I just spent two plus hours pulling weeds in my yard – mostly out of the lawn itself. I meant to get up early (like 6am early) when it would be cool. But a late night conversation meant I groggily woke up about 9am when the air coming through my window was hot. Still, it had to be done. Gathering my trusty dandelion weeder,
gloves, and trash bag I headed out. We have these terrible thistle weeds that are super invasive and hurt like the dickens when you pull them out. We’ve always had a problem with them, but I kind of neglected the yard in the first couple of years after Tom died, and they got a real foothold in the grass. Last year I covered all the empty flower beds with black plastic and that really helped reduce their numbers in those beds – but the lawn seems to be the perfect environment for them to flourish. Walk barefoot on my lawn at your own peril!
Anyway, I started listening to an audio book, but it wasn’t long before the neighbor girls (twins – about seven years old) came over to “help”. They are a lot of fun but not much help. They always want to use the clippers, but only on things like grass and the weeds I have pulled – never on the stray tree shoots that I use them on. Today they explored under my deck finding “pretty”rocks. My deck is about two feet off the ground at the highest point – certainly not much of a place to play! The neighbors on the other side also have two girls (a toddler and maybe nine years old?). The girls shout across my yard on a regular basis and remind me of when my kids were little.
As I worked my way around the yard, I was happy to see that the lilac bushes are growing and healthy and that my oldest lavender plant is loaded with blossoms and has taken over the corner of the bed it lives in. I found a few spots where the sprinklers are just not doing the job – the question is whether I can fix it or if I’ll have to bring in expert help. I’m going to try and do some adjustments and see if it makes a difference. I’m more willing to try now that I changed my sprinkler controller. I think I posted a quick comment on Facebook, but I installed a Rain Machine this year and I really love that I can turn zones on and off with my phone. This morning the drip zone started while I was working in the yard and a couple of the emitters had come off and there was water shooting into the air. I quickly turned the zone off, replaced the emitters, and had the zone back on in no time. It is so convenient!
When I was younger and we were living in Kansas in a house with a yard, I was pretty obsessed with yard work. I planned beds and added plants and did maintenance weeding and deadheading several times a week. We had huge trees and quite a bit of local animal life and if the grass was kind of yucky, the rest of the outdoors made up for it. I loved working in that yard.
When we moved to Colorado we had huge flower beds in the back that were always filled with weeds. I could not keep up with that yard. There were things I loved about that yard though. We didn’t have much front yard because the house was located in the corner of a small cul-de-sac. We dug up the tiny bit of lawn on one side of the drive and made the loveliest little flower bed. We put pots all along the front of the house (along with drip lines) so that the front had all this cheerful color during the spring and summer. In the back we had a lattice wall along one side of the deck and we hung pots on this wall as well. But I vowed that our next house would not have a ton of flowerbeds.
My current yard has a front bed with perennials and two smallish beds in the back, also stocked with perennials. I filled part of one bed with sod this year because the soil is filled with small stones spilling in under the fence from the neighbors yard and it mostly only grew weeds. Oh, and there is a strip around the deck that I have been trying to fill up with bushes and things that don’t require a lot of upkeep. For many years being the mom was so all consuming that I didn’t put much energy into the yard. Despite all our good intentions, we never got a drip line working while Tom was alive. He had installed a valve and the hose around the yard, but there was an electrical issue that I only got resolved after he died. I finished the drip system with a little help from my mom and started making some attempts to grow flower pots. This year they are all just beautiful! As my life has become less stressful, I find I have a little more desire to get out and make things look good. Planting lilac bushes this year felt a little like channeling my younger self! 🙂 There is something satisfying about seeing pretty things grow and pulling weeds. But not in 90 degree weather!! At least now I can sit back and enjoy the air conditioning and some entertainment and still feel satisfied that I accomplished something today!