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Spring gardening and cleaunup season has begun

Today rsc and I went up to Gloucester since it was a beautiful day and it was time to plant peas. Which he did.

I started cutting brush next to the driveway since a car barely fits between the edges. The only thing I didn't trim was the lilacs since they have nice buds everywhere including too close to the driveway. Next to the hemlocks (they form a border with our northern neighbor's back yard are are on the edge of the driveway) which were 3 ft high when we planted them and are now about 30 feet high there are some overgrown privet hedges that suddenly appeared a few years ago - our neighbor has some and the little shoots are everywhere. They are interfering with the hemlocks, so trimming them was high priority; and I did a lot of that.

The hemlocks have wooly adelgids - an annoying bug that eventually kills them and is wrecking hemlock forests all over the Northeast. I tried spraying them with Neem (a soap like insecticide which successfully kills lily beetles) several times the past 2 years. But it isn't good enough and besides the height makes it difficult to reach the top with either a hand-pumped pressure sprayer or a garden hose attachment. Most of the eggs are near the bottom, but the entire tree needs to be sprayed. So its time to get a pro in because we don't want to lose these trees,

rsc started attacking the thicket of blackberries that don't really bear, multiflora roses that bloom for about a week, and killer vine. Killer vine is we think Japanese knot weed. It started appearing a few years ago it grows fast and wraps itself tightly around anything it can find. I think it spreads via underground roots as well as by seeds and it is everywhere. It's worse than the cat briar which I have pretty much under control.

I reinstalled the water meter, the filter, and closed the various drains and shutoffs. Next week or the week after we will have the water department turn on the water. Hopefully there will be no broken pipes. I do suspect that the hot water heater will not last much longer.

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Not Japanese knotweed (that's "green monsters", and we haven't had that for a while). Someone we described it to who knows about these things suggested European bittersweet. It does indeed spread through roots -- I found quite a few that were anchored in more than one place, and many whose other end is simply not to be found. Getting all of it out of that thicket is going to be one hell of a job.

It's worse than the cat briar which I have pretty much under control.

FSVO "control".

It's nice to be gardening again.

We can't garden this year :( The new house they're building behind us is killing the last sunlight we had remaining.

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