Thursday, May 7, 2009

In the meantime...


I'm not sure if it was negligence on my part, laziness, or forgetfulness that caused me to over winter two of my yard machines with gasoline still in them; a small 14" chain saw, and weed eater. The saw finally took to the treatment, started, and is now in good working condition. But the weed eater is still mad at me. I think its fuel filter is all gummed up (I'd be mad too) and I don't see how to replace it without removing the gas tank. I'm hoping a day or two of sunny warm weather will prompt it to de-gum itself before I result to drastic measures.

In the meantime, there's other gardening chores that need my attention. My wife covered two areas of sod with old newspapers, some cardboard and leaves last fall and those spots need tilled in with amendments. I think she said something about growing specific flowers that dry well for use in wreaths and what not.

I also want to move a bunch of hostas into containers. It's going on four years now since I started a new hosta garden in the front yard, under three very tall blue spruce trees. I've waited for those hostas, and a few other companion plants, to fill in but I've come to the conclusion that they're not getting enough water. Kerry Meyer, over at Proven Winners, suggested I put them in containers until I find the right spot. "I had some leftover hostas after moving, and divided some that were here when we bought our house. I put them in a pot to 'hold' them until I decided where to put them. Two years later and they are still in the pot and looking great." That's from an email Kerry sent. I think that's a great idea, but first I'll have to mix up a sizable amount of potting soil and gather enough pots.

I never have to worry about draining the gas in my mower and storing it over the winter because it's in use pretty much year round. It's almost 20 years old and still runs good. Mowing has begun here, and I'm sure most of y'all are all too familiar with how often you have to do that in early spring. I mentioned being negligent earlier; last fall I didn't clean the decks or sharpen the blades on the mowers, which caused me to get behind on mowing. As fast as the grass is growing now, I don't like getting behind on that chore.

Some folks have suggested (and I've often pondered the idea myself) that I do away with my lawn altogether so I wouldn't have to worry about mowing. That's not practical in my case, and I really do love my lawn. It makes for a great pitching green and I need all the golf practice I can get. There's other benefits of having a lawn that George Ball talks about in his essay "Lawn Love." I think Mr. Ball is a great writer; he reminds me of those critical theorists we talked about in college (Walk2Write in Florida and other English majors are probably familiar with literary criticism) who discuss such things as structuralism and semiotics, deconstruction and formalism. (I was urged by an English professor to attend graduate school in their lit crit program and probably should have taken him up on the offer.)

As y'all might have noticed, I write about more than just gardening here. I hope it's not too distracting. But you never know, I might decide to discuss the famous Deconstructionist Jacques Derrida and his "There is nothing outside the text" theory in the future.

And now, a few photos:

Common bugleweed
This pretty little wildflower gets a bad rap.

Ladybug

Field of ... grapes? (Dandelion wine)

Drastic measures?

9 comments:

Susie said...

Oh my I hope you don't have to resort to drastic measures. I think not only the weed eater will get hurt but possibly you too!!!

Dave said...

If you do decide to resort to drastic measures on your weedeater take a video. I'm sure it would go viral on Youtube. My dad had a weedeater that gummed up and gave it to me. I took it to a repair shop and it's been almost 2 months. It's not worth repairing the whole thing unless another weedeater comes in similar to the model. I'm with you on the mowing. I harvest my grass with a bagger push mower and use it for mulch and for compost. It's also how I start my new garden beds. I lay a thick layer of grass on top of new areas which will suffocate the grass underneath and turn it into rich compost in a very short time. I don't think lawns are as bad as people say. I like having my lawn!

tina said...

Funny TC!

walk2write said...

You need a Stihl trimmer. We bought ours in the early 90s, and it's still going strong. SAM (bless his heart) is not big on tool maintenance either, but the Stihl is very forgiving. Thanks for the link-love. You know, Derrida and the like should agree that there is nothing outside the garden-as-text. Derrida, for one, says things like "the concept of structure and even the word 'structure' itself are as old as the episteme...their roots thrust deep into the soil of ordinary language...." I wonder if he ever had to mess with machine maintenance or get his fingernails dirty?

On a limb with Claudia said...

Sounds like you have a lot on your plate! It seems to rain here every weekend - keeps us out of the clay soil.

I'm excited to see what you come up with in your new beds.

and...

I always feel that way about weed wackers!

Terri said...

We have too much space not to have a lawn, not that I'm complaining. :) Try not to "bruse" yourself too much wrestling that lawn equipment!

Frances said...

HA, I have to laugh at Dave's comment! Those gas powered machines have all been elimanted here, thank goodness. We are totally electric, complete with an astounding array of extension cords. A large property would make than difficult though. As for the literary discussion, way over my head! :-)
Frances

TC said...

Ms. Susie: I hope so too. It's still not running!

Dave: I've often thought about gettin one of those grass baggers for my ridin mower. I have mulching blades on the mower so that helps.

Ms. Tina: Shortest Comment Award. :~P

Ms. W2W: I've heard Stihl's are really good machines. I forgot what brand mine is, and if it wasn't still quite new, I might consider a Stihl. And I bet Derrida didn't garden. (I've heard folks say he was full of you know what for comin up with such a theroy, but I think he meant well.)

Ms. Claudia: It's still too wet to mow here and the grass keeps getting taller! I'll be sure to take plenty of pix.

Ms. Terri: I bruise easily since I've hit the big 50!

Ms. Frances: Unfortunately, I see no way of eliminating them completely here. I have an electric hedge trimmer I use regularly. And don't feel bad, sometimes literary discussion floats over my head too.

MrBrownThumb said...

Love the pic of the dandelion field. I about spit up my drink when I saw the picture labeled "drastic measures" lol. Wasn't expecting a laugh at the end of the post.