I couldn’t hedge my shaggy thoughts any longer

Two of the front yard shrubs had already gone out of control standing guard at the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood.

So as my dear wife Karen tidied up the hourglass garden and spread red mulch, I grabbed the battery-powered Black and Decker hedge clippers and went to work.

One of the shaggy ones goes wide in a flash every spring quite next to the house, crowding its juniper and hosta next to it.

The second stands at the edge of the property, earning the tag of a burning bush not only for its bright red color before it drops its tiny leaves come autumn but for the way it makes my arms feel with its thorns every time I abandon my reserve and tackle this task.

After I’d finished, Good Neighbor Tim and his Wonderful Wife Lorraine strolled over to tell us how nice the front looks this May, and to invite us to visit Costco with them. After hearing my woes about the foot-long spikes of the burning bush, Tim informed me that it’s a Bayberry.

Ladder to success.

Ladder to success.

My long sleeves and sweat pants actually had protected me fairly well from the sticky situation.

Red mulched for the season.

Red mulched for the season.

Karen’s hourglass figure caught me eye as always.

Ready for recycling.

Ready for recycling.

My other big idea for the day was to rake the branches to roadside rather than stick them in a brown bag, thus saving my arms from further stickage. I’ve noticed that up and down my block, yard recycleables are out in force, naked, if you will. And the collection was scheduled for two weeks ago. Hint, city …

What’s your most dreaded yard task, and why? Electric, battery or manual powered hedge clippers? Bag the branches or rake them in a pile?

Advertisements

74 thoughts on “I couldn’t hedge my shaggy thoughts any longer

  1. I don’t like lawns, Mark, and have managed to successfully avoid being responsible for one in my adult life. However, I can definitely appreciate yours, and I do.

    Like

  2. Your yard looks great Mark! I notice CC (oops you haven’t announced the winning name yet and I’m just assuming my suggestion won) seems to have settled in nicely. ❀ Did you go to Costco with neighbor Tim? I hear they have bulk band aids there…and they may come in handy! πŸ˜‰
    Diana xo

    Like

  3. Lovely landscape, very tidy and well-suited to Little Bitty.
    Funny, I was about to tell you that wasn’t a burning bush πŸ˜›
    The one next to your house looks like a spirea? I like those wild, but you’re right, we can’t have it gettin handsy with the neighbors!
    I’ve got three spruces on the side of the house. I don’t like them. I want them pulled out. I have a number to call, but I fear the charge! The spruces are impinging on the hydrangeas and it makes me sad. I actually have the kids nip those here and there.
    Up front I have some boxwood and they’re quite nice. I just hit the edges with scissors now and again to keep them tidy, and then late in summer, when we’re due for rain, I lob of about 4 inches from the top. I have a power trimmer. I used to have an enormous Chinese privet that crossed my entire yard, pretty, but awful to keep up with! I used to beg my husband for a chainsaw! Hah!

    Like

    • I have heard spirea before on this species, yes. I agree with you, Joey, it looks better pre-trim, but in its little spot, the neighbors don’t! MDW Karen is thinking of moving some things around next to our hyrangea. We have an azalea there that is not thriving at all. She thinks it needs a different spot.

      I think you need to find some neighbors that will help you dig out the spruce in return for a wine party. Professional tree people are ungodly expensive. We had the biggest tree in Eastwood taken out from the backyard three springs ago and I still have nightmares about the day I got the estimate. But it had to be done by the pros, and did a great job, right down to the stump grinding and reseeding. Even threw in a stump in the front yard.

      Boxwood trimming sounds reasonable. A chainsaw would be exciting, would it not?

      Like

      • I’m sure your darling wife is right. When things don’t thrive, they need a new spot! Up north, azaleas seem to like southern sun, if that’s any help at all. Like hydrangeas, they also prefer acidic soil.
        I learned all about the professional tree people the first winter I was in this house. Apparently it’s quite the racket. More reason to buy a chainsaw! πŸ˜›
        I wish I could have neighbors help, but most of our neighbors are older than our parents, so we do things for them.
        Boxwoods are MOST reasonable.

