Earlier this year the Hawthorne bushes in front of my house died. They'd been alive for about 20 years, their full life expectancy, and had a fungus or disease in the soil or branches. And then the February freeze (see here) finished them off. I didn't know that for sure, until a few months later when they were still a bronze/copper color. Well, I love copper but they were supposed to be turning green. Research and word of mouth amongst the neighbors who actually know something about Texas shrubs= yup, they're dead. Time to pull them out. Here's a quick reminder of what they used to look like from when I wrote about Halloween over here.
So one day during spring break (2021) I hired two teenage kids for cheap (I offered like $100 to get the dead roots and branches) and had them start at the job of hacking away the dead, brittle branches. They had a blast for like an hour and then were like, "This is lame." Okay, their language was slightly less mature than that.;) So I showed mercy and paid them each like $10 for their 90 minutes of work; then searched around for somebody to hire to pay to get at the nasty root system underground. LONG story short: eventually the garden was clear and ready for planting again. Along the way there was a broken sprinkler pipe, and the price of new shrubs went up (supply and demand) and finally one day months later, I dragged myself to the nursery to try and figure out what to put in the front yard. I do NOT like making decisions about stuff because I second guess and then wonder, "will this be worth the investment?" or "what if these get too much sun or not enough water?" etc. Mainly, I needed to get something in the ground before the heat of summer would scorch it.