Weed Wars

Today was an amazingly beautiful day in my little piece of Washington heaven. The sun was bright, the skies were blue, and it was 60 degrees by 11:30 am. The perfect day to spend in the yard.

The past few weeks I've been clearing out weeds and pruning and spreading bark a few hours at a time, but today was the first full day we both spent outdoors, cleaning up after winter. Dave mowed our acre+ lawn (with only one hiccup: a broken belt on the riding mower that required a trip to the parts store). While he made repairs, I walked through the orchard & pasture areas that we've incorporated into our lawn, and pruned the low-hanging branches of four massive cedar and fir trees. Their branches had grown to nearly touch the ground, which makes it a challenge to mow.

My own gardening task for the day was to finish a new outdoor sitting area in a former garden near the house. A winter storm brought a huge branch down onto the fence that suppported a 35-year-old wisteria, destroying the fence & posts, and damaging the plant. A couple of weeks ago I removed the fence and cut back the wisteria, and gave it a quirky replacement: a two-rail horse jump, using standards I built myself, and rails from our lake property that I scaled and sanded. I love the look. It reminds me of my years as a horse owner and rider, and the reason we bought this property.

Today I needed to find some large rocks for a rockery, and while pruning the cedar trees, spotted a few granite rocks under one of the trees. As I pulled up the first two, I realized that there was a big pile of them, buried under years of needles and soil buildup. Cool! I loaded up the wheelbarrow and hauled them back to the garden, built the small rockery, then backfilled and leveled the ground. It's ready for mulch.

Tomorrow, if the weather holds, I'll tackle a lemon balm hedge that's run amok and crowded out some prize plants: poppies, garden phlox, and peony. These will get a new home in the new border by the sitting area.