First, a bit of background. My landlady gives a discount on rent to someone willing to do maintainance around the property. This is mostly things like mowing the grass, watering the other plants, trimming as needed, and so on, with a bit of other seasonal work thrown in–rake the leaves, startup/shutdown the coolers, and so on. Well, the guy living behind me (he was here first and thus got the discount) really wasn’t doing anything. He angered my landlady for the last time so she took the job and the discount from him and gave it to me. I don’t mind, because I could use the discount and a bit of physical work outside is good for me. Plus, she knows I can do good work from previous history.
So, I’m looking at about 2 years of neglect. The property has a shed full of tools so it’s not like I have to provide anything other than a pair of gloves and some sweat. Trimming the bushes and the like isn’t too bad–I may not be a topiary artist but I can at least use the hedge trimmer to get boxes. Mom told me how to take care of a rose bush. I know how to mow the lawn and use a weed-eater and edger. However, there are two areas that need work and would probably impress my landlady next time she comes down from Albuquerque, besides if I could get the front lawn to fill out and go green.
The first is the blackberry bush. It, like the front yard and the other plants, wasn’t getting watered. There’s a lot of deadwood present. I think there’s some living blackberry bush mixed in as well, but I’m not sure. The flowers are a mixture of pink and white–small pink flowers on the outside and below and then small white flowers higher up and on the inside, so you get a two-color effect. So I have no idea what that is and what I should do with all the dead stuff. I mean, the living stuff looks pretty, but I don’t know if it’s supposed to be there or if it’s a weed and the blackberry bush is a total loss.
The second are the trees in the front. They appear to be the only things that have done well with so much neglect, which makes me worry about what their root system must look like. Well, I can’t do anything about that, but I can trim the trees, and trust me, they need it. Problem is, I don’t know much about that. I think I should take out any branches that are running under higher branches and any branches that are running at funny angles to the rest of the tree. But I’m afraid I’m going to wind up with trees that look like a toddler who gave himself a haircut or otherwise take off too much. So are there any good guidelines? Also, with the branches I keep, how much of the little offshots do I take off that are running up and down the larger branches? I have no idea what kind of trees these are but I can’t imagine that it’d matter for this. I borrowed my family’s old pole trimmer and figure if I can’t get the branch off with the lopper side that I probably don’t want to switch to the saw and take the branch off.