We are getting a good start on the gardening this spring. The old John Deere that my husband has been using for some thirty years, a hand-me-down from his Dad, finally reached the place where it needed rest. No longer will it be used as a lawn mower, yet it is a good tractor for pulling the trailer with yard debris. It had seen better years a long time ago.
With a new and powerful tractor mower purchased in April, Bob has been mowing a lot. He is trying to keep ahead of the rain and new shoots of grass that spring up instantly, the moment he turns his back.
Our grandson has been here helping us. The previous two days he helped me...no, I helped him...pruning wisteria. One in particular has been overgrown for years. Impossible for me to reach all branches, it was looking ragged. Today it looks like it made a trip to a barber chair, sheared back and groomed. Thank you, Brandon!
It had a habit of winding soft green tendrils around deck posts and across railings. I loved the shade and privacy it provided but it was clearly growing out of hand, beyond my control.
That's when the wisteria began growing onto the roof of our modified A-frame home. Bob agreed it was time to trim! I know it was looking at the silvery round satellite dish with relish and working itself in that direction, too. I could imagine it taking control of the dish like jungle cover! It would have been happy to overtake anything if we allowed it to. Yah, like I am going to let it interfere with my daily communication to the world - I think not! #noway
Let me share here that instead of the wisteria being the culprit, Brandon took care of that satellite situation right away. Yes, the shears came too close to the wiring and my internet went down without a whimper! He felt so badly that he insisted on driving thirty minutes into town to buy a fifty foot length of coax and make the repair himself. I told him I would call the company but I know he felt badly and wanted to get the dish running for me again. Bless his heart!
Nor did it help him when he chatted with his Mom and Auntie on the phone later in the day. He shared with them what he had done and the two of them laughed louder and longer than he could remember them doing, in a long, long time. Poor kid!
Brandon has always been such a hard worker and willing to help us. We are happy to have him here, paying him wages 'with room and board'. He's been trying to find a niche for himself and is now serious about serving in the military. He has the necessary forms to complete and has a few personal things to take care of before officially signing up. We are grateful and happy to have him come here on a weekly basis and give us a hand.
With all this on my mind, I was reflecting on the work he did about two years ago and found the photos to share with you. His hard work then was in the very same area where we were pruning the wisteria.
Brandon cut through concrete next to the house and dug a trench deep enough so that Grandpa could extend new pipe to replace an existing downspout. This would move rainwater further away from the house and eliminate having to step over a length of unattractive metal pipe lying across the concrete to the edge of lawn. It had been a temporary fix that needed permanent correction.
A lot of physical effort went into cutting that concrete, removing it and dirt in preparation for the new line.
Brandon carried a trench line around the end of the house so the pipe would carry all that rain water away and downhill. (We were able to see over the next six months that there was a positive difference.) The run-off benefits fruit trees below the house, receiving a new source of hydration.
The wisteria was beautiful that summer, lush and green, a little wild and climbing across the upper deck. Yet this past winter was cold and harsh and the wisteria looked terrible.
I decided it was worthwhile to cut it back severely and get it off the roof. With a little fertilizer and new growth cycle, it will come back hardier than ever.
Final steps included back-filling the trench with dirt and putting sod back in place. Where the new pipe was installed from the corner gutter, concrete was poured and the job completed. What a team they were!
This is an example of the hard work our grandson has done for us and we are so grateful. It was far too much for Bob to do physically and they worked together well.
I hope that Brandon will savor the memories of all he has done to help us, all the hard work he has put into helping make repairs or improvements to our home.
Now, the next thing I need to do is get the terra-cotta colored flower boxes out, fill with potting soil and plant the seeds from several flower packets. They will look pretty on the deck, which is definitely in need of color. Perhaps picking up a tray of annuals at the nursery will be good, a little instant color while the seeds grow. May flowers will look pretty, for sure!
Thank you for reading and have a great day!