Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another Reason to Re-Think My Lawn

Just about did myself in this a.m. on the first lawn mow of the season. Like a fool I put the setting on the reel mower pretty low - figured there was going to be more cool grass growing weather supplemented by spring rain. I know better. But it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Not only were the blades of grass long, they were wet. Again....I know better. As well because the lawn was long, the pine cones from the Eastern White (why are there no good spring crafts for pine cones?) were only discovered when the mower seized. Which it did, 15 or 20 times or more. At least it felt that way after I'd flipped the mower over, dragged it backwards and hand-pried each mangled mess from the blades. After an hour, I gave up - Kevin finished the rest....looks like he raised the blade. He obviously knew better.

No rain - looks like everything is to the south of us. Cool and windy today. Here's a better photo of the Omphalodes verna - so few plants with flowers this colour - so very pretty.

This is the 'before' shot. Too pooped to finish up. The 'after' will just have to wait. (The grass looks pretty good tho...)

I'd been very curious about this Cornus alternifolia 'Golden Shadows'. (As you can see, how well the species grows in the photo above.) Often variegated C. alternifolia can be a bit iffy - burnt leaves at the very least, and death at the very worst. But, I'm pleasantly surprised - no dead on the branches - and I did put it in an ugly spot - wind and cold - no coddling at all. Now the test will be to see what happens with the sun this summer. Fingers crossed, it does well - am starting to imagine what I want to do at its base to highlight this great yellow.

This afternoon it was off to photograph an apartment Kevin is selling at the Granary. You can see people have started to get their boats in at the marina - and how the trees are greening up.

Spring's a wonderful time of year - and maybe one of these years, I'll learn how to ease into it.


Frances said...

Hi Barbara, I had to laugh, because of course you know better. As the owner of a reel mower and pine trees overhangin the lawn, I am so familiar with the seizing up of the blades and the torment of getting the cones out. I have switched to an electric model, with cord. The reel was just too difficult on the slope and those cones were enough to make me batty! Your dogwood is lovely, it has been shown in some other blogs as well. Love how it will brighten up the spot. Do take it easy though. :-)

Gail said...

I bought a reel mower planning to use it on the new lawnette! I was breathing hard after 20 minutes of pushing that machine through heavy wet grass! It took the spouse 20 minutes with the gas machine! Love the dogwood and am tempted to add it to the Garden of Benign Neglect! I will be paying attention to its survival in your garden! gail

Teza said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teza said...

Barbara: Sorry about the delete.... fingers faster than brain..... Looks like C. alternifolia 'Golden Shadows' is popular this year! I am hoping I have left mine enough room.... yours is truly magnificent. I have been told they are tempermental - burning at the slightest provocation, and am now wondering if the side yard might have been better. I will have to monitor him closely!

Outside In said...

That is funny trying to mow the lawn when it's wet, and yes we do know better but sometimes the grass is just too tall. Your dogwood is really

Kim and Victoria said...

That is a gorgeous color on the Cornus alternifolia 'Golden Shadows'.

Barbarapc said...

Frances, I was having flashbacks of my dad and his electric thinking how much better it would all be. Certainly something to consider when this little reel mower dies!
Gail, there's nothing like watching a man work. While it doesn't burn all that many calories - it certainly soothes the soul. I've never seen a woody come through winter so well - the test will be to see how it handles the fierce sunshine.
Teza, I'm all for making it very difficult for new plants. Hence the quick demise of two new fancy Weigelas. If we don't push them and write about it, how will anyone know what they're capable of?
Cathy - one of these days I'll get a little smarter.....
K&V - I'm going to have to watch myself to not bore people with photos of it - every day, I'm out there taking more shots. The leaves really look like lemon drops.