"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sometimes You're The Windshield, Sometimes You're The Bug


Here is a great singer/songwriter to go with this post.


I came home to the farm this week and what did I find?  In preparation of re-doing the deck, my husband decided to 'trim the hedge', a job I have always done.  I planted these boxwoods more than twenty years ago and they were huge.  Imagine my shock at seeing this and it looks so much worse than this picture. 

My God, I told him.  Did you use a chainsaw?  No he said, the hedge trimmer, though our trimmer wouldn't cut through a twig larger than a 1/4inch and some of these are two inches in diameter.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  

You can see through them and I doubt they will ever grow back on the house side.  He said they were all dead inside and I told him they always are; they grow from the outside.

In thirty years, I would have had a beautiful landscape of plants and gardens - that is if it were not for the husband's weed eater, herbicides and burning.  At the city house he is not to touch anything as I have hired a garden and lawn crew.  I still haven't figured out the watering system, but will, somehow.

The refrigerator is on the fritz too.  The new ones now are expensive and computerized.  The ice maker and filtered water system has gone out and I don't know who I'll find to fix it at the farm.  

My husband catches raccoons and opossums in a cage as they eat all the animals' feed.  I've asked him not to do it in the garage or patio as it makes such a mess when they try to get out.  He caught a skunk.  My patio still stinks whenever I walk out the door.

Me, I'm heading back to the city soon.  It is not fun keeping up two houses.



35 comments:

  1. First of all, imagine my surprise that I found a blog that celebrates the awesomeness of gathering! :) Then I almost cried for you when I saw the photos of your boxwood! Ohmygoodness! You have a lot of patience. I would have lost my mind. :) All that tendering and caring now gone. :(

    Maria @ Gather
    http://maria-baer.com/

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    1. How funny Maria. I'll have to look you up. Been here since 2008. I'm used to the garden destroyer destroying my plantings. I've given up at the farm, but my city house is off limits. I found a container of herbicide he snuck up there and promptly brought it back to the farm. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Ohmygosh..this just happened..

    Jacques is not a tree trimmer by profession..that's why Dominique comes..for the trees..

    well he did our flowering crab apple that I adore..it's like an umbrella weighted by blossoms in the spring it's like 50 yrs od or older..

    I went out back and sat for 2 minutes till I saw a poplar..:( I had to come in:(
    I cannot look at it.
    My fave tree.
    he also scalped the 4 yews in front..he always wants to cut down things that bloom on the previous years growth..He is a grass mower.Not a tree trimmer.
    We have a skunk.. the other night he let us know he was still around..
    Plus it's 100 degrees and I made cakes and moussaka and the heat pump broke yeterday.my face looks like I have been in a steam bath.
    Same kind of day:)

    I have LOADS of faults..but I would never trim something he loved.
    I still can't look at it did I say that?

    He does do the cedar hedge..but like a trim.
    Happy weekend to you:)

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    1. Yes Monique. Well, actually it's been going on for 30 plus years. Yes, he mows like a fiend - never saw anyone that mows like he does, but anything else... seems like he only cares about a neat lawn. I wondered if anyone would know how bad a skunk stinks. I read once they don't even like their smell. I didn't know it got that hot in QC. I simply can't deal with heat. I have two flowering crab apples and they are beautiful first thing in spring. Only thing I'd wish at the city house, is that there were a few small places to plant, like blueberries or an apple tree, edibles. It would be perfect then. I am ordering bulbs for fall plantings. Hope you got the heat pump working.

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  3. The hedge will bounce back, I can say that through experience, it will start sprouting and in a year no one the wiser.

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    1. Thank you Donna. I feared it would be dead on one side forever.

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  4. OMG ! Herbicide ? How could he especially with you dogs and your edibles. Plus in the city house, the ducks and fish.
    I would have throttled him by now. 30 years of destroying ?
    Oh My Goodness.
    Feed the bushes and water they will come back.
    Good Luck with everything.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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    1. Thank you Parsnip. I feel much better knowing they'll come back. He sprays the herbicide where he doesn't want to weed eat, and that is nearly everywhere.

