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Thursday, August 07, 2008

keeping up appearances

Longtime readers of Ancestral Pile may know that we've been waging a long-term battle with our yard. Our particular area has extraordinarily fertile soil; I don't know enough about biology to know if it's because it was once a plantation or if it has more to do with our height above sea level and humidity and stuff. Whatever causes it, plants grow like gangbusters 'round here. Which was great for Pop-Pop Brinkley, when he had his lush vegetable garden on the back half of our property. Not so great for Pop-Pop's grandson, who's been battling the weeds back there since we moved in. No traces are left of the garden, sadly. We've been trying to control the yard since we bought the house two years ago; last year we lost the battle rather dramatically. This year, we've given in to reality and hired a lawn service. Our grass gets cut every two weeks and it's worth every penny.

The lawn service can't do anything about the huge weeds and shrubs, though -- we just pay them to cut the normal stuff. So Don was out this weekend, strapping on his Ghostbusters backpack and spraying the property with weedkiller. This is what we did after last year's drama, in the back half of the property, and the end result of that treatment is that the lawn service mows that area just like the rest of the lawn these days, because it's not a jungle anymore. So now we're on to the second stage; the new jungle: the front and side yards.

Isn't he cute with his little sprayer? The not-so-cute side of the situation is that Don is actually allergic to mosquitoes (I know, it sounds weird, but he's MORE allergic than regular people just like I am with poison ivy) and the vines growing along the fence and over the rosebushes at the side of the house have created a little shaded flooded area for standing water, which we didn't realize. The mosquitoes have been taking advantage of this little resort facility, and Don came back inside after finishing his spraying in a LOT of pain. His legs and arms were completely swollen and gross.

Hopefully when the sprayed vines die (they're wilting already, thank goodness) the area will dry up and the mosquito problem will be solved. If not, I see rubber bodysuits in our future.

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