Archive for the ‘Yardwork’ Category

When is a lawn not a lawn?

Before moving into my current rental, my lifetime experience with yardwork was nearly nil, which means that I am learning as I go.

Earlier tonight I took my first close look at the front lawn (most of my work in the front yard so far has been pulling ivy, weeding stray mint, and cutting back bushes). The lawn looked like matted blond hair. I pulled the grass up, cut off the tops—literally making hay while the sun shone—and realized that most of my “lawn” is actually clover and moss. The clumps of grass had grown long and fallen, providing a horticultural combover.

Hoo boy, is next spring going to be fun…

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Weekday weeding window wanes

The days are quickly getting shorter and weeding the yard after work will soon become impractical, so I am getting out into the yard now every chance I get. The upside is that I will probably get the yard into the shape I want it to be before the rainy season starts in four weeks. The downside is that I don’t normally pull ivy in the sun in 85-degree heat. Oof…

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The Great Vacation ends

I’m back to work in less than 12 hours. It’s been a good time off. Mostly relaxing.

Of the seven things I had hoped to do during the vacation, I finished two and made serious headway on a third. Round about Tuesday, my will to get anything done just died for four or five days. Got a lot of sleep, drank a little beer, watched some football. But I was out in the yard for three hours yesterday (in the rain, no less) and am happy with how much better the front yard looks—I think that if I just consistently tend to the grass and the mint next year, I can have it looking good.

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Sweet tea and yardwork

When I lived in Texas, I heard that there was nothing like drinking a glass of iced sweet tea after a couple of hours in the yard under a hot sun.

I can now verify this remark. I’m almost ready to go out for another hour.


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I was up early both days this weekend to weed the backyard before the sun cleared the neighbor’s trees (9am, more or less). Too hot this weekend to weed in the sun.

I time my weeding by using the Steely Dan albums on my iPod. A short weeding is a one-album weed; a long weeding is a two-album [*]. I think Steely Dan and yardwork go together so well for me because, depending on my mood, I can tune in to the clever lyrics or tune out with the beautiful jazz-pop. Aja is my favorite album, with The Royal Scam, Katy Lied, and Gaucho getting frequent play as well.

Final results for the weekend: one 40-gallon compost bin and four 30-gallon bags at curbside for tomorrow’s pickup. The backyard is still junglesque, but a circular path from one side of the porch to the other now runs between the grass and the trees, and that was my basic goal.

( [*] It would actually be more appropriate to listen to Steely Dan while spooning sugar than while pulling weeds, if you know what I mean and I think that you do.)

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A smell surprise

Pulled ivy that has sat in 100-degree heat for a couple of days smells like tea.

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One positive to riding home this evening on a packed, slow-moving TriMet bus in 102-degree heat while wearing pants and a long-sleeved shirt: When I got home, weeding the shaded side yard in 90-to-95-degree heat for an hour and a half seemed like a vacation.

Was that one positive worth it? I’m not saying that. I wouldn’t say that. But you’ve got to find the good where you can sometimes.

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