Today was the day I started to tackle the long neglected backyard. The sun was inviting me to come out and play. Look!, it was saying to me, I've returned! The snow from The Great Inconvienence of 2010 had finally melted after a week of hanging around. But spring is here, and that means eating al fresco and lazy afternoons in the hammack, and I can't do those things in an overgrown yard.
My yard is small, with two sides free and the right third adjacent to my lovely neighbors. The two free sides are neighbored by air, in the sense that my walls are two stories high on the external, and waist high on the internal, if that makes sense. Straight ahead, the wall faces the village restaurant, and on the left side are the abandoned castle grounds. I live next to a castle, how neat is that? I've had lots of nightmares about my children taking a dive off of these walls in the ten years since we've lived in this home. You know, the kind where you have to get out of bed and check to make sure they are in theirs, and not splattered on the ground two stories down below.
The left corner of my backyard, buried under knee-deep snow. Those blobs by the wall are my poor cedar trees. The tracks are pee runs by The Ripper.
It was time to gather up my yard tools and my courage, and venture out to see what had been going on out there. Well, I found out that Jack the Ripper has made a urinal out of my sage plant, and the poor thing is basically dead. Shriveled, yellowed, burned branches greeted me this morning. Only one branch is still kicking. So I cleared out the weeds and cut off the peed on parts. The weeds, I have to say, were green and healthy. Why do weeds thrive on dog pee? This is one of nature's mysteries.
I pruned the caper plant, the one that is growing in the kitchen wall. The dead branches reminded me of an old witch's head, all stringy and grey. Ever tasted a caper? Capers are the unopened flower buds of this plant. They are strong, and go well with fish dishes. I'm not a fan myself, but the plant is beautiful when the flowers bloom.
the caper bush is there in the middle, just starting to grow. The branches reach the ground eventually. photo from may '09