Sunday, June 5, 2011

I See the Light at the End of the Tunnel!

Today, just like last weekend, I worked outside attempting to reclaim our yard from the overgrowth of weeds and other invasive growing things (read "nasty blackberry vines!"). Last year was such a wet and cool summer that I completely ignored our side yard. We were so busy with sports and work, that I pretty much ignored the rest of our yard too. Had it not been for Hubby mowing the lawns, and the children pulling just-enough-weeds, I think the weeds would have swallowed the house!

Oh where, oh where are
my raised flower beds?
The last part that I needed to reclaim was our side garden area. Our children have always referred to this area as the "Secret Garden" and has been home to some wonderful, imagine-filled times outside as they played together. So I pulled all my garden tools and gloves and got to work. Some of these weeds were over 5' tall...must be all that Oregon rain!

When I finally got out to this side of the yard, it was already 76 degrees outside - which is sweltering when you consider we haven't yet hit over 70 degrees and it's already June!

But it was beautiful...the sky was a gorgeous blue, there was a nice breeze and I had my hands in the dirt. One benefit I did find in ignoring your side garden for two years is that all the extra plant material and potting soil I'd thrown (read "added") to the raised beds, composted really nicely. 

Nature's health meter!
I was completely tickled every time I pulled up some weeds to find these beautiful wigglers everywhere. And some of them were quite large!

It confirmed that my adamant stance on NOT using herbicides (or pesticides against the spiders) has paid off. The quality of the soil in my beds is far better than anything I could purchase. 

It also explains why this seems to be a banner year for nests. All of a sudden our yard is "the" place to raise a family. It's quite entertaining to see how the different finch, hummingbirds, robins and the other birds carve out which tree is theirs and where they go digging for bugs and worms.

Who says you need a
trampoline to have fun?
So after working for 5 hours, I realized I'd filled not just our yard debris but our neighbors too (thank you Yia-Yia!)! But alas, I found a tool to get the last of our weeds into the bins. This is what I call the "#3-blond-smasher!"

With 60 lbs of jumping energy, my #3 managed to compact the debris enough for me to get the remaining piles in - YEAH! 

So now my yards back under control, and I can begin to focus on building raised beds, getting my greenhouse and organizing my vegetable garden. If I persevere I may still make this growing season (read "if my back and legs hold out").

Volunteer Lavender - the visiting
bees LOVE it!
I do have to admit, there is something about physically working hard, feeling tired at the end of the day, and stepping back and seeing what you've accom-plished. Here's hoping my back holds out! 


  1. Wow! Looks great over there! I personally love your debris compacter!!

  2. Wow! What a difference--good job!

    Can I borrow your #3 compactor? My trailer is overflowing with yardwaste too big to fit into my 3 full composters and my wheel barrow is full, too!

    Who would have ever guessed that worm sightings would bring such a sense of satisfaction?!!

    I cannot wait to see all your hard work in person this weekend!

  3. I'm sure she's love to come help and jump on your yard debris...although she's getting smart enough to know how to negotiate really well.
    And who would have thought finding worms would make me so happy! =0)

  4. Well, summer's coming and she has an Auntie who would love company!

    We live really, really close to a waterslide and I'm not above bribery! :-)