Garden of weedin’

Such a nice day we had today, just a tad over 80 degrees with plenty of sun. A delightful day to be outside working in the yard.

Unless, of course, your boy dog has a touch of the trots overnight and wakes you up no fewer than five times for an urgent run to the backyard and you’re so darn tired that all you want to do is go back to bed and sleep through that nice sunny day. Oh yes. I was up and making my coffee at 7 a.m., reluctantly, and to say I am not a morning person doesn’t even begin to cover it. But I could see a lovely day coming up and I really, really didn’t want to waste it.

Even though my eyes were gritty all day from lack of sleep, I suited up in my work duds, slathered on the sunscreen and tackled the worst of the weeds in my back yard. I started my assault with the electric string trimmer, but I’m not good at making consistent passes with it so I plowed up a lot of dirt and made more of a mess than anything else. So I switched to the hula hoe, which proved to be pretty strenuous work with, again, a lot of dirt plowing. The easiest and cleanest way to get the weeds up, as it turned out, was just to get down on my knees and pull them by hand.

I don’t know what they’re called, the ones that colonize the bare spots in my yard every spring. They have little buds on them that are soft and tender now but that dry out in the summer and become quite spiky, which presents something of a hazard to the dogs’ paws (if you’re wondering, no, they’re not goat heads; if they were, I’d kill them with fire).

Update, April 28: After much Googling (which I was too tired to do last night), I’ve determined that the weed is called the bur buttercup. So now we know.

They have super-shallow roots that make them the easiest weed to pull on the planet. One just has to get down to their level to do it, and god knows that stooping and kneeling are really hard on bodies of a certain age and, ahem, girth.

But it had to be done (fortunately, only once a year because they don’t regenerate during the growing season) and I am the only one to do it so I did. I reformatted a camera card prematurely and lost my before photos, but here are the after photos of the two patches I cleared. Both were completely covered with a 4-inch-deep carpet of weeds, all of which filled two 30-gallon yard bags.


The far corner of my yard that gets full sun exposure all day and would be an ideal spot for a raised bed or container garden if I had a green thumb. Which I do not, sadly, so it’s pretty much just a doggie latrine.


What a real estate agent would call a “small RV parking pad” on the side of my garage (I call it a barren waste of space; I’d rather my garage were wider instead). It’s on the north side and half-shaded like this for most of the day so I haven’t considered it to be a good garden spot, either. It sure does grow weeds well, though, so perhaps I’m misunderestimating it.

Between the warm sun, the hard labor, and last night’s brief and fractured sleep, I am plumb tuckered out right now. I hope Rudy has worked out whatever is going on with him and we can all enjoy uninterrupted dreams tonight!


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