Weed Me, Seymour

Two years ago I had an epiphany about the joys of weeding: few domestic tasks are so rewarding as the feel of a long, recalcitrant root slipping from the soil.  This growing season has been the most disappointing on record, as our frequent absence and an increased workload have kept us otherwise occupied most of the time.  I've watched the weeds take over with a growing feeling of panic, as our garden begins to resemble the opening chapter of Rebecca:
The drive was a ribbon now, a thread of its former self, with gravel surface gone, and choked with grass and moss. The trees had thrown out low branches, making an impediment to progress; the gnarled roots looked like skeleton claws. Scattered here and again amongst this jungle growth I would recognise shrubs that had been landmarks in our time, things of culture and grace, hydrangeas whose blue heads had been famous. No hand had checked their progress, and they had gone native now, rearing to monster height without a bloom, black and ugly as the nameless parasites that grew beside them.

Okay, that might be a bit melodramatic.  But seriously, it is bad.

We've had enough rain in the last week to make up for our parched summer; most of it is tropical-storm residue, the long, soaking sort of rain that makes weeds shrug their tendrils in despair and apathetically submit to execution.  All through the day, as I taught classes and tutored students and planned dinner, I felt the slow approach to Weed Equilibrium: that magical moment when the ground is puddle-free but pleasingly pliant.  It rained so much that we actually got let out of school early one day; I'm sure my students will be eagerly checking for delays on rainy mornings for years to come.  (I know I will!)

Saturday morning I ventured out to tackle the project that had bothered me all summer: the foot or so of soil between our beautifully landscaped beds and the asphalt of the street.  It's that sandy, gravelly mess that weeds love, and they'd found all sorts of cracks and crevices in which to take root.  Most offensive to me was the fact that the Belgian block marking the edges of the beds was completely obscured by wayward tufts of green.

It took four separate sessions, separated by more rain in between, but it's cleared now, save one patch of stubborn crab grass (that stuff is of the devil!)  And I can't overstate my elation every time I approach the house and see those rows of marbled granite, clean white teeth peeking out from behind the elegant mustaches of juniper and Russian sage.  Rob has jumped on board, spraying with weed barrier and ordering gravel to discourage future residents from setting up shop.  Suddenly, it doesn't matter as much that the house needs painting, the silver maple is out of control and those evil morning-glory vines (also of the devil) have once again eluded my early efforts and commandeered the fence.  I took care of one eyesore, and I'm proud of myself.

Just wanted to share.