Well I got a huge amount of yard work done today. Not only did I mow the lawn and pull weeds from all my garden spots, I also pulled all the weeds out from in between the cement tiles in the back yard. Now I don't feel like I have to mow the patio as well as the grass :) I've also learned that if I get all the weeds and grass out from in between the tiles, it's much easier to shovel it in the winter. One year I'd like to actually get all the grass out from in between the tiles and cracks on the path as well as the patio. But it's pretty thick there. That grass has taken over the cement to the point that I just mow it to keep it under control.
Now that my boys are older they don't spend any time at all in the back yard anymore. The only evidence of children in my yard are three divots. One is where the swing set used to be, one is where the sandbox was and one is from me letting T dig a hole one summer. I filled the swing set divot with dirt a few weeks ago from my neighbor's 'free dirt' pile in their front yard. The grass is just peeking through it now. The sandbox divot is about 4' by 6' and a few inches deep. It would take a few wheelbarrow loads to fill that. And the hole T dug is like a sinkhole in one section of the yard, deep in parts and shallow in others. My landlord was not impressed that I allowed that to be dug. But it's not on any main path in the yard so I haven't filled it in yet. I'm considering getting more free dirt and filling the divots but it might discourage the rabbits from coming around.
Now that children aren't filling the yard the jackrabbits have made it their personal snacking ground. The bunnies even feel safe enough to nap in the back yard when it's quiet. It's funny because I'll look out and wonder where that rock came from and realize it's a rabbit napping in ball form :) Over the last couple of days I've been so wrapped up in my own world that I didn't even notice Jack the Rabbit until he moved on the grass and made a noise. I looked to my right and saw that I could almost reach out and pet Jack if he hadn't been squishing his body away from me. Interesting that he didn't take off as soon as I got close, instead he and his buddy just rolled their eyes at me and swivel their ears until I was a good distance away.
I also planted a new rose bush in my back yard. We were at Walmart looking for ant killer last week when I found a bush that was supposed to have the most beautiful sunset colored flowers. I say 'supposed to' because the bush appeared dead. There were no other bushes like it so I took it over to the till and asked if I could get a discount on it. After all, there was no guarantee that it would grow at all. Not even very much hope from the looks of it. Some of the main stems were still green but all the leaves and buds were so dry and dead they were crispy. The clerk ended up giving me a 60% discount on the poor thing. So I planted it in the center of my Alyssum flowers and picked off all the dead leaves and whatnot. I even put some bone meal in the hole so the roots would have some nourishment. I've been watering it faithfully but I noticed the stems starting to shrivel at the tops, so I trimmed them back just a bit. The main stems are still green but no new growth at all. I hope it lives, the picture of the flowers is really pretty.
Thinking of ant killer, that Raid stuff really worked! I put some in a little wax paper cone in the ground near the larger hills and sprinkled some on the smaller hills. I've been checking and the smaller hills are now just mounds of dirt. The larger hills still have some ants but their population is significantly smaller. After cutting the grass today I went out with new wax cones and filled them with 'Ant B Gon'. I figure if Raid got most of the ants, a different brand might get the rest. I admit I did feel a bit bad that I killed whole populations of ants...but the feeling passed pretty quickly :)