Today, before another rain foils my plans, my intent is to finish mowing the lawn. Once the space has been returned from “overgrown field” status to back yard, I have planting to do.
My son-in-law got the mower started, and mowed the front yard a week ago. Since then, I mowed the side yard on the south side of the house, where the kitchen door is. I trimmed around the flower beds there, and worked on weeding. Then, busy days at work left me too tired at the end of the day to do more. Saturday, exhausted, I once again put off the job. Sunday is a short day at work; I’d finish the mowing on Sunday.
Saturday night, a rainstorm came through, leaving the tall grass far too wet for my mower to push through. Yesterday, it was better. I cut the grass on the north side of the house, where shade from the ancient maples keeps the grass manageable. I started the back yard. There, the lawn – which is a combination of quack grass, crab grass and other sturdy stalks – has grown to more than knee-high in places.
It was a challenge for the mower. Several times, the tall, damp grass choked the blades, and caused it to stall. Other times, I had to shut it down to clear the discharge chute.
It was a challenge to me. Before I could get into the serious back-and-forth of mowing, I had to fill several holes I’d made, when transplanting rhubarb and other plants. That meant hauling 50 pound bags of topsoil from the driveway where I’d unloaded them, to the very back of the rear yard. I trimmed along the back wall of the house, and moved the grill back into place. Windfall branches had to be picked up and delivered to the fire pit. The big dog’s toys, which she carries outside and abandons, had to be gathered up. Then, on to mowing.
The first part is the hardest. There is so much to work around, along the periphery of the yard: flower beds; raised strawberry bed; well pipe and outdoor spigot; compost bins; trees and shrubs; clothesline poles; rhubarb bed. After all of that is worked around, there is still the large, soft, bumpy area that used to be my large raised bed vegetable garden. The wheels of the mower tend to sink in to the soft earth; the lumps of old planting surfaces mean I’m always pushing uphill or down. Yesterday, I made a good start. Today, I’d like to finish.
In the garden, there is still planting to do. The weather is still so cool, it’s definitely not too late yet…but the time is right. I have bean seeds, cucumber and summer squash seeds yet to plant. There are pepper, cantaloupe and Chinese cabbage plants to get settled in. Finally, eighteen little marigold plants to add color throughout the garden space.
My day started with ibuprofen for my aching back. This day is still cool enough to make outside work pleasant. I have a pre-organized intermission in place, with a planned visit to see my neighbor’s gardens. Time to get busy here. So, on to the yard and garden!