Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weed B Gone

"The dandelion swayed in the gentle breeze like an oscillating electric fan set on medium."

Clif and I were on the deck discussing the freakish ingenuity of our escape artist black lab when we happened to see our next-door-neighbor-who-is-so-frequently-away-we-almost-forget-we-have-neighbors-on-that-side working in her yard.  Not her name, exactly, but close enough.

Our discussion had shifted from canine shenannigans to the horrifically out of control state of our lawn.  I didn't want to go in the yard for fear a small family of meerkats may have moved in and frankly I didn't feel my ankles needed to be subjected to that kind of unknown.

The effort to take back control of the yard started a couple of weeks ago with the flower bed that runs along the front of the house.  You might say I had failed to notice spring was so far along:

Daunting!  Luckily most of those weeds were a dream to pull up.  Less luckily was that those same weeds when allowed to grow too long develop into that crazy grass stuff that literally throws shrapnel seeds when you breath in its general direction.  Let's just say I am thankful I still have my eyesight...

The other half of the weed population was dandelions the size of a boxing glove.  If you have ever in your life tried to pull a dandelion by the root you know my pain.  Tap roots are SERIOUS BUSINESS!  For a while I tried using a garden spade to get down under them but ended up cutting through most, leaving tap root too far below the surface to pull, laughing at my efforts and scheming for how they'd come back bigger than ever.  So, what's a good gardener to do?  Give up.


Until you see your phantom neighbor wandering her yard with a giant metal stick she's using to pry the suckers out.  I watched, fascinated, as she took a leisurely stroll around her house, bending here and there to pop dandelions out of the ground and into her bucket with next to no effort.  I had to have that tool.

I sent Clif to the Depot with strict instructions not to return without The Device:

Holy cow, my new best friend!  I couldn't wait to get home to break that baby in!  (For those of you who are wondering, yes, it was about this time I started to be overly aware of my age and lameness having just come to the high point of my week with a weeder in the front yard...)

Happy was I down in the dirt getting minimally dirty thanks to my work horse pair of gardening gloves until I did something silly: I asked Clif if he could bring me my gardening bench from the back yard.  Working my waist was great exercise but after 50 million dandelions my back attempted to start a riot.

Clif delivered alright, but brought along something extra:

Here I am half way through my hard, sweat-breaking work and along comes the big gun.  Now, I have nothing at all against the big gun, we need the big gun!  But my play time with my toy was cut short.  With the little bit of time he saved, however, I was able to give our butterfly bushes, Laurel and Hardy, a MUCH needed trimming.

Can I tell you a secret?  Even though it wasn't exactly the timing or type I would have liked to have had, I was happy for his help.  And after he rained down weed death from the sky?  I went back out and dug up a dozen more dandelions anyway.

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