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Long shadows and weeds

Posted by joeabbott on June 2, 2013

Today you get something of a before/after view of the “plateau” in our backyard and the tedious work between the two shots.

We have a moderate sized backyard: it seems small to anyone with “acreage” but way more than that when you’re weeding the flower beds, mowing and edging, and generally tending it. We live in a suburb and have a roughly 1/3 acre. The lot is long and narrow and on the steep side with a “plateau” in the middle. Stone steps lead up to this ovalish 40’ by 10’ area that’s covered in crushed gravel and has space for a few large seating stones around a fire pit. It’s a nice setup but we let the weeds take over.


The snap to the left if a shot just off the stone steps on the way up; the fire pit is off picture to the left and another walkway heads up to the chicken coop from the upper right of the photo.

The main topic of note, however, are all the weeds! Tons of weeds!

Each weekend I’d say something like: “if tomorrow is nice, I’ll spray weed killer on the whole area and we can keep the cats inside.” We needed the nice day because all the rain here in Seattle would just wash the herbicide into our garden beds if we didn’t let it soak in and “do its thing”.

But, neither Suzy nor I are big fans of poisons and there’s no keeping the chickens out of this area. They mostly stay to Chickenville, but all of them will come over the fence if boredom or curiosity sets in.

So, as with many other times, I decided to pull the weeds by hand. It’s a long and tedious job that leaves the fingers sore and the back aching. Fortunately, it had been rainy enough over the last few days that the soil let loose of the roots of most weeds given the right tugging.

Here’s what my day looked like for many hours yesterday: P6010009  P6010010  P6010008





But, it’s really not so bad once you get started. You see a huge area, it’s a major mess, and you’re not at all interested in starting. But, if you focus on a small spot, make it clean, and then move out a bit, you find that, slowly but surely, you make progress. I guess like any tedious job: starting is the hardest part.

P6010011But, in the end, it came out OK.

The picture to the right is looking from the top of the stairs, over to a couple of Adirondack chairs I’d built that are sitting just outside the stones around the fire pit. And, it’s nearly weed free!

I say “nearly” because there are tons of cottonwood seeds mixed into the gravel that will sprout and I’ll have to have at another weeding session. In years past I’d give the entire area a small dusting of weed killer to hold things off but didn’t this year. We’ll see if I regret that!

That was my yesterday! Lots and lots of weeding while Suzy did the same in another part of the yard. Perhaps a bit boring, but definitely part of my life!

Thanks for dropping by.


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