I figure as long as I'm out there, I should paint the porch foundation as well. See that white splotch above right? How about here?
I was in a pruning war with the azalea--cutting it back bit by bit, encouraging it to fill out from the base, be smaller, and not totally take over the stairs. I was winning the war, but the fact is, it was never going to look good there.
Painting presented the perfect excuse to just get rid of the bush--I couldn't possibly paint the porch with the azalea still there--it touching the cement in far too many places, and too close to just tie it back.
This was on the "oh, I'll get around to it one of these days. Maybe when it's cooler. Maybe October," list, until I found some great cheap dwarf sunflowers at Home Depot, that I knew would look much better in that spot than that azalea. I bought the sunflowers, and moved the azalea extraction to the top of the to-do list.
The real stroke of genius was when I recruited P to help. Here's my idea of how an azalea should be removed:
After all, it's what I made my father do on his last visit.
Here's P's idea of how to "git 'er done." Step 1: