Garden Triumphs and Tragedies

Two terribly garden tragedies happened this weekend.

First, it was very windy last night, and half our street magnolia broke off: the half covered in flowers and buds.

Broken magnolia

The branch was still hanging on there, so we cut it off. Literally half the leaves visible in this photo were on the branch that broke off. Now the poor tree looks terribly lop-sided and even more tragic than it did before the break. I've been trying to nurse it to better health but I fear it is not long for this world.

Second, apparently the new neighbors behind us have killed the trumpet vine, without bothering to take it down from the fence:

Dying trumpet vine

Yeah, it's really charming to see the whole thing dying up there. I can understand not caring for the vine, and it's not as if it's mine and I can choose whether it lives or dies, but a bit of consideration in killing it would have been nice.

And now our triumph. Today was set aside for clearing the weedy patch in the front yard. We started here:

Weedy front lawn

(What you do not see are about ten 10-foot lengths of white pipe, two 4x6es, and a bunch of flexible drain pipe, all foundation replacement leftovers that the first contractor did not want back.)

And several hours later, we had cleared out the old pipes and junk, moved and weeded the brick pile (which, despite repeated offers to take it off our hands and attempts by us to lure passers-by into stealing it, persists), and cut the weeds and grass down to a nubbin. This in preparation for killing it all off so I can plant stuff there that is not grass, but for now I'm happy with a nubbin of a lawn.

Img 6925 Edited

I also weeded among the roses and around the thistle, leading to massive scratching injuries, and among the poppies and in the back beds. Noel did some mowing until the mower broke in a startling way (the pull-cord broke). I sprayed Roundup on the blackberries trying to reappear in the alley where I want ferns rather than nasty brambles, and started clearing out the amaryllis leaves that have died back and pulled out the smaller weeds that had appeared around them. I did a bunch of watering. Things are looking much tidier. It is definitely a lot harder to keep up on the garden work when you are home at most every weekend, and more realistically every two weeks.

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posted by ayse on 05/27/06