        Like

  4. Whew! gardening questions this early in the morning. Just let me have another sip of coffee…Ahhh, that’s better. Hmmm, well, when I had a yard, I used manual clippers buuuut,,,wait for it…I had electric hedge trimmers! Ha! We had a huge hedge along one side of the property – about 10 feet high and three feet thick and 25 feet long – and it was out of control. So one day Costco had electric hedge trimmers on special and I figured it was time. I had never used them in my life but I was game. Returning home, I tackled the hedge with gusto. Leaves and branches flew everywhere and when I was done (partly using a ladder) I stood back and realized that I had created a large wavy green wall – not really hedge-like but more of a living art installation (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). Shrugging this off and still having some excitement, I realized that the big maple in front of the house was looking pretty scruffy around the lower branches, so I started trimming that. I was jumping up and down swinging the trimmer to catch wayward branches just out of reach when my wife came out on the front porch and surveyed the carnage. “Have fun are we?” Oh no! The royal “we”. That means she is upset but doesn’t want to make a scene. Sigh. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. “Next time we will use a string to keep the hedge straight, right?” Oh absolutely. And with that she went back inside and I started raking branches and leaves. Fun’s over. Sigh. To answer your other question Mark, I bagged the small stuff and bundled the bigger branches. the city would take it either way. The bundles could be no more than 4 feet long and 75 pounds and had to be tied with organic string – not nylon or other plastics.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 🐻

    Like

      • Democratic? Awww, now I have no chance. Sigh. i thought we were offering options that the Bialczaks would choose from. If i had known it was democratic, i would have just checked the poll results and voted that way. Sigh. democracies are great when everyone has to live with the results but when only one group has to live with the results then the choice is usually only amongst those. It would be like asking you to vote for a Russian president. Oh well – bye, bye Saki.

        Like

  5. LOL I have a few of what you have there, cuz, and I must get out there to trim. Mine are out of control too!! What is up with that, anyways??? I’ll think of you as I trim! Hehehehehe Love, cuz from the west

    Like

  6. It’ looks really nice. I do not like trimming raspberry bushes. Actually I wouldn’t have them at all except that Mr. Gibber wants them. Guess who gets to do that trimming. (Hint: Not me) lol

    Like

  7. Bagging branches as we speak. All this rain has everything green and growing. Nice bushes! I didn’t see Karen’s hourglass figure, though. Did I miss it?

    Like

  8. That yard of yours sure is looking spiffy. You are both such great gardeners and it shows. Mr. B loves all power tools so he ends up trimming the whole neighborhood just like he ends up snow blowing the entire neighborhood. I think he loves the moron noise. LOL. πŸ™‚

    Like

  9. Beautiful! You got yourself a garden of Eden! I love it! Now pour yourself a glass of wine. A glass of barefoot. You being in NY… must have some local wineries as well… do you??

    Like

  10. Hmmmm most dreaded yard task this year will be paying the guy to cut my lawn. I have no hedges and the yard guy takes away the branches in his trailer.

    Like

  11. Mark, I want to put some flowers in our front garden. Last year I conned Mr. Loveton into digging about and planting them… but I want to put in a LOT of flowers this time. I don’t think Mr. Loveton is going to be keen on a large planting.

    Here’s the thing: I hate to dig in dirt. I mean, I really HATE IT. Why? Because of worms. I hate their squirmy little bodies. When I accidentally come across them when planting flowers, I screech and jump back. They are just miniature snakes to me.

    Sigh.

    As Indiana Jones’s gardener once said: “Worms. Why does it have to be worms?!”

    Like

  12. It appears your garden is coming together nicely, Mark! I liked the title of the post, you clever guy πŸ™‚ I don’t have to garden as I live in a condo and the building hires gardeners but one day I hope to do a bit in a future home. BIG Hugs ❀

    Like

  13. Oddly, if we don’t bag the branches, the City won’t take them. But when we do bag them, they empty the bags into the truck, then throw the empty (and torn!) bags back into our yard! It’s SO frustrating! Your yard’s looking great! πŸ˜€

    Like

    • That’s pretty silly, their bag thing. Our branches are still sitting there, along with all the neighbors’ recyleavbles. They came and took JUST the pristine bag last week. I had several soggy bags because of weather, bottoms fallen out. They left those. I wonder what’s going on, Rachel. This week it’s time for the June pickup.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s