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  5. OH, Donna!! I can feel the pain and disappointment of this. Way back when we were building our first house way out in the country on a big shady lawn, I came home from work one day looking far down the long drive trying to figure "What's Wrong With This Picture?" I just couldn't make out the disparity in what I knew and what I saw.

    As i turned into our drive, I saw five of the farm crew, two trucks, and my GRAND FIL out supervising the cutting of all the big old beautiful shade trees on our new lawn. I was almost hysterical when I got out of the car---all that history and beauty, and three of them already lying on the ground.

    He just kept trying to explain with those maddening "Logical Hand Gestures" how smart and prudent and safe it would be not to have all those dangerous things close enough to the house to blow over on it. It was just me building that house, and so I just shut them down and threatened to totally quit and build the house in town I got to keep the final four trees, but I still mourn the ones so uselessly destroyed for an old man's superstition or whatever his fear of the weather was.

    And it was the same crew that I looked out to find the next year, spraying defoliant on every single one of the little silver-maple saplings I'd planted from the Forestry Service.

    On a lighter note, we had a small infestation of raccoons in a small was-a-garage-on-the-first-house. It wa all open on the front, so we had put up one of those neat heavy plastic-weave tarps to cover the opening. The local Animal Patrol lent us a couple of of the safe-traps, and one morning Chris came shouting in the house, "Come out here !! You've gotta SEE this!'

    I apprached the back yard, again seeing something so incomprehensible it just wouldn't register for a moment. It was like a big blue box, swinging in mid-air, out in front of the blue tarp.

    A VERY disgruntled raccoon had got caught in the trap, had scrambled for anything he could reach, and must have spent hours of the night tearing great strips in that tarp. He'd pulled great long banners and strips of it into the cage with him like long confetti, just keepin' on Keepin' on, til he'd raised that thing about five feet off the ground, swinging in the breeze.

    Not to mention that since I'd LONG before idly mentioned that I'd like our big old wooden house with the centuries-old silver cypress siding to look like that beautiful "redwood" cabins in snow country---AGAIN, I came home one day to find my beautiful, weathered barn-boards on my house painted a happy pink. Also the windows, with great swoops and swags from the paint-sprayer. It took me two years and paint-remover, razor blades, chisels, and some kind of lethal alcohol concoction to get that stuff off the panes so we could see outside as GREEN, not pink...
    Ain't farm life grand?

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    1. Oh Rachel, I concur to all of the above except for the house paint. I'd have to do all that. On the downed trees, I wish I could get him to cut some down. We are surrounded by piss elm and oak. Trillions of leaves. Two different large oaks are 3 feet from the house and garage and rotted out at the ground. They will fall and crush the house one day if not taken down. It's all too much.

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    2. Good Nooning, this beautiful August day!! And out of all this debris and chaos of our horticultural horrors, a word above has caught my eye and captured my imagination:

      Your use of the words "Piss Elm." I used almost exactly the same words just this month, in a blog post about the 1930 Census and my Mammaw's neighbors up and down the street. One old lady told Mother about her hair dye, and I know now she must have said "Elm" in the too-many-syllables of the old talk: ELLUM.

      Mother told me the story, and I remembered and wrote it as "Alum," as I was familiar with the stuff in making the old-time churns of pickles. I'm going to go now and change the spelling---this was like a light-bulb moment to the past, with all the pronunciations and old-speak just coming together from that one, silly, long-ago moment.

      http://lawntea.blogspot.com/2016/06/the-we-of-me.html

      Girl, I SWEAR we have some common roots somewhere!

      r

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    3. I believe we do also Rachel. Piss elms piss all over everything. A sticky sap from them will cover cars, the patio and furniture much like pollen. Plus, they are not the pretty kinds of elm trees. They grow rampantly around this part of the state. I use alum too in my pickles.

