While making progress over the last few weeks in the back-yard and North side-yard of the house (it actually looks like someone lives here who cares what their yard looks like... weird.), I have been obstinately refusing to work on the South side of the house. Spending as little time on that end of the property as possible has become a relative tradition at our house. We avert our eyes from the ugly mess of shrubs that overgrew themselves and then died leaving throngs of dead branches to claw at you while you get out of the car. We've learned the avoidance tactics used by many when they see their Uncle Rico at summertime family reunions, and when forced to be on that end of the house we walk as quickly to the nearest door as humanly possible.
This morning I decided that before the heat of the day hit, I would head out with my clippers and prune (and tear, and saw) the bushes back to the few remaining live branches at their core and clean up all the debris caught in them as possible. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and in no way did I think that doing a little yard clean up would end up making me so.... mad.
Here's my beef with the scraggly bushes. Yes, I know that we neglected to cut them back last year and so they look less than pleasant. Yes, I know that the mass of maple-leaf ground-cover from last fall' adds to the aesthetic of depression that the bushes exude (it's called "decomposition" and "mulch"). And yes, I know that the only thing that we do on the South side of our house is store our garbage / recycle / yard debris can and park our cars. BUT... why does that give my next door neighbor the right to stuff his garbage in the ugly bushes? Why?!?!
Now, I'm sure that if I bring up the discarded batteries, soda cans, cookie and candy bar wrappers, garbage bags, broken toys and newspapers that I discovered shoved between the branches on their side of the bushes this morning that they would probably tell me the monster bushes pounced them in the middle of the night while they were putting their garbage nicely in their garbage can, ripping the refuse from their arms, clawing at their faces with the scraggly fingers of prickly branches and devouring their trash piece by piece with the fervor and passion of a Creature From the Black Lagoon. And if they told me that's what happened, I'd have no choice but to believe them seeings how I have also been attacked by the bushes in the dead of night, losing whole bags of groceries and a small child (someone else's, not mine, so it wasn't that big a deal) to their wicked appetites. But it seems that if the bushes did attack them in the dead of night that they would have said something. I know if their bushes ever attacked me I'd hurry over to ask them to put a leash on them or else threaten to call the county Arborist to come and put the bushes down before they hurt anyone else.
All right, enough of that vent. Back to the exercise portion of this blog (it made me so mad!!). After a little over an hour with the mutant bushes, I was able to cut down about half of them to reasonable size and pile all the dead branches to be burned later on. I got some good upper-body workout done with the hand-saw on the thicker branches, and got a fair share of squats in as well with all the scooping up of fallen twigs and garbage. I was going to continue down the line and finish what remains of the work, but it started to get pretty warm so I decided to save it for another day. Maybe I'll be able to convince M to help me with them later this week... I'll be sure to warn her of the bushes down and dirty reputation beforehand though. I'd hate to lose her in the bushy void.