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Winning The Battle, Not The War

I love rain. Rain is great. The weeds and vines that are overtaking our property because of all the rain we've had lately are not great. I feel like I'm engaged in an ongoing battle against the backyard--an epic Man vs. Nature struggle, where Vinca, Ivy and Wild Strawberries are The Bad Guys™.

I spent this afternoon cutting vines off the back wall. I just did that back in May. I discovered a healthy crop of poison ivy this time around (there was only one little plant last time). My liriope is lookng nice, though; it's lush with purple blooms. I moved several plants the last time I did major garden maintenance, and they're filling in the beds nicely. I also pruned about four feet off of my tearose. It had been seriously neglected by the previous owners and looked like a 10-foot tall weed. It actually resembles a rosebush now.

After a while, I gave up on the back wall (I need to drag the ladder out and spray along the top of it) and moved to the lower wall along the back of the house. I hand-weeded the entire length of it since we no longer have the string-trimmer at our disposal. I think that will be our next lawn-related purchase. I pulled up a proliferation of wild mint that had decided to carpet the pathway from one side to the other. I want to plant an herb garden, but that's not the location I had in mind.

Then I turned my attention to the sideyard. The sideyard, which features a lovely pergola and gated pathway from the front porch to the rear of the house has become entirely overrun with ivy (and tulip poplars, but I pulled those up). The pathway is hardly even detectable at this point. Once I get a majority of the ivy cleared out (and we have the grading and water issues on that side of the house addressed), I think I'm going to lay a flagstone walk along there. I'm looking forward to teaching myself how to do that.

Finally, I moved around to the opposite side of the house and tackled the wayward lily-of-the-valley growing haphazardly in that bed. Then I pulled the rotting wooden cover off the window well under the pantry. The entire well was three-feet deep with leaves, covering half the window. I raked it out and discovered numerous stones from the crumbling wall behind the house, plus the missing metal grate for the opening under the porch. No wonder that window was leaking! Who fills in their window well with dirt, leaves and rocks so it can collect water? Brilliant. I should be able to caulk around the frame and fix that problem now.

In all, I got a lot accomplished this afternoon and saw a hummingbird at my front door on my way inside. A couple more weekends of steady progress and I'll be ready to host the backyard barbecue bash I want to throw at the end of summer. Right now, though, it's time to hit the shower.



The Inimitable Miss M

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October 2009


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