Friday, October 19, 2012

Musings About The Yard

The only thing about this post that has anything to do with music is the fact that while I am out in the yard pulling up vines, the last movement of Brahms Third Symphony seems constantly to be weaving its way through my brain.

We are having a strange year out in Illinois. Normally I don't spend time looking at the ground (I'm usually looking up), but this year I noticed that our back yard is a jungle of all kinds of vines. It didn't rain this summer, so we didn't mow (and therefore didn't know what was happening out there). It has been rather wet for the past month, and all the plants seem to be making up for the time that they lost during the summer. The vines in the yard seem to have the sole purpose climbing to the top of the hill, and I have taken a sacred oath to make sure that they never get there.

It's rough going, but I have been dedicated. It's raining now, which is the only reason I'm not pulling up vines, so I'm entertaining you by writing about the experience.

I'm rather new to thinking horticulturally. The culture part I get, but the "horti" part is another matter. I would love to know more of exactly what is in my basket.

I know this is a wild strawberry. I kind of like having wild strawberries growing in the yard because the birds and squirrels eat them.

and this is the wild strawberry flower. Yes. We have flowers and fruit both present (and thriving) during this odd Fall in Illinois.

This pine-like plant pops up everywhere. Here it is in its young form (in the ground), and then in its mature form (out of the ground). I would love to know what this one is. It smells like an evergreen, and it looks like a bonsai.

Then there's Vinca, my foe. Vinca looks really beautiful when it is contained, but it squeezes the life out of anything grasslike in its path when it is allowed to roam, undetected, like a snake in the grass. It is, however, rather rewarding to pull. It comes up in long ropes, and its young roots separate from the ground with just the slightest tug. Pulling it up does give a kind of "ping" of satisfaction, and with satisfaction being relatively rare in life outside of the back yard, I confess that I sort of enjoy the fact that it's there for me to pull, though I also want to win the battle for the hill. The pine vine likes to keep company with the Vinca. Here they are together.

and here's the battlefield: