Annual Despise

I didn’t get the windows done.

Instead, I conquered the annual “That Which I Despise.”

In record time due to:

  1. It actually being a bi-annual event.
  2. A lovely friend willing to haul me out some mulch.

I skipped 2020 with absolutely zero guilt. COVID, and none of the box stores who were just beginning delivery were willing to ship soil or mulch. I’m generally not a fan of gardening, unless it bears salsa.

Last fall, I determinedly dug up the interlocking brick border and moved each about 2 inches further in, toward the building, so there’s be future less to tend.  I also took a good number of bulbs from my oft-trampled only true floral bed. The damage really irked me at first. But, what else is a child supposed to do without siblings or much outdoor supervision? Permitting use of the imagination is a much more important investment, anyway. It’s also a convenient  reason not to attempt to weed amongst wreckage.

The other south-side bed has been mulch, weeds and two obnoxious prickerly bushes.  I’ve tried to kill them three times. Seriously. Chopping as mercilessly as the greenery would gladly prick me, I poured multiple helpings of all-natural, safe for pets, liquid weed killer down the stumpy gullets.

The stubborn regrowth hadn’t gotten very far, when the mulch angel stopped by. A little side comment about how much I really dislike those maroon-ish meanies, prompted an immediate, “I’ll take them.”

To which I promptly replied, “Let me go grab you a shovel.”

I also pulled up two white grocery sacks, a pruner, hand rake and gloves. Happy-to see-holes devoid of dangerous thorns inspired a fiendish grin. Then, What I thought were wild-spreading, brightly beautiful purple-flowered weeds were actually flowering bulbs of some sort. A hefty number of those departed, too.

After that, the only thing left to do, was to thickly cover the rest of the space with dark brown clumps of moist wood chips. My precise method?  Dump a bag, smooth it out. Move on.

I did. I dumped a bag and a half into the two split beds leading up to my real front porch. I did take care to kind of paw some away from plants that I know are plants. Yellow daffodils, orange lilies. I also invested a few moments trimming that something-piney half-bare tree-like thing that lives to the right of a living room window. Probably not the right season to prune it, but every time the wind blows, it stretches an awkward, arm-like branch into my couch-view. It’s especially alarming at night.

From there, I rounded the corner to my new-two-years-ago railroad tie garden space that has yet to become one. I did mostly succeed in deceasing an odd, low-low-to-the-ground viny, yellow and green thing. My friend asked what the lone clump of greenery was. I don’t know, but it sort of resembles daffodil sprouts. Only thinner. I mercifully gave them breathing room, and dumped the rest of half bag I was holding.

Hostas are hardy enough that even I can’t accidentally kill them. Even when, say I didn’t forget to clip the tendrils and cut them back before the first Michigan frost. In my defense, the frost came early and I hadn’t been engaged in caring.

“Do you think I need to clear out all the dead stuff?” It was a hopefully inquiry. The hope was that the answer would be, “No.” Unfortunately, I was, as expected, informed that it would be a good idea.  

That was a quick go, too. A couple of handfuls of dry, brittle, bud branches and leftover fall foliage was all it took. Again, I considerately brushed away bits from just sprouting buried shoots. I’m particularly fond of hardly-ever-need-water and ever-expanding Hostas.

So, maybe I do have a little landscaping desire buried deep within. Maybe, I’ll indoor-pot some poblanos next to the already potted cat grass.

Quote for the Week:

Quarancat-thing

This is Tigger-Lilly.

She started showing up after the only-one-time baby striped thing. The big orange cat has only been by once since TLilly planted herself on the porch.

Tigger’s been routine for a little over a month now. Based on loose evidence, I’ve deduced she is a girl. But, then again, Jeff thought Miss Fred was a boy at first, and he was more familiar with animal anatomy than I am.

This golden tortoise-girl is ear-clipped and collar-less. I suspect she’s somewhere between 9 months and a year, a homeless catch-and-release or hopelessly lost. A shake or an itch will create a Pig-Pen dust cloud. There doesn’t appear to have been any weight gain since I’ve been feeding her, so two homes seems unlikely. I’m also light on the feeding, twice a day. She eats quickly and over-eats to the point of regurgitation if she’s not monitored.

It’s taken three weeks for her to stop jumping away if I breath too loudly, tap my foot or swat at a bug.  She still bolts when I open the door, keeping wide berth, then coming closer again, carefully.

Lill’s way more interested in Blu than me, steadily seeking out his feline companionship, showing no fear – she knows he’s her kind. She follows Sir Harley and I on our weather-permitting, early morning garden walks, jabbering away the whole time. On our way back around the house, she gets louder, mewling impatient tones of “c’mon!” and demanding breakfast.

Blu is alternately ambivalent, jealous, stunned. He’s only territorial now when he remembers to be. She is patient, and forewarning; always announcing herself if she is behind him, always rolling over when she is in view. Her up-front-ness and squeaky approach have greatly reduced HBlu’s confused fused hiss vocal dying-zombie protests.

In the last few days Miss Lilly has eaten from my hand, let me scratch her back for 10 seconds while she ate and has owningly hit my legs with drive-by’s.

She’s persistent with Blu. I’m persistent with her. And, thankfully, Blu is less consistent in his affront.

I’m anticipating it will take at least another month of being/working with TL for her to not skitter. It’ll probably be another few weeks past that until she stays close enough for long enough for me to consider trying to secure her to a vet.

I don’t think we’d have any progress if I wasn’t working from home with a later schedule now, as well.

So, there it is: a happy quarantine thing.

Quote for the Week: