Sunday, February 8, 2009

Out in the Yard

It seems spring is springing here in the Carolinas. I have every expectation it will spring back at least once before settling in for good, but this weekend we enjoyed sunny days in the high 60s, and it seemed everyone was outside! Miss Chef and I both had to work on Saturday, but today was wide open.

Of course, we have a list a mile long of all the things we'd like to, or need to, accomplish before the hot deadly days of summer chase this Yankee back inside. However, I'm learning that I actually enjoy working outside if I let myself do whatever's in front of me, instead of pushing myself to do the hardest thing first. As a result, I'm not sure how much we really accomplished, but we had a lovely day outside.

Here's an indication of how unorganized our day was! That pot on the table contains the blueberry plant I gave Miss Chef for Christmas. It was high time we got it in the dirt. In the background, to the left, you can see the bare patch that is our vegetable garden. And, who's that, back there on the right? Why, that's Miss Chef! I had another great picture of her, but she didn't like it, so she'd only let me post this one:

There she is, carefully handweeding the vegetable garden. On the left, between her foot and her hand, you can see a couple of garlic plants coming up. Neither one of us is exactly sure how to grow garlic, but Miss Chef bought some at the farmers' market last fall and used them like onion sets. It seems to be working! Now we just have to figure out how to tell when they're ready...

While she was working on the garden, I cleaned out a flower bed. Most people do this in the fall, clearing all the dead plants and cutting things back for winter. However, we've been having very mild winters here, and I'm not at all used to that. The dianthus never died back, so I just let it hang out. The mint, on the other hand...I tore out as much as I could find, and replanted a tiny six-inch sprout. I'm quite sure we'll still have plenty this summer.

While I was sweeping the patio back into another bed, I found this fragile little cage:

It's the remains of the seed-head from a poppy. Or is it a balloon flower? How shocking that I can't quite remember! Apparently my memory is very seasonal.

Well, we did get the blueberry planted--after discovering yet another humungous fire-ant mound. My northern friends, you may be wishing for warmer climes, but please, please enjoy your lack of fire ants! We haven't found anything that will get rid of them; the best results we've gotten are when they move into someone else's yard. They're as invasive as Bermuda grass, but they bite! And that's why they're called fire ants--owie, owie, owie!

Anyway, we also tore down an old planter box that was collapsing, and we're going to use the sections to make small raised beds, with a couple of lids to cover them. We'll plant greens in those. I don't have pictures of any of that stuff, because I was busy getting my hands dirty. I do, however, have a picture of the yard superintendant.

That's the remaining planter box behind Rosie; you can see how we're just going to lift each section off the other one and repurpose it onto the ground.

Rosie is so very good; our yard is completely open in the back, and down the driveway, and we can generally leave her off the line to wander around. We can even go inside to get a drink or answer the phone, and trust her to stay put. She loves to just watch the world go by. It's only when a cat or rabbit goes by that we have any issues!

So that concludes our first of many days in the backyard. We chatted with our neighbor over the fence about how hard it is to get motivated to do this kind of thing on your own. Her husband recently started a job requiring him to work weekends, and she's now going through the same frustrations Miss Chef and I have been learning to live with. It's never easy, but it did remind me how lucky we are to have one day off together every week. At least, 'til brunch season...

We ended the day with homemade lasagna and the movie No Reservations. A Miss Chef favorite, of course. They did a lot to make the kitchen realistic; she particularly appreciates the use of the walk-in cooler as a conference/therapy room!

Wow, this really was a wonderful weekend. I'm glad I started this blog; it's a great way to look back and remember the good times!

Hope y'all had wonderful weekends, too!


  1. Glad to hear you got some nice weather there too this weekend. The weather was beautiful here. It was supposed to rain today but didn't and was up around 60 degrees, a beautiful weekend to be outdoors.

  2. yeah, we had a glorious weekend up here in the hills, was in the fifties.

  3. Looks to me as though you accomplished a lot! We're having lovely weather here in the Atlanta area, too, at least right now! Rosie seems very content to hang around home.


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