Sunday, April 14, 2013

OPERATION: TAKING MY YARD BACK, an update-part deux

I have one Rose Glow Japanese barberry in my front yard. It's a lovely shrub. It is the only one left. There used to be 3 or 4 more, and we removed them from the perimeter of our yard years ago. Although I love privacy, I don't like when the entrance to a house is blocked from the street by large shrubs and other plantings. I like to be able to see out. It stems from my clerk days in Judge Brian's court room and especially the criminal calendar when I found out just how many criminals there really are out there. I lock things. A lot. I admit my paranoia.

So this barberry is the last one standing. It is planted in front of a wall on the south side of our driveway. It seldom gets water in the summer and seems to thrive. It has a nice shape and I love the deep red, especially in the Spring when the blue Ceanothus is in bloom underneath. Its fall color is nice, and I also like it's skeletal shape in the winter. It is semi-deciduous (loses its leaves), and you can see the red berries dotting its bare branches - more pops of red in what can be an otherwise gray, dreary season.

January is a good month for pruning. Most trees and shrubs are dormant and won't go into shock. If you prune too early, such as October,  there may be some tender new growth that will freeze in cold temperatures. If you prune too late, you can cut off the buds for the flowers that will create those colorful berries.  

So, do you want to guess if the barberry got pruned this year?  

I actually started this post back in January. There were a few really nice dry days and I totally planned on cutting back this bad boy. This is what it looked like when I should have done it. The Ceanothus underneath needs a good hair cut, too, but that won't happen until after it's done blooming.

Pruning is necessary for this barberry or it would soon be 10 feet tall.  You can shear barberries, and it would create a denser "hedge" type appearance, but I prefer to cut back each branch to maintain the vase shape. 

Here's what it looks like today. Yep, you guessed it - no pruning got done here.
I'm all for natural looking gardens. You won't find ultra manicured shrubs or flower beds at my house. Mostly because it takes a lot of work and I just don't make time for it, but I love the look of beds that seem to spill out onto walk ways and such. 

This grouping is bordering on the unkempt, however.  Once they are done blooming, I'll do some trimming to get them back in line.
Aren't these cute little yellow flowers?
There are some areas in my yard that are looking nice right now. 

Here are a few:

I love me some mossy rocks
On the weight loss front, I seem to be stalled, again. I keep losing the same couple of pounds over and over. My week started out strong, but a hard parenting week knocked me on me arse. Well, that and Boy 1's birthday cake. While I didn't gain any weight this week, I sure didn't lose any either.

I'm still doing the Zumba workouts here at home with my Kinect. I really enjoy most of the routines, but I have been known to yell at a couple of the "instructors". One day last week, I had to explain to Boy 2 that telling someone (even if they're not real :/) that "you suck!" is not a nice thing to say and Mommy should know better.

When my stress levels are high, I'm still struggling with wanting to binge. Finding a way to consistently work through the stress in a healthy way, is going to be my breakthrough. The stress is not going to go anywhere. I'm the one that needs to change.

I'm beat. I may just get to bed early tonight. I think I could use it. Good night.

FOOD: Nice variety of fruits and veggies - I let birthday cake derail me
FOOD TRACKING: 4 of 7 days
EXERCISE: 2 28min Zumba, 1 15min Zumba


  1. Amy, you have a beautiful yard, love can do it
    love you and keep smiling Maxine

    1. Thanks, Maxine, I'm trying to keep working on and not give up - both my yard and my figure. ;) Love you!


  2. You have such a way with plants. I am amazed at your knowledge.
    Keep up the good work both in the yard and in your health journey. Love you so b.

    1. Thanks, Mom. I love you, too. I'm so glad you were able to visit. Sorry it was so chaotic. :)

  3. I never seem to prune the right time either! One time our yard service came and cut all our shrubs into tiny sticks almost (except the ones that I wanted trimmed, the arbor vitaes!). Of course, we are renters and were not consulted.

    1. Mine is complete laziness, Carrie. My grapes are in desperate need right now, as a matter of fact. :/ Darn those yard guys - half the time they don't know how to prune.

  4. I think you're pretty amazing! Especially your green thumb and knowledge of plants. :)