Saturday, June 4, 2011
The Summer In Pictures: Day 4
My new backyard is an exercise in intimidation.
You see, in Illinois we had a backyard that was roughly the size of a Volkswagon. But at the time it worked for us - the girls were little and we didn't have a need for a ton of green space. Then we moved to Oregon, the land of green things and our rental house had a decent sized backyard....unfortunately it was mostly comendeered by the landlord as a place to park all of his various non-working vehicles. The part that he wasn't using was uneven and dry, covered with crabgrass and goatheads, otherwise known as puncturevine the Pacific Northwest. Puncturevine is known as a noxious weed in Oregon (seen here: http://www.idahoweedawareness.org/vfg/weedlist/puncturevine/puncturevine.html) and it's nasty stuff. I refer to it as "that f'n crap that made it impossible to play outside without having a kid come in every five seconds with a thorn in their foot." But that aside, the bottom line is that it was kind of hard to get your garden on in the old house.
Now fast forward to the new place. It has a wonderful backyard - in fact it was one of the main reasons we bought our charming money pit with it's orchard view. And when I say it has a wonderful backyard, what I really mean is that it has the potential to have a wonderful backyard. You can tell that once upon a time, the previous homeowner was an avid gardener - there are all sorts of exotic (to me) flowers and shrubs struggling to survive out in our mini urban jungle. Unfortunately, you can also tell that the second the previous owner received our offer on the house, she stopped weeding, watering, and caring about it at all. For approximately three months. In the spring. When things grow. In fact I'm reasonably certain she forgot that she even still had a backyard. So by the time we got into the house a year ago, there wasn't much that could be done except hack down the weeds that threatened to eat us and hunker down until this year.
And finally, my efforts are paying off. Slowly but surely I am winning the battle to reclaim the yard. I can actually mow it, the grass is green, and we are cleaning up the flower beds bit by bit, having fun discovering the treasures already planted underneath months of old leaves neglect.
Among my greatest discoveries are the peony bushes. I have never had experience with these before, and when they bloomed I was stunned. The kids and I have had so much fun watching the plants produce their golf ball sized buds that suddenly explode into huge bright blossoms. They are simply magnificent, and the flowers themselves seem to be be saying thank you to me every time they bloom - thank you for bringing us back!
I am more than happy to oblige.