Long Dresses & Tall Grass

With Stage 2 water restrictions in place and a humid high of 93 degrees predicted, I hauled my stiff and unwilling joints out the door at 7am, planning to water all three lawns, the sun & shade gardens, and the ever-expanding collection of potted flowers, foliage and herbs. (I have never met a gardening center I didn’t like – LOL!)  Stage 2 allows sprinkler use one day each week, beginning and ending in the pre-dawn hours; that might be doable with a in-ground sprinkler system, but we don’t have one. Hand-held (hose) watering is allowed at any hour, and I try to finish the task before the mercury climbs too high. This morning’s watering costume was a colorful floor-length (ergo grass-length) halter dress; totally unsuitable for a 64 year-old, but then I do not expect to wear it beyond the boundaries of my yard 😀

I gave the back lawn, sun garden, pots and shade/tropical bed (along with the hem of my dress!) a thorough soaking , and then took leave of whatever good sense I claim to have!  What I should have done is move to the front lawns. . . they were thirsty, too.  What I did do was put away the hose and grasp the pruning shears. We have a 40- 50 foot long wall of red-tipped photinias against our back fence; it provides shelter for white-wing & Inca doves, cardinals, blue jays, wrens, house sparrows, finches, pileated woodpeckers,  black-capped chickadees, titmice and starlings, momma squirrel and her two juvenile offspring  plus the odd grackle and mockingbird  –  a secure place to await their turn at the three feeders or birdbath or make up their minds to forage around the base of the feeders. However, the “bushes” are over two storeys high now, and many of the branches were extending well out beyond the feeders. into the yard.  As well fed as our adopted managerie is, they don’t need branch-bridges to reach the seed!  With pruning shears in hand, I set about trimming everything I could reach back to the boundary line.

The arbitrary boundary is the edging which our landscaper installed last year to separate the bushes & river rock from the lawn; apparently, there has been quite a lot of forward growth since Jesse and his team put that edging in place!  Crouching down repeatedly to tame the bottom branches quickly became a problem; my kneess and hips  announced that they would make me pay dearly if I did not stop immediately, and the water-line on my skirt climbed to knee level. The lower part of the dress was actually becoming quite heavy.  Bend down, prune branches, grab dress bodice, stand up – repeat for length of “hedge”.  Then I made a pass at everything from knee-level to eye-level. . . certainly less challenging (and painful), though I had to keep pulling my bodice up avoid ‘flashing’ the avian & rodent audience!  Tired, sore and with the temperature now in the high 8o’s, I went totally daft! “Everything from eye-level to full upward arm extension must be cut back.”  Do you have a picture of this idiocy in your mind?

This evening, I am confined to the sofa with a heating pad on my upper back and shoulders and an ice pack being shifted between right knee and left knee. It hurts when I try to reach my keyboard , even though it is sitting on my lap. However,  the bushes have been tamed (they look quite nice, actually) and the higher, out-of-reach branches form a very pleasing canopy. Will I try this again?  Not until I completely forget how much of me hurts right now!  Oh, the soggy & heavy dress coupled with over-the-head pruning?  Yes, the menagerie got flashed. . . . . several times!

Tomorrow. . . . the lawns need watering. Sigh!


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