Friday, August 1, 2008
Lantana gone mad
Wow we had fun today and got a lot accomplished inside and in the yard. I got several things tagged for the childrens consignment sale coming up the beginning of October, and the other night my mom helped me put some iron-on name tags on some of Jamie's clothes for her new school next week so I have about 20 items ready for her to wear. I still don't have the label maker I ordered for Walmart, the labels I used were in a kit with tape, stencils and a pen for $3.
I have a small garden back behind the pool that I have let languish since we got Jamie just over 2 years ago. I had it all spiffed up with zinnias and sunflowers alot of summers, but this year I let a Lantana take over most of it. If you don't live in the south you may not know, but a Lantana is a bit like a weed/bush that has a very cool flower. It starts off yellow and turns orange and than pink...or starts off pink and turns yellow then orange...hmmmm not sure which way it turns. I remember the first year I lived in Florida finding it out in a field blooming away, like free landscaping! The problem is it is invasive so a small 2 ft bush can spread 8 ft across and 6 ft tall in 2 years if you don't have a good frost to kill it back. Not only that but it has been raining here almost every day in July and lantana doesn't bloom when it gets too much water. Not to mention it's poisonous and the hairy leaves hurt your hands and they stink if you crush them (like cat pee!) So it had to go. I pruned it way back first and starting cutting the roots around it...The main trunk was as thick as my upper arm, and I left a good bit of it so Mike could grasp it, and now it is gone!
I planted some tomato plants that had gotten leggy and some purslane which needed to go in to the ground. Then we snuck next door to the neighbors back yard and cut back some lantana bushes and some thorny vines that were starting to creep over and under our fence. Our 73 yr old neighbor Lou, died 2 weeks ago and it doesn't look like anyone is in a hurry to get his backyard in order. Weeds are hip high and he has dozens of bins with crap in them, and empty soda bottles all over his yard not to mention his porch and garage are crammed full with crap. (And his house, I know, we are nosy, we looked through the window on the front door!)
Poor guy had a heart attack about a month ago, (he mentioned it to Mike in the front yard, so he was released from the hospital), then we didn't see him again. His car showed up with a dented front bumper, but he never came back. We saw some people coming into his house one day last weekend with bags, and alot of trash bags at the curb one day. So we looked him up in the online obits from our local paper, and sure enough, he died suddenly it said. We wonder if he had another heart attack while driving. We didn't have a very good relationship with him as he called the city on us for backwashing the pool when some water came into his yard. The weeds have been hip high for months, but we never called the city on him. As much as we wanted to - and we are glad we didn't now. Sometimes it's good to be nice, or not be mean anyway.
Mike is also working on our lights that encircle the pool and the spa has been wonderful, now that it is in working order. We just need to paint the cabinet again and it will look all right back there. Maybe we can have some people over for a nighttime spa and pool get together. It's hard to do in the daytime, not only because of the extreme heat but the every day rain showers. We get out there when we can. I love our yard.