animal lover, gardener, knitter, and gourmet cook

resetting expectations

Here it is July and my yard is still not “visitor ready” (not that I anticipate having many–or maybe even any–visitors this summer). Normally, I am able to get a jump on things early in the season, but the rainy spring prevented that from happening. But, really, the main obstacle is that I’m trying to tackle a few projects this year and those are understandably taking longer than simply weeding the yard.

My main project, which is almost complete, was to replant the pond hillside. Originally, I planted some blue cornflowers there and they ended up taking over the whole hillside. This wouldn’t be an issue, but after they flower, the stalks die off and need to be cut back (and this happens multiple times a season). It got to be a bit much. So, I removed most of those and bought some new plants at the Cambria County Conservation District’s annual plant sale. This also caused a bit of a delay as the sale is usually held in April, but had to be pushed back to May due to the coronavirus restrictions. Anyway, I had to weed before I put the plants in and that was a chore. Then I got distracted with my vegetable garden for a few weeks. Then by the time I got back to it, it needed weeded again! After the second round of weeding, I applied mulch, which has cut back on further weeds, but has not eliminated them entirely. This job is almost done–there’s just one small patch left to weed and mulch. Since it is so dry outside, this is taking longer than normal. One way or another, I’m going to wrap it up this weekend.

Another thing I decided to do is remove the English ivy that is growing all over and around the shed. It’s everywhere, really. This is likely to be a multi-year project as that stuff will just keep popping up. It is so dense and very difficult to remove. I’ve been running an edger over it just to cut it into sections. I have removed approximately 1/4 of it, but I haven’t worked on that in a few weeks because I’ve been concentrating on the mulching project.

The last project, which has not even started, is to plant grass in the dog area. Currently the area is mulched and has been for quite a number of years. It has mostly worked out well but after the unusually rainy spring and dogs tracking in wet mulch and dirt multiple times a day, I’ve decided that grass would be a better option. Also, it’s just one more area that needs weeded multiple times in the summer. This project’s going to be tricky, though. I will have to do it in sections so the dogs have somewhere to go as the grass grows. Then, I’ll be back to having burned spots in the lawn, but what can you do?