Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Garden snaps 2014: the beginning

This post is my official garden kick-off for 2014! Admittedly I did not get any photos prior to the garden clean-up, which I started last week on one hell of a windy day, and which continued for most of Saturday, but believe me, you aren't missing much. The garden was, as anyone who lived through this past winter in South-Western Ontario knows, a horrible disgusting mess due to the hellish winter.

The first thing to tackle was cleaning up all the leaves, garbage and other crap that had blown into the yard over the winter, in addition to cleaning up the mess from the roofers that were here a few weeks prior. Sadly, the roofers did not clean up after themselves like they said they would, I will make a long story short, but due to all the trouble we had with the roofing company and poor quality of work and customer service, I gave up on them and decided to clean up the debris myself. Next I cut in the edges of the flower bed in the back to tidy things up. I had attempted to do this last year, but once things get growing it's a much more difficult job, so this is the time to do it. I will be getting some brick or stone edging to keep things neat and tidy.

There was a lot of raking to do over the lawn, and I mean a lot! The grass became very matted with the weight of the snow. I have already noticed a difference now that the bulk of dead matted grass is gone, new green tufts of grass are showing themselves! One of the other big jobs that was waiting for better weather was the removal of a tree (actually two) in the backyard. I love trees, and hate the thought of cutting down any healthy trees unless there is a real good reason, so this was difficult for me. But there was a tree in the backyard that had been planted too close to the fence, I mean really really close to the fence! We have not even been in the house for two yeas and have noticed how much the tree had grown. Giving it another one, maybe two years and it would be pushing the fence over. The tree (I honestly don't know what type it was, but some sort of maple) was too big to dig up and relocate, so all we could do was cut it down.

Another slightly smaller tree had to be removed, this one appears to have been a random tree that sprouted from a seed that landed in between some rocks between our shed and the neighbors fence. It was about ten feet tall and looked healthy as anything, so it was another unfortunate thing to have to remove it, but there was no way it could be left, and again, no way it could be removed and relocated, I couldn't even find the base of the trunk, never mind roots! In place of these trees I will be planting some bushes and other plants that are more suited to the yard. As much as I would like a big tree in the backyard, the yard itself is just a bit too small for any trees with the potential for major growth.

There are signs of life in the garden, and I am so glad to see that the hellish winter did not kill everything off (like I thought it would). Seriously, the winter was relentless. Usually if we get snow there is a time when things melt away a bit before we get another dump of snow, but not this year. Anytime the snow started to evaporate even slightly, we would get another dump of snow. With each new snow storm, the previous snow compacted and became rock hard ice, encasing and flattening everything. At this time all of the snow and ice is gone in the yard and some of the hardiest plants are coming back to life.

...and who would believe?! The giant dandelion that taunted me last summer in the rock garden is back (I suppose it never went away). I could never get it out, since it is rooted under one of the largest rocks. Here it is, already green and casting a shadow over my little rock-dwellers!

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