Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In My Back Yard

Yes, it is summer in Edmonton! True, the last two weeks have involved a mix of sun and rain. Still, there has been enough sun that I don't feel like we're getting ripped off (unlike last summer), and enough rain to unleash the green beauty that this city holds.

My own world of discovery continues around my house. I turned the furnace off in early May, but have not yet felt the need to turn on ceiling fans or the central air conditioning. My bank account is definitely happy about that, and I am quite enjoying the sunny warmth during the day. Fresh air comes in through open windows when I am home, and also serves to keep my house from getting too hot just yet.

My garden is growing... sort of. Just before the May long weekend, I planted potatoes, green beans, yellow beans, cucumber, spinach, lettuce, snap peas, carrots, dill, and zucchini. Everything is growing, but less than half of what I sowed seems to be making an appearance. And all on one side of the garden. I'm a bit perplexed--the soil is all the same, the lighting is well-distributed, rows have been watered evenly... a friend suggested birds, but I have not seen evidence of such. No birds seem to hang out in my yard; then again, I am not generally home during the day to know for sure. My neighbour seems to be in the same boat, mind you, so that's sort of reassuring; knowing that I'm not alone. The potatoes, green beans, snap peas, and zucchini seem to be faring the best. AND I have a healthy supply of rhubarb, a lovely perennial left behind from the previous owners.

It has been so interesting to see what has started to grow from previous years. Tulips came up in April, and added delightful colour to the side of my house. In theory, sunflowers should pop up in their place later this summer. There is also a mystery plant growing on the same side, which I hope flowers so I can figure out what it is. The rose bushes out front have finally bloomed. And the little maple trees seem to have survived the winter. On the north side of my house, I even seem to be growing ferns. Too bad no one sees that side of the house most of the time.

I mowed the lawn for the second time yesterday. Next year I need to deal better with the dandelions, and possibly aerate the lawn. But for this year, just having a lawn is enough.

I finally bought a garden hose today, and also--just for fun--picked up a package of solar lights for the lawn. As I was deciding where to place them, I realized that the grass has grown over the edge of the driveway in the last year or two. I made a start at edging the grass back to be flush with the cement; it will have to be an ongoing project for a few weeks, I feel.

The cats love being outside. Princess is always on a leash, which I move around the yard 2-3 times so she can "roam" more space. Akira is timid enough that she only explores the perimeter of the house, if not just the back yard, and therefore does not need to be leashed.

As I am sticking pretty close to home this summer, travel-wise, I am looking forward to many a sunny afternoon in my back yard. And it's looking to be just delightful.