Monday, May 2, 2011

Raking & Baking...

(Our blooming Hydrangeas)

Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back
gets used to it.
~Author Unknown

I spent a chunk of my "May Day" Sunday, out in the Spring air. Raking, mostly. And braving the intense southern humidity. The spirit of this day kind of motivated me to dive into doing a bit of clean-up in the area outside of our screened in porch. The condos do have a grounds crew, but they don't do very much in the way of making things "pretty".

We have several flowering bushes that are blooming. The aroma is quite wonderful. Two big and full hydrangea bushes are covered with new blooms, about half of them reaching full maturity now. I'm looking forward to the plethora of pink and blue balls of blooms that are to come. On a curved trellis just outside our screen door are leafy and full vines of Confederate Jasmine. The small white flowers covering it are extremely fragrant. I had trimmed the arch underneath, so I made an arrangement in a glass vase with the pile of clippings. The living room smelled wonderful.

Unfortunately, the grounds crew trimmed all of the azalea bushes around here a bit late (we have a row of them along the porch...bush trimming is one of the things they DO do), so this year none of the azaleas really bloomed. That was a tremendous disappointment after the blooms we had last year. You could hardly see the green leaves on any of the bushes for the brilliantly colored blooms. Quite spectacular it was. Oh year then.

My productivity in the 'garden' (if it can be called that) was mostly spent raking. In the time that I've lived here, I've been wanting to clean the pine needles and other flotsam from under the bushes and shrubs. The grounds crew use all of the bushes around here as kind of their outdoor carpet. Instead of 'sweeping things under the rug', they blow everything under the bushes. In addition to the pine needles, leaves, and various twigs and sticks, I found candy wrappers, bottle caps, a couple of straws, and some styro-foam packing peanuts. I was rather disgusted by all of the garbage buried in there. I could almost make out an audible sigh issuing from the hydrangeas as I cleaned. I also leveled the couple of feet of dirt just outside of the screen door that go under the Jasmine. I put down some square Tuscan stone bricks that I filled in with small river rocks. It looks quite pretty. I've got another days work to finish up in back, and then I plan to do a bit of work in the porch itself. I've been looking around for some possible fountain ideas. I love the sound of moving water, and it is very Feng adds to the harmony of a home.

With nature renewing all around me, it felt very appropriate to be outside communing with it. There is something very therapeutic about gardening and yard work, no matter how arduous it is. I have a few minor aches and pains from being bent over for a few hours, but I think the plants will be a lot happier. Yes, Spring has most definitely 'sprung'...

(Confederate Jasmine)

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