I think I must start this post by explaining why a gardener would pay someone to take care of a small patch of lawn and a small hedge. Well, I wouldn’t. But Joseph would. When we moved to this property from our acreage, he got rid of almost all of his lawn equipment. Not only did we not have much space in the garage – he has a (wood) workshop – it costs little to pay someone to take care of the more mundane gardening tasks.
The lawn maintenance guys deal with the edging, hedge maintenance, mowing, and, of course, clean-up. It takes the current three-person crew 15 minutes or less most days, a little longer when tending to the shrubs.
The last crew chose to ignore that part of the deal. The hedge, I mean. We didn’t realize it at first, but one day we were looking at a hedge that was at least two feet higher than it should be according to HOA standards. We basically had ligustrum walls.
Most of the hedge wasn't particularly healthy, either. We asked the guys to take care of it. They never did. Hence, new guys.
We like the new crew. But by the time they trimmed the hedge – a pretty impressive undertaking – it was early winter. Within a few weeks of the severe trimming, the Houston area had one of our weird and unexpected hard freezes. For the first time ever, ALL the ligustrum leaves dropped.
At the beginning of March, they were still mostly bare – mostly being important here. A few were undeniably dead. So we talked with our lawn service boss. We walked the small perimeter together. He recommended that we first replace only the dead ones.
“See?” He pointed to a few buds towards the bottom. “Green.”
And so we agreed. I’m glad that we did.
Oddly, a few leaves began popping up along the lower half of the hedge, towards the bottoms of the shrubs. Not only up from the ground, but from the trunks. The top half seemed dead. I don’t really understand this, but I’m not complaining. The lawn crew pruned, cutting off another foot or two. You know how it sometimes seems that plants leaf or bud out overnight? It wasn’t the case this time. Slowly, painstakingly, leaves returned. The hedge is still fighting the good fight. But I think it might come through!
It’s funny. As a general rule, I prefer native plantings. Ligustrum shrubs are not native to Texas. They’re native to Europe, where they are called privet. But these shrubs had been here for around twenty years, and they’re not aggressive plants. It seemed a shame to me that they would die on our watch.
We kind of like the renewed, short hedge. There’s less privacy, but it’s so much more open than before. Being on the golf course, the hedge is supposed to be no higher than the low fence, anyway. That’s fine by us.
More soon! Happy Gardening!
Happy April! Happy Spring!
I'm baaack! And so is our garden! It was worrisome for a few months there. We had a few hard freezes. I had foot surgery AND a deadline. And then for the past few weeks we've had lots of rain. I was very worried that the garden and I would be embarrassed for our Easter celebration. We had so many less blooms than previous years.
Our entire hedge almost died this past winter. I'll save that chat for another post.
Most of our roses died, too, as well as our last citrus. I won't be planting more of either. Yes, I know I've said that before. But really, there are lots of other plants I can try. Whether it's due to weather or some other mysterious condition(s), roses and citrus trees have never fared well on this property.
Not all of the vegetable seeds I sowed sprouted. None of the kohlrabi and only a few measly radishes. I could have tried sowing the latter several times over, but I was inside with my foot up. And only a few of the lettuces grew.
But this past weekend, it all seemed to be enough. Amidst all of the celebrating, family and friends spoiled us by requesting taste tests of our carrots. Little ones were bright, moving flowers as they ran around the garden hunting Easter eggs. There was a lot of bare soil -- I don't mulch and didn't have time to plant a lot of annuals -- but there were also pops of color here and there.
And the weather was glorious. Thank God for our loved ones, our garden, and for the hope in our hearts.
More soon! I have so much to tell you!
For years, my husband and I worked at creating a series of gardens on our four-acre lot in a rural, Texas subdivision west of Houston. I have to say, it was a fantastic experience. Now, I have a pocket garden on a golf course.
From me to you with a smile.
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