My parents bought us this one for our 25th anniversary, and we got another one just like it for the backyard a few weeks ago.

We have lots of irises and daylilies and such, and I make several hanging pots of impatiens on the front porch, so we have something in bloom in the front yard almost all summer. But the dogwoods are what we always wait for.

As usual, Zoe was on hand to supervise all day long. She kept track of what I was doing -- unless the little kids were out in the neighborhood. Zoe loves kids -- there are four on our street and a fifth when our neighbors are watching their grandson. We had a scary moment yesterday -- one of the little ones (he's about two) visited Zoe with his sister and his mom. Then they went home, and a few minutes later he decided to come back -- on his own -- across the street. Thankfully, we live on a cul-de-sac and there isn't much traffic, so no harm was done.

Now, I'm back to work -- and home for the next two weekends. I have pictures shot for two tutorials, so I'll get back to work-related postings within the next day or two.


  1. Greg,
    I just adore dogwood! I have only one, a Mother's Day gift many years ago. Here on Cape Cod it is finicky and doesn't always bloom well.
    I need to find some new varieties and buy another!

  2. Dogwoods are my favorite tree, and the new variety will be next on my list. I only have one dogwood in my yard and it owns me! It is a natural variety - transplanted from the woods to my back yard and has the most nearly, perfect shape of any I've ever seen. It hasn't been groomed for its shape, either. That red is so stunning! Now I'll have to put that on my list too. I'd love to share some of my Wisteria with you, though they don't need to be near any of your trees - will choke them. Just an extra strong arbor is so beautiful with them draped down and they give the sweetest, light scent! Thanks again for sharing your beautiful blooms and travels with this old TN Granny (soon be 70!)
    Nelda in TN