Sunday, July 22, 2007

Clearing away the tangled deadwood

I wonder why it's only now that I've cleared away the dead lavender branches that the scent of lavender finally permeates the air here on the back porch.

I've been busy with gardening and other outdoor endeavours since yesterday. Nothing around here seems to be done correctly unless I do it myself. For example, I hired a gardener, probationarily, I suppose, but I had hopes because he came to me highly recommended. Anyway, we walked through the property, and I showed him things that needed to be done, mainly consisting of taming the wildly and unattractively overgrown hedges and perennials and the even more wildly and unattractively overgrown climbing flowers and vines. Until I moved in here, I thought I liked primroses (climbing mini roses). I had one in the city one summer. The difference was that it didn't climb all over my porch railings (since I didn' have a porch, literally choking the railings to the point where the railings have indentations in them. Also, the thorns on primrose vines are sharp as hell, and if they poke through the porch railings, then you can't place seating anywhere nearby. SO...I asked the gardener to cut them back and train them away from the porch.

What I came home to was a dead-looking sprawl of thorny vines coiled all over the ground. Worse, on the other side of the porch, some unidentified, non-flowering vine choked the porch railing so badly that it literally ripped a six-foot section of railing right off its moorings. The gardener tied it to a nearby pillar with some rope but proceeded to train the evil vine back up another nearby pillar. A day later, three-quarters of the leaves on the vine were dead, and I was here with kitchen shears, cutting the vne down until it too lay on the ground in a tangle.

My immediate reaction: phew.

I don't think the gardener watered the hedges in the front or side yards. So, yesterday, I just brought out all of the hoses that were left in the house and connected them together until they reached the front yard.

Again, my reaction: phew.

Now, why couldn't the gardener do that? Or maybe that's asking too much from a gardener? I don't know.

Similarly, I realized that after the gardener trimmed all the hedges, I had a lot of hosing down and even soaping up of exterior walls and pillars to do. Not that I didn't kind of enjoy doing it, but I doubt that I'm going to want to do it on a regular basis. So, whose job is that anyway? Should the gardener have done it? I mean, I pay him in man hours. But maybe it's not the gardener's job. I really don't know.

Then the thing that kept me busy nearly all day yesterday from about three p.m. until 10 p.m., except for a 45 minute bike ride at around 7: I opened up the gas grill and discovered that it hadn't been cleaned in like, in like, um, you know what? I am pretty sure than in 10 years of this house's existence, that it hadn't been cleaned EVER. I went through I don't know how many cans of Easy Off Oven Cleaner and completely destroyed the wire grill-brush. After awhile, I was scraping soot with a heavy duty spatula anyway. When it was finally fairly clean and didn't make me feel like I couldn't cook for my children on it, I discovered that the ignition button was broken. Nice. Thank goodness it can light manually, with a match. I like simplicity.

Is there someone to pay to do these things? I'm okay with doing them for now, but once my kids get home, I will be way busier and won't have the time to do this endless, obsessive, compulsive householding-related work. So, the what? Who does one call for such things? I have been a city mouse for so long, I just don't know the answers.

The H put me into a very nice Supta K today, and then he put me into another one, not nearly as nice, but still serviceable, so that he could take a photo. Well, really, so that I could HAVE a photo. I had to force him to assist me again and to go get the camera. It's a decent pic, and I will upload it soon, along with a video of me jumping through (never thought this would happen at all, let alone be accessible enogh so that I can do it with the pressure of the self-timer beeping). But at the moment, all I have is a memory card. The camera is now shot. It fell on the slate patio when I was trying to do a self-timer of backbending.

Oh my god. I just realized the significance of that. My backbend is so awful, it BROKE the camera. How funny is that?



Anonymous said...

primroses do not climb.

YC said...

then what are those awful climbing things in my garden that are destined for the guillotine?

Anonymous said...

wow, are they really so bad? post a picture and I will identify. It is probably some type of climbing rose. In fact, you should post everything so that I can approve your plans. :)

YC said...

They are BAD. BAD BAD BAD. Hate em.

I don't like flowers whose stems are stronger than me and the wood railings on my porches and who can pierce my skin if I touch them the wrong way. Something is very wrong with that.

Meanwhile, my wood floors are being sanded in preparation for a new stain. Should we go with Dark Walnut (like EVERYONE around here) or with a lightly warmer (not darker, just warmer tones within it) English Chestnut?

Hey, and thanks for the help on standing up from dropbacks. Seems to be working.

Anonymous said...

Glad it's working. You still need tweaking. I think I predicted two months. Go with a lighter floor color. You don't want what all those other fuckers have. Also, hey, the flowers, yeah, beauty is painful. that's the paradox. like wow, man.

Debby said...

Are there lots of deer in your area? We have the prikliest rose bush on earth. It has more thorns than I could imagine possible, and it is the only one that deer do not destroy.

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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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