how does your garden grow?

i was out gardening today. (no, really.)

thanks to the boys (not just raf and ben, but bo too), i rarely get to sleep past 8am on weekends. i used to be able to sleep till noon, but those days are long gone! instead, i'm realizing the joys of enjoying a lazy breakfast without rushing out the door to go to work.

the weather this morning was perfect, bright and cheery with a slight breeze to keep things cool. so after a small plate of eggs and sausage, i decided to attack our overgrown bushes with the pruning shears.

bo and raf say hello to the ladybugs living in our mint leaves.

we had the backyard landscaped with low maintenance plants, so all we really do regularly is mow the lawn, which bo takes care of every couple of weeks or so. of course, that means when we realize it's time to trim the plants... it's really time to trim the plants!

my absolute favorite has to be the japanese maple at the center of our yard. i love its year-round deep red brown color and the pretty shape of the leaves.

having always had gardeners growing up, then always living in plant-free apartments after i moved out, my thumb is anything but green. i was really enjoying the novelty of wearing gardening gloves and a floppy dark green safari hat, crouching down low to snip away the foot-and-a-half long mint bushes. i've always enjoyed the idea of being outdoors. i guess i never had the time or the type of company to encourage it.

but it didn't take long till i recalled what it is about the outdoors that freak me out.

a juvenile praying mantis was lurking deep in the mint leaves! i "eek"-ed and jumped back about a yard when i realized what that green "leaf" was creeping close to my gloved hand! 
and just when i thought i'd gotten over being creeped out by a creepy-crawly, i ran into another one by one of our large bird of paradise plants. double eek!


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