We have a beautiful holly tree in the backyard, which the utility company has told us they'll have to trim out of the reach of the power lines. We tried getting a quote from a reputable tree trimming company, since the crews the power company uses are notorious for hacking the tops off with little regard for the health or stability of the tree. I had a guy come look at the tree, and he gave me a quote for trimming it back, but then said that in his professional opinion, we'd be better off just letting the power company top the tree and then getting the rest removed, because we'd just end up paying to have it pruned year after year. We decided to just let things be and see what would happen, and just enjoy the tree in the meantime.
There are, of course, holly leaves ALL OVER the ground around the tree. I wasn't too worried about it until the day that I noticed Indy doing a hot coals dance any time he had to go over there to fetch his ball. He'd sprint over to the tree, stop a few feet short, and hesitate for a few seconds before carefully picking his way over to the ball and then high-stepping his way back to the safety of the grass. I promised him I'd rake up the sharp pointy leaves so he could frolic safely, so I picked up a rake at Walhell one night. Last Thursday, I had a day off so I kept my promise.
These two huge piles are in addition to what I'd scooped up Wednesday evening:
I was almost done raking them all together when the rake fell apart.
And the cat laughed, a lot:
I guess that's what I get for buying a $4 rake at Walmart. I think I can fix it, but at the time I didn't realize that so I was a bit pissy.
After I finished scraping the leaves into smaller and smaller piles and stuffing them into the trashcan and a big moving box we had in the shed, it was time to plant some of the hostas that I got from one of Evilducky's coworkers. With the help of my faithful gardening assistant, of course:
You know, it might've been a good idea to plant these the same day I cleaned up the beds and before I put the newspapers down.
The soil in the beds is pretty much all clay, so after the first plant, it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to give the rest of them a little help.