Sunday, April 27, 2003

Working the City Coffers- This Week's Garden Report: Late Apr 2003

The garden is going full blast now. Things are sprouting up everywhere. All
the Clematis survived and are climbing away. The Iris horde is lining up row
upon row and will be on the march shortly. The new Day Lily planter does seem
to keep Lightning, my dog, out, but he is doing his usual thorough job of trampling
the Day Lilies along the back fence.
Lightning has had a sleep over buddy this week, we're watching a neighbor's dog,
the miserable little fuzzball, whilst they are vacationing. The two of them
are having a blast out there. Lightning is teaching him the finer points of
flower trampling. He seems to a quick study, Apparently he is destined to
specialize in Tulips.
The city came by and planted a new Green Ash tree out front that we
requested last fall. Not bad it's about a $200 tree and we didn't have to pay
anything. Today however, in the Tribune they had a full page article about the latest invader from Asia, The Emerald Ash Borer Beetle. Just in the nick of
time. Lightning says he could pick 'em off if he had a BB gun, but I think
he's still got Squirrel on his mind.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Body Count Rising- This Week's Garden Report: Mid Apr 2003

The devastation caused by winter this year is becoming more and more
apparent. The body count is going up daily. Seven out of the twelve tall hedge
Buckthorn are out of action, the whole border with the Mexicans next door is
now wide open. Three more Forsythias woke up dead this spring, luckily the
Rita reserve (my neighbor's yard) is fully stocked with replacements. Two of the Holly bushes are
terribly wounded and not expected to pull thru.
The new River Birch and Bald Cypress picked up late last season look like
they will not be joining the team this spring after all. Even last seasons
rookie of the year, the Japanese Ferns are MIA. Oh! The humanity!!
Lightning, my dog, is in a total rage about the whole situation. Of course he blames
the squirrels. He claims they are now using weapons of mass destruction and
must be stopped at all costs. He wants to make preemptive strikes into
neighboring yards where the squirrels have their base camps. He wants to
start out by burning Rita's house to the ground because she is doing nothing
to stop the squirrels from using the power lines as a way to infiltrate into
our yard. He claims it's the only language the fuzzy tailed terrorists
understand. I think it's not only the squirrels though, I think he always has
had problems with Rita's little bitchy dog and wants to take care of two
nuisances at once. Even though I don't think he can or would act on this latest threat I am being cautious
about leaving matches laying around.
There is also good news in the garden. The Bleeding Heart appeared 3 days
ago and is already 12 inches tall, that plant is fantastic, once it gets
going you can almost watch it grow. It's liking one of those goofy nature
films they used to show you in grade school with the film sped up. The
tulips, Daffodil, Grape Hyacinth and Icicle Pansies are all doing well and
are on schedule. The Clematis' are all shooting up like there's no tomorrow
and I expect great thing from all of them this summer.
I took out the lawn mower and gave the lawn it's first cut of the year. I
love my new mower. I'm becoming a true suburbanite.

Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Casualty Report- This Weeks Garden Report: Early Apr 2003

The garden has reappeared as suddenly as it disappeared a couple of weeks
ago. Lightning, my dog, of course takes credit. He claims it was him cracking down on
the fury tailed terrorists that made them cough it up. I remain skeptical.
Nonetheless, the garden is back and the excitement is mounting. The snow
crocuses are putting in there best showing ever. They have spread to about
1/4 of the front lawn, they aren't thick yet but they're getting there. The
new Icicle Pansies recruited last fall are living up to their advertising.
The Tulips, Jonquils and Daffodils are sprouting and should be reporting in
any day now.
It's too early to assess the damage done over the winter. It looks pretty
grim. The heather doesn't appear to have made it and the Holly is showing
lots of damage but should survive. The Hardy Hibiscus apparently wasn't as
hardy as advertised. It looks like all the Mums are going to pull thru. The
new tree in front is budding in a big way and the new River Birch in back is
looking good. The new Bald Cypress remains bald and is causing me some worry,
I've never had one before so I don't know when it should be showing signs of
life. Luckily we had a good rain last night, a real gullywasher, just in time
to because the gully was really getting pretty dirty.
The birds are slowly filtering back to town. There were a few sparrows
checking out the bird houses but apparently the accommodations were not up to
their standards because the uppity little assholes just moved on. Some giant
crows stopped by for a while, these things were huge, like vultures, they
could have flown off with Lightning if they had a mind to.
I discovered a good way to clean up the Myrtle I use as ground cover, I
used a shop vac. Does a great job sucking out the old leaves and junk, It
doesn't break off many of the vines themselves and it kinda fluffs 'em up too.
Sad to say it's too cold to work outside this morning, we had some snow
last night, I guess all there is to do is take a nap.