Today, we hemorrhaged money.

The lawn is an atrocious sight. The front “bed” not much better. A circular bark-filled bed, containing the most brutalized Japanese maple I’ve ever seen…terrible. So we set out to correct these things.

We bought a lawnmower. That was expensive. We went to a nursery. That cost more than the lawnmower, and believe me, that’s sayin’ something. We got evergreen berrying shrubs (Indian hawthorne. Non-native. I am wracked with guilt, but at least birds like the berries.) to screen the front of the porch, and wild indigo (YES!) and butterfly bush to make the corner pretty and attractive to wildlife. We got flats of annuals–salvia and verbena–and four lantana to fill in the maple bed, while the maple recovers itself. (That will take, at a guess, years. They hacked that poor baby down to a stub. It better have been struck by lightning or hit by a car, because there is otherwise no excuse to do that to an innocent maple.) Meanwhile, the bed is Full Sun for now. We got bee balm to fill part of another bed, and I splurged on foxglove for the backyard and a glorious little heliotrope, which will go in a pot, because I love heliotrope the way I love Mom and apple pie.

Tomorrow, we’ll have to buy a wheelbarrow, and an edger, and more money will wander off into the abyss. But que sera, sera…we got our full damage deposit back from the rental place, and that’ll just about cover this yard-related spree.

And we have all the various horrific things required to care for the lawn, although I put the kibosh on any notion of herbicide. I don’t care if the lawn gets stuff on it, we will use herbicides over my dead body. I feel guilty enough having this depraved monoculture of forgeign monstrosities covering most of the front yard, I’m not pouring poisons in on top of it. The only thing that salves my conscience is that we will tear much of it out next year and put in rock walls or something.

Today’s plant discoveries include that a line of Mystery Shrubs on the side of the house are in fact multiple peonies, and one of the Mystery Weeds in the front is invasive lemon balm. I like lemon balm, but I like it in a pot. It will have to die eventually.

There are tiger swallowtail butterflies everywhere these last few weeks. They’re the size of small birds, and flitting everywhere. I will eventually have to start IDing the butterflies back here, too. I dunno, though. There’s a certain dignity in being a birder. Being a butterflier…well… I dunno about that…

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