Sunday, February 21, 2010


By the end of the day yesterday I was too tired to write about my new experience. When we moved to our new built-especially-for-us patio home almost five years ago, the shrubs and bushes were small but with age, they have grown. Over the years, the men we have selected to come to do our yard work have seemed determined to do exactly that and no more. Yard work, as defined by what gets done, means the grass gets mowed, the lawn, walkway, and patio area edged, and if we ask persistently the tops of the shrubs trimmed level. Oh, and the trimmings are blown away.
Unless we wanted to spend another inordinate amount of money we had no input as to the kind of shrubs, bushes, etc., that were used for landscaping across the front of the new house and with as little knowledge as either of us had in the field I think both of us felt it wise to leave that decision to someone who knew what would look and fit better with the area, we did.

In the meantime, I have enjoyed taking pictures of the growing, changing, blooming yucca cactus that sits center front, right next to the foundation between two windows. Wanting to know more about the Yucca Cactus, I read on the Internet that they are useful for other things than ornamental beauty and picture-taking, too. The big surprise to me was the fact they have edible parts: flowers, flowering stems, leaves, and fruits. I haven't tried eating any and would want proper guidance before doing so. I learned that when planted near windows, their sharp, pointy leaves are great burglar-deterrents. Once planted in the ground they seem to thrive requiring little care. That “little additional care” part is a good thing because I really hate to have to beg for help and the local landscapers...uh-h-h...make that seem to have their work already cut out for them.
...but on to my new occupation...once again I went to the Internet because our front yard needed help and, begging not being my style, I thought given proper guidance I might be able to take care of things myself. Putting in the words, "Pruning Crape Myrtle" was all it took to help me locate a wonderful video that took me step-by-step through the process necessary for learning exactly what I needed to know how to do.
With two crape myrtle trees in the front yard, all I needed now was a good day and the equipment for the job. We already had a pair of long-handled loppers that I figured would work well enough. I took a sturdy saw-tooth knife in case I had to use a saw-type implement along with a small pair of house scissors to clip off the tiny branches and I was in business. I ignored the advice about garden gloves being part of the equipment. I think I had some out in the garage somewhere but when I was ready to go I didn't want to take time to hunt for those, so out I went on a fine, breezy, sunny Saturday morning! Having seen that video and read an article by a man from Texas who was very upset with the way most landscapers simply lop off the tops of crape myrtle bushes/trees, I think the words of the teaching video and the article I'd read ran through my head most of the time I was working. While I didn't finish as quickly as the man in the video did, neither did it take me all morning to complete the task and our crape myrtle trees look fairly decent considering they are standing naked of their coverings. Another good thing about the morning is I came away with just a tiny poke in my hand but a wicked reminder that the yucca that stands guard next to the crape myrtle is truly a pointed deterrent. No wonder the yardmen don't want to work around our shrubbery! I'm not sure I do anymore either!

Smiling anyway~

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