We never clean up our leaves at the end of fall. They keep all of our flower beds, trees, and bushes nice and cozy until spring and add some great nutrients. Well, since it has been so abnormally warm out, we decided to start spring cleaning early.
The patio is always the first because it is where we do our resting and relaxing time. It took us 6 years to lay all the free brick (all we had to do was fetch it, clean it and place it)! We also didn’t follow normal patio ideas. We decided to go with the flow of the landscape instead of level it all off flat.
It turned out marvelous, however this year’s storms left us with an abundance of leaves and they were mashed down really well over everything. Well, when spring cleaning hits, it’s time to find all the planting beds again. The whole front yard was still full of left-overs. The dill stalks, small bushes, and end-of-season flower left-overs all collect up the blown, mushy leaves. This made it hard to tell a plot from a brick.
The majority of the patio was easily picked up and swept. The area around the pond is a very different story. I got down on hand and knees (not easy to do after having both knees replaced – ouch) and worked my way slowly across the area. There are several smaller plots, as well as a couple of large ones.
So, it’s about 60 degrees, the sun is on me, I decided that sitting on the brick was easier than kneeling, and I was singing a song ( “If I had a million dollars” by the Barenaked Ladies – for those of you wondering) and working away. My method requires a small hand/whisk broom, gloves, a good pliers and my handy-dandy weed between the bricks tool (it’s like a razor or knife, but “L” shaped with a handle for easy manipulation). I was using my hand and broom to push back debris, then pile the excess to be shipped off to burn. Carefully checking each plot to make sure I left a heavy mulch layer, just because our nights still drop below freezing. Singing and working and lifted back a big pile of leaves and this is what I found:
The tall spout is up about 2 inches! I was shocked! This normally does not happen until about the end of March (in a good year) or sometime in April – but here it is the middle of February!
I cleared out a bit in another nearby plot and discovered tulip sprouts – up about 1inch. What is going on?
The Boxelder bugs (or beetles) have been all over the south end of the house for the last 2 weeks. Not just one or two, but dozens:
From what I have seen and know of these bugs, the only thing they seem to invade are our Elms. They are supposed to prefer Maple and Ash, neither of which is on our property – AND – they are not supposed to be out yet! When they are out, they prefer the sunny south side of our home. Occasionally I will find one or two inside the house, but that is very rare. Maybe because we encourage our spiders – LOL!
We have a new skylight in our kitchen and all forms of critters love it – especially the spiders “It’s dinner time, chomp, chomp, chomp!” And we do not have to cook for them – woo hoo!
I know it’s been a wicked and wild winter again, but this is getting down right freakie-deekie! Always makes me a bit worried about what summer will bring – snow? LOL