It’s day 3 of the Victoria long weekend and the unofficial start of summer in Canada. I have spent the past three days – when it wasn’t raining – cutting, trimming, pulling, raking, sweeping, and bagging. As the temperatures nudge upwards and the sun peaks out from time to time, I’ve re-discovered what happens after nature has received copious amounts of rain. Everything EXPLODES with life.
Before I retired, I didn’t give yard work a second thought. I had enough trouble just keeping up with the stuff that needed to be done INSIDE the house. I relied on Husband to do the bare minimum outdoors that would keep us in the good books of our neighbours with their perfectly manicured yards. We were never at risk of winning any awards from Better Homes and Gardens.
Since I retired however, I’ve been feeding this myth in my head that I too can have a perfect yard. It’s taken three years of stubborn weed pulling and learning the art of strategic fertilizing and super-seeding to have a lawn that rivals the neighbours. It makes me proud – but secretly I’m very grateful that we in fact have very little grass because it has been back-breaking work.
I guess I underestimated the tenacity of Mother Nature. I figured that I’d pull a weed, trim a shrub and I’d be set for the season. I didn’t realize it would be a never-ending riot of activity for months until the first frost in fall would come.
I didn’t anticipate the nightmares I would have of clover slowly and insidiously weaving their roots across my grass trying to strangle its life. Nor did I anticipate that the appearance of the small golden head of a dandelion would strike terror in my heart. I see yards full of their sunny little faces and can only think of the inevitable white cloud of pollen that will drift onto my property in hopes of taking root.
I didn’t predict that this former desk-jockey would become comfortable wielding an electric hedge trimmer – really just a small chainsaw – hacking order and symmetry into the shrubs that simply won’t maintain their shape from month to month.
Then there are the hundreds – and I mean that quite literally – of maple seedlings popping up EVERYWHERE from the millions of maple keys spewed from the trees in the fall.
Even though I’m feeling overwhelmed by the heavy workload I’ve undertaken, I can’t help but sit back and gaze at my currently bare yard to plan all the new things I want to do differently this year.