We've been getting a lot of work done around the yard and garden. Finding I now have the energy and inclination to prepare our property for winter makes me realize how lethargic I was over the long hot summer we lived through this year. I felt lousy, and a lot of it was because of the seemingly endless stretch of hot days and nights we had to endure. Sitting still was easy during that time, but sleeping well was difficult, and doing physical work outside was no fun at all.
So many plants out there needed trimming. Tall, tough grasses were growing up along the gravel path that runs through the middle of the yard, as well as up into the wire fencing we had put up back in 2004 to keep the dog in and the deer and hares out. The four patches of irises we have around the yard had brown, sunburned leaves and were full of weeds. I've cut a lot of that stuff down.
Walt mowed the lawn, mostly to take down the spiky, deep-rooted weeds that had grown up. The grass itself, or what passes for grass in our prairie-like yard, hadn't grown much because of the drought. I continued clipping branches off the overgrown rosemary bush that we wanted to save, and we cut the unwanted rosemary plant off at ground level. I think both of them will come back quickly once the rains return.
The biggest task was getting the plants pulled out of the garden, including 30 tomato plants, a lot of bush and pole beans, and a few out-of-control zucchini and winter squash (potimarron) plants. Walt did most of that. I still haven't tilled up the vegetable garden plot, but I'll try to get that done this coming week. I'm sure our clay and limestone soil is like concrete — we desperately need more rain, and we may get some tomorrow. It hope it's not too much, because it's hard to work in mud with the rototiller.
The new back gate is a big improvement. Not only is the metal gate much sturdier and better-looking than the old falling-down wooden gate was, but it is also more securely attached to the concrete gate posts than the rickety old gate was. Now we're just waiting for a local gardening service to set a date for this year's trimming of the tall, wide laurel hedge that wraps around three sides of our yard. It's more than 100 meters (375 ft.) long and 8 or 9 feet high in places.