Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 13, 2008

Boy was I exhausted this morning.  I had hoped to wake up early and tackle mowing  front yard and then do clean-up, but between the soreness and late night, I didn't get up in time.  And the weather's not going to hold.  Grrr.  My grass is getting really long.


Clean-up was just my dad and I, and his hip was killing him.  Enough said. I worked my tail off.  This pic represents about 1/10th the amount of green material we took down Saturday.  It was insane.  I had toyed with the idea of chipping up some of this as brown material to work with the tons of green that I had just mowed.  Unfortunately my folks' chipper is on its last legs and they didn't want to use it on this cherry blossom tree.  Besides, every square INCH of sunny area in my yard is being used for something.  So any compost bin would need to be in at least partial shade. 

So we ended up taking the branches to the dump. They have a clean green section that goes to Cedar Grove where I get my compost.  It costs the same as the dump, but at least it doesn't go to a landfill and I get the opportunity to pay $28 a yard to get it back... hmm. 

In the end, we took 0.83 tons, or 1,660 lbs of branches to the dump.  The trunk and thick branches we bucked up.  Cherry wood burns slower and safer than alder, so my 80 year-old neighbor that came over to "help" after I warned him that a huge branch we were topping may crush our mutual fence.  Thankfully a huge magnolia branch cushioned the fall, but it bent it 90 degrees and it wouldn't go back, so unfortunately it was gone too.  Now my neighbor is the only one that gets the benefit from the magnolia tree as there are no more trunks or branches leaning my way.  I kind of feel bad because it and my pear tree are both growing over the fence into his yard.  That's because of the southeast exposure.  He doesn't mind, he likes the flowers and the pears.  Hehe.

I did get a chance to talk to him about our mutual blackberry patch.  Again, he's got the southeast exposure.  So he wasn't worried about the poor harvest because he didn't have a poor harvest.  I've got to pick from his side, hehe.  He wasn't opposed to the idea, but we'll talk more later. 

In case you haven't been reading my blog for a while, this is a mature Himalayan blackberry bramble in my back 40.  With blackberries, once a cane has produced fruit, it's dead and should be removed. News to me.  It's never been done here.  So my goal is to mow down 1/3 of this bramble every year so that we get the most harvest. 

I also took this great picture during one of our breaks. The sun was bright and the neighbor's fence was of course causing a shadow into my garden area.  I immediately noticed that the shadow was doing exactly as I had designed it to do. MUAHAHAHA! I control shadows, they bend to my garden design!  It's really a great picture of what my garden currently looks like. It's not much but spring has just sprung...

Well, the rain started earlier than I had hoped it would so my front yard is STILL not mowed.  And my other neighbor was away this weekend and still got his yard mowed.  I'm so bad.  It's just so tall now that any dew or rain makes it impossible to mow.  I never let it get this high, but we've been soooo busy and it's such an ordeal to mow a quarter acre.  It will get done, maybe tomorrow.  But I've also got to get the SWC from Toasty, and my wife has a class in the evening.  Goodness. 

Well, it's late and I've got to get up early for work.  Enjoy your garden!


  1. Wow, that is a lot of work. At least you got your tree down; ours is still growing, with a fifth of it mutilated. :) Mr. Toasty's dad tried to hack at it himself. Tried.

  2. Great job getting that tree down Sinfonian! That is always a huge job -- we've had to take several down before here. For some reason, they don't look like they are quite as much as they are when you get all those branches on the ground LOL I think they multiply when they are falling to the ground.
    Just wondering how you are going to trim the blackberry.... be careful, that seems like it could be a dangerous job. Will you trim it this year after you've picked the berries?