Big thanks to everyone crossing their fingers and sending positive vibes: our friends' little baby boy has come back home, and all his tests came back fine. He still needs a lot of tending to (has to be woken up every 2 hours to be fed), but it sounds like the worst of it is behind them. We have breathed a huge sigh of relief! And in more good news on that front, we may be able to go and visit them next weekend. Yay!
Today is Saturday, and the weather is gorgeous. Too bad I had to come to work :( But I still managed to get plenty of time enjoying the outdoors before lunch today. You know summer is almost here, because today was the first lawn mowing of the year (complete with lawn aeration). I also transplanted a few small cuttings, a lilac and a few forsythias. I pulled out some thistles and dandylions, and a whole bunch of new raspberry shoots. And because it's so beautiful and sunny and dry, on top of the usual laundries I washed some of our blankets, so that they can dry outside. Not bad for a morning's work ;) And much more pleasant than sitting in the air-conditioned work cubicle...
All this yardwork at the beginning of the season sure seems daunting. But we keep reminding ourselves that a little extra work at the beginning of the season will pay dividends throughout the summer. When we first bought the house, I was a very naive yard-idealist, insisting on keeping everything natural. I wanted to let the plants grow wild, hoping to bask in their natural beauty. Well, what happened after that was that our lawn became overrun with thistles (pretty flowers for a week or so in the summer, major pain the rest of the time), raspberry bushes took over the back side of the house (literally killing everything else that had grown there, including the wonderful iris that I had enjoyed so much). So I somehow had to get over my dislike of killing plants, and selectively eliminate some of the more rude natural invaders. Especially in the spring, it's important to keep those enthusiastic buggers at bay :)
Now, that's not to say I've completely given up on the "natural" yard. We still only use a reel mower - it's a lot of work, but it's good exercise, and it works well. We aerate the lawn using these funky sandals. We still refuse to use pesticides and chemical fertilizers. I try to encourage native plants to grow wild as they please. The yard still needs a lot of work to get where I would ultimately like it to be, but we are making progress. I am certainly really impressed at how well certain plants respond to the minimal maintenance I've started last year. The lilac bushes are just thriving, the tulips are coming up beautifully (they haven't bloomed yet, but you know there will be pictures as soon as they do!). And seeing those results really makes all the yard work a lot more enjoyable. I used to hate the thought of having to go take care of the "outside", as it seemed like such a never ending job. But I'm starting to come around. Of course, yard work is a lot more enjoyable at this time of year, when the sun is just nice and warm, and the gentle breeze brings over the smell of fresh grass, and all the birds are chirping. Ask me again in the middle of the summer in the sweltering heat with mosquitoes buzzing over my head!
Gotta get back to work, so I can get back home at a decent hour. Hope you're all enjoying your weekend!