Yardwork pt 2

So I recently wrote a blog about how much I hate yard work. Since then something has changed….

 

I’m starting….GASP….to LIKE working outside!!!!

WHAT!?!?!?!

 

 

Okay, confession time.

Over the past few weeks I have spent more than a little time outside, something that is very rare for this cook/reader.

But I realized that Hubby just doesn’t have a lot of time to help me in the yard. He is gone about 11 1/2 hours a day and we only have about one or two Saturdays a month that we actually get to stay home and even think about working in the yard. So instead of waiting for Hubby to be around to help, I realized I have to do it by myself…

I have (more or less) managed to keep my goal to work in the yard an hour a day. It has been very rewarding. My grass is lush and green, my garden is growing beautifully and my yard is starting to look more like a, well, yard, and less like the yard of a derelict, haunted house (no seriously, my yard used to be pretty creepy…My neighbor caught some kids from the high school smoking weed in the back yard because they thought it was still abandoned…)

I find it rewarding. As I continue to plug away at things, pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, I love how much cleaner and neater it looks.

I am a lazy neat freak, by the way. Does that make sense?

Okay, so I thrive in a neat and tidy environment, but I am too lazy to actually clean up. Also when my house is a complete mess, it depresses and stress me out so much I feel to overwhelmed to do anything about it. Weird right?

Since I was married and subsequently had children, I have had to learn to clean up, not only after myself but my children (including teaching my children how to clean up after themselves) and occasionally Hubby, otherwise I would be sitting in a huge stressful, depressed mess. Most likely bawling my eyes out.

#1 and #2 LOVE being outside. I found a dandelion stalk in #2’s mouth one day. They are exploring and scaring the crap out of me when I go around the corner to check on something in the back/side yard. Did I mention we still don’t have a fence in our yard?

We were completely trapped in doors for January, February and most of March, so being outside is liberating. I find that my mood is better after a stint outdoors. And I don’t mind if my kids mess something up outside, because it will grow back. Eventually.

#2 loves dirt. To eat it that is…I try to steer him away from the fertilized dirt. No I don’t do organic gardening around here.

Hubby and I managed to work in the yard yesterday. We put in an outdoor clothes line (YAYA!) We cleaned out our garage and we managed to haul a load of garbage to the dump. We have lived here for 2 1/2 years and we have never been to the dump. Mostly because I didn’t think there was one down here…

Our garage looks AWESOME. We have to clean it out every spring. We honestly should do it every fall as well, to clean up all the summer mess. But we usually forget.

By the way, our tulips finally bloomed.

wpid-wp-1400425569406.jpg

This is late, even for living as high up as we do. All my other neighbors tulips bloomed and have died before mine bloomed. But aren’t they pretty? I think I will plant some lavender in that flower ‘area’ after the last frost date (memorial day around here…). It will be really pretty.

 

Yard Work…more like I-hate-the-outdoors-Work

I am not an outdoorsy type person. Understatement of the week.

I do not like: bugs, spiders, snakes, mosquito, bird poop, bears, deer, elk, moose, squirrels, etc.. Why do we live in Montana again?

When we were looking to buy a house two years ago, Hubby was interested in the homes on an acre of land. Sarcasm came bubbling to the surface…I couldn’t help it. “And who is going to take care of that acre???” Him: “Well, I’ll mow the lawn…” I laughed for a full ten minutes.

Then I carefully pointed out that a yard takes WAAAAAAAAYYYY more work than that and because of his summer work schedule, I would be the one caring for the yard. And I hate yard work more than he does. Which is seriously saying something.

My Father in Law is a wonderful gardener, so their yard always look immaculate growing up with little effort on anybodies part except my FIL, because he LIKED to do it. It was how he decompressed from work, life, etc…. Nobody else really did anything, so Hubby never learned just how much work a nice looking yard takes.

We ended up buying a foreclosure in a neighborhood with small lots. THANK HEAVENS.

One problem: as a foreclosure the yard had been neglected for about 2 years. No one knows the last time that willow was trimmed in the back. It is NASTY looking and sheds every time the wind blows….The tree in the front is out of control huge and needs to be removed. To remove both trees will be a cool 5K which, I don’t know about you, we don’t exactly have lying around.

Until we have the money, we are just working around them.

The first year we were here I got over ambitious and planted a medium sized garden in the back. BIG MISTAKE. I was pregnant, so did I really think I would want to spend time bending down to care for my garden??? NOPE.

Last year I didn’t even try, as we painted the house and I was recovering from surgery.

This year I decided to plant a VERY SMALL garden in an old flower bed along one side of the house:

wpid-wp-1397659711632.jpg wpid-wp-1397659676910.jpg

(Don’t look too closely at the grass. I just barely fertilized and I really need to water it…also, check out my rhubarb! I’m going to have to make a rhubarb crisp or something this year. Maybe strawberry rhubarb pie….yum…)

In Montana we don’t turn off the heat until June (the last frost date is Memorial day), so I planted all cold weather plants, lettuce, radishes, carrots, peas, etc… As soon as it is warm enough, I will buy some hot weather seedlings (I always kill my starts… and they won’t reach maturity before the fall frost if I plant in the ground from seeds.) like tomato and peppers, etc. I’m also going to plant squash because that really thrives around here. Last year I got a ton from friends for free!

I’m actually a little excited about my garden. Hopefully I will actually weed and water it. Did I mention we don’t have automatic sprinklers??? And I ALWAYS forget to water the D@*# grass/plants.

Did I mention that a friend of ours managed to get lettuce until AUGUST one year? That means that it got cold enough at night until AUGUST for the lettuce to thrive. Sheesh!

My biggest goal is to spend about an hour every day in my yard. It really needs it….Yesterday I fertilized and reseeded a huge patch of lawn that used (I think) to have gravel on it. Now it is just a patch of dirt. We will see if the seeds actually take as I think there was barely 1/2 inch of soil before you hit all the rocks.

Once we get the trees out, we might have to tear up the entire yard, level it, and reseed or put sod down. But for now, we’ll just work around it…

Does any one have any advice for fixing up a yard? I really suck at this…