The days got shorter, the nights grew longer and it was definitely cold – even snowed a bit. Nothing like out East however.
Regardless, the excitement of the first crocuses never fails to thrill me.
Even better, is that a few months ago we tore our large, mainly unused shed down, leaving us lots of new space in our wee yard. We also had a long row of tall ungainly, splitting, space-hogging cedar hedges taken out.
It feels so different. I didn’t realize how hemmed in I had felt.
At one point I really liked the tall hedges and closed in space because I did’t know my neighbours well and really tend to keep to myself in my non-social moods. When I am forced into a social situation – like at the school, picking up the kids – I do smashingly and most friends tell me that I don’t at all seem anti-social. Indeed I am a chatterbox, silly, funny or empathetic – depending on what the situation calls for. Once I get home though, a headache always threatens and I feel drained. I need my ‘space’.
But my yard is small, and the house is large-ish. Not an ideal combo for outside space when one is also surrouned by encroaching greenery.
I had brought many of my plants with me when we moved to Chilliwack from Delta – but my previous yard space was much bigger and more open, and shortly after plunking the plants into the fertile soil of the Fraser Valley, everything took off and grew madly. Given to swings of low energy and low mood and lack of motivation, I admit that when the heat of the summer would bring the wasps and mosquitos – I simply hid in the house and sulked and watched things grow larger and larger.
Finally this year I just couldnt help it and begged financial aid of my mother to help get the damned rows of hedges removed so we could reclaim 6×50 ft of yard space. Once that was done it became obvious that the shed was almost in the center of the yard (the hedges had been right up to the shed before) and so that got taken down.
All along that fence was the 20+ ft tall cedar hedge that ran the whole length of the yard and blocked out the sun (as well as hiding us from our neighbours) Once we cut the walls out and stripped that sucker down, she FINALLY tumbled.
From there, my dear friend eoNblue came out and used her mad arbouring skills to hack out the dead growth of the lilacs, and elderberry. Our two elderberry trees were brought here at about 3 and 4 ft tall. One now is taller than the second floor patio and the other is just past the top of the house itself. The rapidly growing maple tree got a good trim back to about 7 ft tall, and the Quince tree got a good thinning while the Asian Pear got the hard prune it seems to love. The offshoots of the Twisted Hazel got taken off and now we are back to our lovely corkscrewy shrub. All in all everything got thinned and trimmed.
some of the trimmings from our favourite arbourist. This picture is from today after we took the first load
That trimming, plus the missing hedges and shed has just hugely opened up our yard and even though the grass is mostly moss now (and hey I like moss, so shush) it feels like a dream. The wind blows right through, rather than the trapped air of a small yard with tall trees. The wind chimes are all happier than ever, and the two fruit trees – Asian Pear and Quince – are getting sun in places they’ve not had it for good 5 -7 years.
Finally cleared. We will be building a pagoda/gazebo here
The blueberry bushes are budding, the rhubarb is all coming up, daffodils are ready to bloom, and the crocuses have already passed on. Robins are hopping through our mossy yard, big fat robins with chubby worms in their beaks, and sparrows have settled into one of the bird houses under the patio while the Cheeseburger Birds (known as chickadees in the mundane world) sing merrily in the lilac tree.
Today the husband and I got rid of all the trimmings that eoN the arbourist lovingly created for us, as the sun shone down on us warmly and the breeze wandered through. I am feeling so good about my outside space right now. Even if I do nothing in it but sit — I am happy. And I feel blessed.