Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Chores

Tuesday was an absolutely magnificent day, and today promises to be even more beautiful. I wandered out into my winter-weary yard yesterday and tried to think what to work on first ... I have to admit I got sidetracked for a bit just soaking up the sunshine and daydreaming.

I started to cut back the zebra grass, but gave up on that pretty quickly. The grass is over 7 feet tall and usually stands up all winter long, but was smashed all over the patio by the snow we had last month.  All I had were my little pruners and I soon got tired of nipping each individual grass stalk.  It seems like you need a special new garden tool no matter what job you are doing! I'll have to make a trip to Lowes and get something that will slice right through the whole mess. I've seen the landscapers hack through them with a chain saw, but I'm not planning to get that radical.

The picture at the right is the zebra grass in early summer. It's still growing.

 So near the grass (everything's near everything else in our little yard!) the grapevine was looking like it needed more attention than anything else in the yard. I've read that grapevines should be pruned in late winter, and we're just squeaking out of winter so now is the time, right? I hope I didn't wait too long and I hope I didn't kill the darn thing because once I got started I was like a woman possessed! I couldn't stop!

Here is the grapevine about 3/4 finished. Yikes.
Here is the grapevine last summer.
Here is the pile of viney stuff that I hacked off.
So now you have the pictures that will save me writing 1,000 words!

I have never, not once, cut back the grapevine this drastically. I even woke up in the middle of the night worrying about it! I hope I didn't harm it irreparably.  Because I   need this grapevine to spring back to its former self. As you can see, the support system is not attractive, no no no. The birds love the concord grapes that we have in abundance in August and September. As well, I usually make some jam or something and one of my neighbors made some delicious wine one year, so we need these grapes! It makes an excellent dense hedge for privacy. Although I enjoy talking to my neighbor, Barb, and we have to peek through the thin parts to talk, but all in all, it's worth it. When you stand near it in September, it smells like someone just opened a jar of Welch's grape juice! lol. Reminds me of being a kid!

On another note, I am finally admitting that I am a hopeless fan of American Idol! Hubby and son are not fans. Jesse will watch it for a few minutes if he is passing through, but soon moves on to something or somewhere else. It's now at the point where it begins to get entertaining ~ once all the strange auditions are over and you see how talented the remaining 12 people are.  It's just amazing to me how much talent each of these kids have! I'm not a fan of Simon, but I find I agree with him most of the time. I never vote (really!) but it's interesting to see how the voting goes. I'll be tuning in tonight!


  1. Oh you sound just like me...other than I'm not an American Idol fan. I do however love to work in my yard.
    I've been clipping back dead perennials all week.
    I hope everything comes back for you. Your yards looks like it was beautiful before the winter snow hit.

  2. Your yard is beautiful. I think your grapevine will be okay... I've seen how they prune commercial vines and they cut them back severely. Anyway... Your Black-Eyed-Susans are really pretty too.

  3. Your post made me itching to get at my little garden. Everything looks great, I liked seeing your garden in full bloom in contrast with these early spring pictures.

  4. Thanks for your comments! It IS fun to get out in the yard and play with the growing things, especially in spring!

    Dianne, I pray that you are right about the grapevines! I've seen pictures of pruned vines, and they look pretty drastic. But I cringe at being so ruthless!

  5. Ooh what a beautiful grapevine! And you have been busy Maggie! I'm not a gardening expert but hopefully it'll grow back all the stronger after a good pruning!

    I have tagged you on my blog btw, when you get a minute come and see :)

  6. Oooh, thanks for sharing pictures of your garden, I know it feels really overwhelming this time of year, but a kind of FUN overwhelming! I wish we could grow grapes here in eorgia, but it's just too hot (BTW, I think yours will be fine:)) And as for the Zebra Grass (do you think *that* would grow in GA?)you could use a machete to hack at it, quick, and easy.
    Happy Gardening- we're working on digging a dry creek bed this week for one on a long list our garden chores....

  7. Angie, thank you for tagging me, what a fun game! I'm a little fearful of what my 10th picture will be, yikes ;)

    Stephanie, your dry creek bed sound like a great addition to your landscape! Hard work but worth it.

    I think zebra grass would grow in GA. I have some info on it somewhere...

  8. Jack and I watch American Idol, too. I am not a fan of Simon's snide remarks but I do agree with him about 80% of the time.

    Our favorites are Crystal and Big Mike. They both just seem so comfortable performing and they sound wonderful. Siobhan is another one we like. Aaron Kelly is so darn sweet and he really does have a wonderful voice, also. Who are your favorites?


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