Each of the last four days (in addition to two the week before) I have spent at least an hour outside, attempting to stem the tide of six, seven, eight years of neglect in the backyard of my youth. Washing the patio table and chairs (a bit belatedly for a series of yard parties), and setting to work yanking out weeds. First the milkweeds, creeping into the lawn itself, then the more mundane stuff--vast stands of what I dubbed crapweed, a plant with a stainy orange sap and swarms of white fliy/moth things that seemed to be breeding on it.
Then we found a saw, and set to on the various creepy-climbies, the lilac canes, the sadly neglected forsythias, and the spreading trees. Our pile has grown. The trash littering the yard has also abated or been organized--one of the two dilapidated barrel planters ahs been broken down and its soil redistributed, the railroad signs are stacked against the garage, the hose wound, and the birdfeeders hung up as of yet unstocked. And--what is more--there is now division. Six score bricks, some lying around, some already set in odd patterns on the lawn have been extracted and redug into a series of simple, clean lines around the perimeter. The effect a simple brick boundary can have is astonishing.
The are no more tarps covering piles of furniture (oh, last summer--how I do not miss thee) There are no more creepers pulling at said tarps. THere are no longer a half-dozen trees quietly growing in the back forty. The crapweed flies we have seen languishing in a half-dozen spiders' webs. Instead of the biomass-laden slag heap that happened to be behind our house--is a yard.
Is it perfect? Hardly. The fence needs replacing (which is why I've done precious little in the way of actual gradening) and the garage will too at some point. The lawn, now cleaned, mowed, and raked, now seems threadbare, and in places contains more non-grass than grass. But we have grass seed. And the progress is tangible.
Anything, in any event, that redirects my blogging away from the awful day I had at work cannot be lauded too highly.