About four days ago, I realized there was a big problem around my shed. You see, I don’t pay much attention to the shed. It’s in a rather neglected niche in the yard and is easily overlooked.
While many gardeners probably wouldn’t show you their troubled areas (I guess because it’s like showing someone your holey underwear), I will. No garden got beautiful by accident. Someone commits time, energy, and probably money to get it that way. Some gardens have issues, and I’m the first to say mine certainly does with its weirdly shaped lot.
When I purchased this property, I suspected the survey would show the narrow funky “arm” where the shed is located wasn’t legally part of the plot, but I was wrong.
An 80+ year old neighbor who grew up in this ‘hood informed me there used to be an alley/city easement behind the homes on our side of the street where the sewer pipes ran, but at some point, the City relinquished ownership and for an unknown reason, my property ended up with a sizeable portion of the alley that goes behind two other homes.
There is an +/- 8’ x 16’ piece of land behind the shed. (Future secret garden???) I rarely visit it, but the vines and the weeds do, and they’re sneaky and evil.
Here is that approximate 8′ x 16′ area. Can you see anything but weeds? No? Neither can I.
Four days ago, I looked at the shed and realized it was being eaten by vines so I went back into the jungle and cut the vines off at their roots.
I removed the dead vines above today.
Truthfully, I’m sick of pulling weeds, but I resigned myself to commit 2-4 hours/day removing weeds in the area beside and behind the shed. BLAH!
For two days, I cut, pulled, and sacked big nasty thorny weeds (greenbriar and wild dewberry) along with Virginia Creeper, Snailseed vine, and English ivy. In that time, I managed to clear a 4’ x 8’ area along one side of the shed.
I know this photo is blurry, but if you look to the left of the leaves, you’ll see a very thick thorny greenbriar cane. The black spots are vicious thorns.
Thorny dew berry above.
This morning when I grabbed my gloves, my brain finally turned on. What was I doing????
Why wasn’t I using cardboard to cover/smother the weeds on the ground? I’d done this on other occasions. Duh! And it just so happened I’d walked by a huge mound of cardboard placed out for the trash yesterday.
I stopped mid-glove, hopped into my car, and rushed to the house with all of the boxes. Whew! The big boxes were still there. I took almost all of them.
On the way home, I spied a lonely Amazon box sitting on the top of a garage can.Why not take it too?
So, I pulled over, got out and grabbed it, and that’s when this disembodied voice called out to me.
“You need to ask my mommy!”
Hunh? Where was that voice coming from?
I finally spied a little girl on the swing set behind the house looking at me.
She said again, “You need to ask my mommy!”
I answered her by saying I was pretty sure her mommy didn’t want the box because it was sitting on the garbage can. However, the little girl wouldn’t be swayed.
“No. You need to ask my mommy, first.”
I didn’t want to meet “mommy.” I was dressed like a weed-pulling bum in a T-shirt that was three sizes too large with holes and my pants were stained and baggy.
I put the box back on the garbage can and said I didn’t need it after all.
“No,” she said. “Wait!” With that, she ran inside the house.
Damn, I wanted to go.
Thankfully, the girl came out immediately and told me, “My mommy says you can have it. I’ll get it for you.” And she did.
Tomorrow, I’ll work on cutting and bagging the vines on the fence, but the cardboard makes this job so much easier. I’ve not decided yet what I’ll cover the cardboard with. I have mulch, but don’t want to attract termites to the shed.
Finally, here’s what was blooming in the yard today:
My hair looks like this most days. I think it’s an allium/onion. Got it at an estate sale.
Abutilon (flowering maple)