The Fruit of My Labors

When we moved here a few years ago, the backyard was ringed by grape vines. Underneath those grape vines, as tall as I am, were a jungle of weeds. That’s not an exaggeration, it was a mess. As I spent the summer(s) pulling up the weeds, I came across a few small strawberry plants on one side of the yard, either escapees or a mostly forgotten remnant of a previous garden. I decided to save the strawberry plants and they offered up the occasional berry, although the bugs and birds and slugs got most of them. When I removed the grapes, though, the strawberries came into their own. They got bigger and produced more fruit last year, and this year they’ve propagated quite a few new plants (several times what we had a couple of years ago), and the older plants are producing some absolutely delicious berries.

The coneflower bloomed like crazy although they’re drying out, so I’ve started watering them on occasion. I suppose I’ll have to divide one of them before next year as it’s just gone insane with several dozen big blossoms. It’s my favorite flower so I’m happy to see them thriving after they were moved to the backyard. I cut back some of the daisies, they were overrun with aphids in the early summer and didn’t look too good, but hopefully the new batch will fare better now that the invasion is past. Some of the roses are doing great and some are on death’s door, we’ll see how they do.

A hummingbird has visited the back each of the past two evenings, so I suppose I should put up the feeder. I need to get an ant guard for it but for now I’ll put it up without one as I’d like to attract the ferocious little birds. The hummer certainly got the attention of the cats right away, even more than the neighborhood squirrels.

And now it’s getting dark enough back here that it’s hard to see Templeton as he moves about the yard, so it’s time to head inside. Scout has enough white that she sticks out like a sore thumb, but Templeton can really disappear in the dim light when he wants to.

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