Spring has definitely sprung here in central Texas. And by that I mean highs in the mid to upper 80s and a lot of wind. So much wind that it can be a little unsettling at times. We opened up our bedroom windows and it actually blew the bedspread onto the floor. The wind is quite strong and lasts a long time. Not just quick gusts like the NW. It can be windy for days. Kind of nice really.
With the increased daylight I’ve been spending more time looking at the yard. Notice I didn’t say lawn. Because technically lawn would indicate grass while yard is more lenient, ask any prison inmate whose spent time in the yard. We don’t actually have much grass, but then again we aren’t getting shanked in the yard either so all in all I can’t complain too much. What we have is mostly a mixture of really tall grasses (not lawn-like at all) and various and sundry weeds predominantly dandelions.
These aren’t the cuddly aren’t they pretty dandelions I grew up with. Sure they are yellow and sure you can blow the seeds around, but they have one very important difference. These dandelions are poky. Their leaves are spiky and they hurt when you step on them with bare feet. Just ask Wesley. Think of them as a cross between a friendly NW dandelion and a thistle. That is just about right.
Wesley and I headed to Home Depot to pick up some yard tools. Owning your first house is expensive, not just because of the mortgage and taxes and insurance, but because of the fact that you don’t own any of the tools you might need to do even simple things. We needed a hand pruner, a lopper, and a dandelion puller. We made it out for 60 bucks. Oh and by the way, going to Home Depot with Wesley is just like going to the toy store with Wesley. . . if everything at the toy store will kill or maim him.
The pruners were for the Texas Yellow Bells. Pretty bushes out front of our house that have lovely yellow flowers on them all summer. According to a number of sources they are perfect for xeriscaping here in Texas as they are native to the area. That means you don’t have to water them. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I didn’t water them or the freezes that we had but they ended up looking like this:
Not pretty. Brown, clearly dead and with used up seed pods dangling all over. They kind of drug down the look of the yard. So we cut them back to the ground. It is what they said to do online and the internet wouldn’t lie. Would it? Here they are. The bright green little bushes are this year’s growth. Also note the “lawn” made entirely of broad leafed weeds.
As for the dandelions we went to work with the puller. The best $6 I’ve spent at Home Depot. It just looks like a mangled screw driver, but it really works well. You insert it into the ground at the base of the dandelion, catch the root with the notch on the end and as Wesley will tell you “Pop!” it up. Otherwise the plant isn’t strong enough to pull on and you simply rip the top off leaving poky leaves and roots to keep growing. I pulled out about 20 gallons (the size of our yard waste bucket) of dandelions from our front yard alone. What’s left of the yard would probably fit in a second bucket. Hopefully something grassy will grow in all the empty places. If not our yard may become a little dustbowl this summer.