10 February 2008

Just one nice day

Local lore dictates that Presidents' Day weekend -- a mashup holiday, you young'uns, created many years ago from Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays -- is the time to prune roses in Portland. I'd been hoping for a few hours of sunshine, or at least not-rain, to get a start on the job, and yesterday, after what seemed like weeks of unrelenting cold and wet, the window of opportunity opened.

The entire neighborhood seemed to have gotten the "Yardwork!" message. I chatted with neighbors I hadn't seen outdoors in months. The little girls from next door hauled over their miniature gardening tools and helped me for a while, though with one tiny glove between them, I had to direct their efforts away from the roses and toward the ongoing chore of picking up those obnoxious sweetgum seed pods, aka sticky balls.

Pruning is a satisfying task, deciding as you snip what stays, what goes, where to make the cut. I have only a vague notion of how it's supposed to be done, but the roses have always tolerated, or worked around, my efforts.

The afternoon went by quickly. I filled three large bags, plus the yard debris can. Just as I finished the row of miniatures by the driveway, the sky turned hazy and the temperature dropped. It was a good stopping point.

I was hoping for another break in the weather today, so I could attack the roses on the other side of the house, but it doesn't look like we're going to get one. No worries; it's still a week til Presidents' Day.

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