Monday, April 6, 2009

The New Raleigh Garden Club

As you can see from the above photo, Cooper does NOT enjoy a bath, but it's just too good not to put at the top. More on this later...

Anyways, we decided to spend this past weekend pretending to be responsible homeowners, so we did a little gardening and outside maintenance. Let's set the record straight and say that, prior to this weekend, we have not done any lawn care other than mowing in about two years. We don't have a master gardener in residence or ChemLawn on speed dial the way they do at stately Rankin Manor in McAdenville, nor the high whimsicality factor of the Gardens-on-Angelo, Winston-Salem. And, other than the vegetable garden last summer, we didn't have a lot in the way of flowering ornamental plants (read: dogs destroyed every other flower in the yard, either with digging, peeing, or eating). We're still holding out for the California-based Rankin Duo to FedEx a lemon tree sometime. So, needless to say, this weekend's labors were long overdue.

Thanks to our neighbor, we've always had two randomly-placed rose bushes that we neither tend to, nor notice, but we didn't want to tear out because they were a nice gesture and required no work whatsoever on our part. We weren't being lazy or selfish with our time, we just know nothing about rose gardening (Ashley notes here that she has a "black thumb;" I disagree). But, in an effort to take lemons and make lemonade, and gain a little curb appeal, we dug in a natural area that came together quite nicely. Note two things: 1) Low maintenance flowers and some creeping plants, and 2) the short, barely-noticeable fence that somehow keeps out all the dogs. If it continues to work, we're seriously considering using it to fence the entire back yard.

While we were installing this, the dogs were up to various activities. Cooper was busy on the back deck applying a thick layer of neon yellow pine pollen to his entire body, thus resulting in the aforementioned bath. Arnold was hanging out in the front, having some old-man talk with our neighbor. They probably talked about old war stories, and how they walked up hill both ways to get to school, and how young whipper-snappers have no respect for their elders these days.

Mattie, on the other hand, decided it was too hot in the yard, but wanted to keep an eye on things nonetheless. She chose to make a den in the Pathfinder with a few of the garden supplies. She was persuaded out only with a trip to Lowe's hardware and a walk around the garden section there. On a side note, Lowe's discriminates against big dogs. We may be taking our business elsewhere, and the management is certainly getting a note.

I'll also note that we aerated and re-seeded the lawn since our neighbor insisted he wanted to rent an aerator this weekend, so we went along for the ride (This too, was against the advice of one J.W. Rankin of McAdenville, NC, who insists that aeration only be performed in the fall. Ordinarily, I would heed this advice, but the aerator was there and all I did was provide the truck).

Since we got all the yardwork done, we'll be going hiking and camping later this week at Stone Mountain State Park, and spending Easter with Granny, so check back later for some updates. It should be hilarious since Cooper, the Collins' own Cadbury's Bunny, will be "camping" in Winston while we take the big two outdoors.

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