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  6. Ouch.
    Testosterone driven pruning is the worst. I can remember my father pruning my mother's twelve foot high camellia. He reduced it to less than four feet high. It did flower again. Seven years later.
    My own partner pruned all of my newly purchased, newly planted roses at one of our homes. None survived.
    I have banned weed killers and sprays. And himself sneaks them in anytime he thinks he can get away with it.

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    1. Sounds like my husband. Doesn't have a clue about gardening, planning and landscaping.

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  7. Oh Donna - I feel for you. What is it with men and wanting to destroy things. My husband is just the same. He is only happy when he is killing plants, stripping out hedges and causing general mayhem in the garden. It is a bone of contention in our house that he sneaks about with spray guns when I am not looking. Many cross words have passed between us. He puts on this innocent face and says I am just trying to keep everything in control. I feel like spraying him with herbicide sometimes and putting him on the compost heap. :)

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  8. The contrast between the two homes must be amazing Donna.

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    1. It is Pat and I'm keeping him away from my city gardens. Glad you are feeling better.

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  9. Oh dear Donna ..... husbands are well known for doing the wrong thing in the garden !!!! Hopefully, your hedge will be OK ..... you never know .... it might have done it some good, but don't tell him that !!!!!! XXXX

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    1. Ha Jackie. He'll let me know if it is coming back.

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  10. no, it's not. I did that for years until we finally sold the city house two years ago.

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    1. I'm not holding my breath Elaine.

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    2. Ellen, Ellen, I don't know why I typed Elaine.

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  11. Ooh, deary me.
    I call my husband "Edward Scissorhands" whenever he trims the shrubs they are scalped.
    I'm thinking your hedges will grow back, mine looked they same and have returned in less than two months.
    Yes, upkeep on more than one property is a consuming chore, we used to own rental property, it was a nightmare.
    My fridge is old, but I refuse to replace it until it dies.
    Maybe you can buy bags of ice and fill the ice drawer ?
    Hugs,
    ~Jo

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    1. Ha. That is what I'm doing Jo, but I don't like buying bottled water. I remember the first time they tried to sell me a bottle of water at a restaurant. Shocking. I thought it would never take off, people buying water. If I'd of thought of it with Fiji Water, I'd be a billionaire. It still galls me to buy water. I don't think the hubby was wearing his glasses. Hope it does come back. Sigh.

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  13. Donna, I do hope that what others have commented about boxwood recovering from aggressive clipping will be true. I love the look of flourishing boxwood. In my childhood home, it was actually my Dad that was the gardening expert. Knowing that made it very easy for me to know what to give him for his July birthdays...lots of bulbs for autumn planting and spring blooming. We had quite a fine tradition going for years.

    xo

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    1. Me too Frances. I see your thoughtfulness was always there. What sweet memories you have.

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  14. My husband does the same. Cuts down everything, weedeats everything, and sprays everything until it is dead. What is up with that attitude?

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    1. We obviously haven't put the fear of God in them Michelle.

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  15. Oh wow, that sucks. We recently had to tear down a huge yew to re-do our driveway and it was painful, after seeing it grow for the past 29 years. Was just listening to that Mary Chapin Carpenter song last week, love it. Hope your visit to your farm is better next time :))

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    1. Me too Amanda. Yes, that song made me remember how many good songs she made. Haven't heard of her lately. Maybe she retired.

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  16. OH MY G............

    I too dear Donna, don't know whether to cry or laugh because sometimes our loved ones, out of wanting to help, make matters worse! I know this because we have plenty of boxwoods (and you are so right; they appear dead in the inside but grow from the outside!) - my dear hubs also pruned back other hedges in the garden that I LOVE bushy, but when they are pruned, they seem to dry up in those areas. CUT AND LEARN!

    Wishing you a peaceful end of summer, and thank you for visiting Vicki's blog! Anita

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    1. You also Anita. I guess you are back to work and I am so looking forward to all your new ventures.

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  17. A few hard words needed for that man of yours! (I've got one just like it in my house.)

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