Spring has Sprung

It’s 70° outside and it’s been in the 70s for the most part for the past 4-5 days. Before that, it’s been off and on (mostly off) in the 40s to 60s, and there was a couple of mornings when it was below freezing (actually saw frost on the neighbor’s lawn). Our Spring perennials (for the most part) have come up, bloomed and now are in the process of losing their buds and leaving their colors behind, to be replaced with the grasses and trees that normally permeate our back and side yards.

The lawn is desperately in need of mowing. I’ve been so lax that the next door neighbors (who are gone large chunks of the year) have already had their lawn mowed twice by their service. As in other years, we’ll be planting flowers, but we always wait until Memorial Day, as by then the cold snaps are a thing of the past, and there’s little chance the flowers we purchase will get frosted and we’ll have to get new ones.

The front flower bed is reserved for my marigolds. When I was a child, my mother turned me on to marigolds for planting near the tree that I was gifted when I was 7.  When we moved to this house in ’01, the front bed seemed to have been neglected for a long time.  My wife offered it to me to plant whatever I wanted.  Sure enough, it became the marigold bed.  The really nice part about that particular plant is, they grow pretty much anywhere.  Not invasive, but they will thrive in rich soil as well as poor.  Sun, shade, doesn’t matter, the little critters will bloom just the same.  And you can harvest the seeds after they die back come autumn, just save the heads, crack them open and dry them out, and you can reseed them in the spring and have a fresh crop ready to be transplanted when it’s warm enough.  

The one thing that is growing like an infestation is the Japanese knotweed in the far corner of the property.  When we moved in, it was a thick dense jungle of bamboo, and I’ve been spending the better part of the past 23 years trying to eradicate it.  I thought I had the upper hand until the new neighbors moved in behind us about 10 years ago.  In introducing myself, I attempted to educate them to the fact there was a crop of the knotweed on their side of the property line (and fence) and it would be helpful if they could attempt not to encourage it to grow.  Fell on deaf ears.  Instead of helping me, he started cultivating his….the stuff grows like hogweed, and yes it creates a lot of shade, but it also infests where it grows.  Which is why this state refers to it as an invasive species and it shouldn’t be encouraged to propogate.

My current plan is to wait for the grass to dry out enough to have a chance with the lawnmower, providing it starts.  Last Fall I had an issue with the spring that controls the engine.  If it sticks, then the engine won’t stay on, and it managed to rust over the course of the previous winter.  Since it’s a Craftsman mower, and Sears is in the long and laborious process of going bankrupt, it’s increasingly difficult to get parts for it.  Too, the diagrams that Sears always made for their equipment are little better than line drawings.  Always have been.  So finding the right part takes more than a little dective work.  Rest assured though, not my first parts diagram rodeo.  

More pictures and stories to come as the Spring wears on.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *