Sunday, April 5, 2009

Treasure in My Backyard

I don't know folks, but spring always takes me outdoors and into the back yard. My front yard is only a couple of feet deep and I try to make the most of the little patch of ground there. A couple of years ago six or seven neighborhood children decided to help me make a flowerbed in the front and I add a new plant every now and then so it looks nice from the street. Gotta think about curb appeal.

Out back, though, I try to cultivte as much habitat as possible, and as a result have lots of shade and any number of small critters that make it an interesting place to sit and enjoy.

I can't name all the birds that find refuge in my giant hedge of yew, boxwood and privit. Looks to me as if the hedge was planted and replanted over the years, and I suppose it looks a bit messy to the unenlightened, but I truly enjoy the privacy and variety available in my woody kingdom.

At the back of the yard, an enormous pecan tree holds court, anchoring the yard with lots of shade. Various sorts of vines - from Virginia creeper, a couple of types of ivy and the occasional poison ivy plant weave a complicated shade pattern, keeping the yard cooler than those around me. Last year, the neighbor to my right added an 8-foot fence, affording still more privacy and shade. The viney sorts have already naturalized the fence, adding to the interest and habitat for blue jays, doves, mockingbirds, cardinals, wrens, finches and a number of other species.

Don't speak of the squirrels. They chew holes in the house, invade the attic, and strip the phone wires so that they no longer work. I can't like them and do not find them cute. You can have them.

Other than the squirrels, I do love my back yard and even though it takes a lot of pruning and clipping to keep the jungle at bay, I really love my backyard and consider myself blessed.

So. I'm going out to inspect my violets. There are so many I can see them from my kitchen window. So. I wish you habitat, birds and violets. If you can't get them, keep on the sunny side. Terry

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