Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What Is It?

A couple of days ago I was cleaning up the side yard and I found this....thing.

I think it's a rhizome or a tuber or something.  Hopefully a flower.  It was buried under a pile of leaves and sticks in the side yard where I haven't planted anything.  In the whole time I've lived here, nothing's ever grown in that particular spot except dandelions, and I swear if this is a freakishly large dandelion of some sort I will throw things and say bad words.  But I don't really think it's a dandelion, because look at those leaves.

When I pulled up the floor of the side porch a couple of years ago, I found remnants of whatever bush Mrs. Kelly (the wife of the original owner of my house) had planted there.  (It had to be Mrs. Kelly, because the porch was built onto the house about 1910 and Mrs. Kelly was still alive then.)  Now I'm hoping this thing is that bush, resurrected.  Is that even possible?  Just in case it is, I planted the thing in one of my gardens.

Does anyone know what this might be?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lo And Behold

Last fall I got this crazy stupid genius idea to move a rose bush from the east side of the house to the back yard so it could grow on the picket fence instead of sprawling all over the yard and getting run over by the lawnmower every two weeks. (I warred with the yard guy all last year over his penchant for mowing down my flowers and he won't be back this year.)  Not just any little ol' rose bush, though--a behemoth rose bush that had been growing on the side of the house for decades.  It really needed a better location, because it had been planted way too close to the foundation of the house and it had a mulberry tree growing up through the middle of it. I couldn't kill the tree without also killing the rose bush, so I spent the better part of two days digging a gigantic hole in the yard to get to the roots of the rose bush. When I say "gigantic", I mean a hole so big that Marion asked me if I was mad at him and planning to put him in that hole. 

After I replanted the rose bush in its new location, all the leaves fell off and it looked dead.  My neighbor Gwen (she of the beautiful back-yard garden) told me not to worry. This Spring, while everything else was leafing out, that rose bush looked like a pile of sticks stuck in the ground.  I was sure I'd killed it, and I kicked myself over that.

Then yesterday Gwen came over and asked how the rose bush is doing.  "I killed it," I told her.  "I am a rose bush murderer."

She poked around in the dead leaves at the base of the rose bush.  "Look!" she exclaimed.

I saw one little reddish rose bush leaf poking out.  "Oh my gosh! Is that what I think it is?!"

I scrabbled at the rest of the dead leaves with my fingers, and lo and behold, even more rose bush leaves.  Healthy-looking ones.  Six shoots in all.  True, two of them are so teeny-tiny that they can barely be seen, but they're there.  Proof of life.  I am not a rose bush murderer after all.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

"What Are We Gonna Do?"

All the usual signs of Spring are here: Esther's daffodils are blooming (a little early this year, I think), robins are hopping through the yard, my favorite rose bush is leafing out, and I've swept the front porch and set out the wicker furniture again.

But the best and surest sign of Spring is this: Marion shows up at my door with a big goofy grin on his face and asks, "What are we gonna do this year?"  Then we both start talking at once, words tumbling out and falling over each other's sentences, and we laugh and roll our eyes and throw up our hands while we walk around the house, inside and out, and make grand plans.

So what are we gonna do this year? Well, for starters, there's the roof on the 1910-or-so addition to the house. It's flat, it leaks, and it's getting worse. Marion thinks maybe we can just get up there and spread a big can of Henry's sealant all over and it'll be fixed. As usual, I'm both ridiculously optimistic that this will indeed fix it, and terrified that it won't. That's the necessary thing that's not much fun.

The other thing that needs to be done is the side porch, and that's a lot more fun. We intended to get it done last fall and then...well, Marion and I are good at lots of things, but we're best at procrastinating. I think it was two years ago (but it might've been three) that I salvaged the bottom rail, top rail, and spindles from a house across the street. Last summer Marion made a supply list and I was supposed to have been buying things in bits and pieces all winter, but I lost the list. He says we can finish the porch in just a couple of work days...once we get started.

Last but certainly not least, there's the rest of the exterior paint.  Folks, I've been saying since this time last year that I'm thiiiiis close to finishing the outside of the house. Right before I wrote this I walked around outside with a notebook in hand and wrote down every little thing left to do.  That list is one page long, double-spaced. Pretty exciting.

So here's to another year of working on
my house! I can't wait to get started and bring y'all along with me.