Before and After

Weeds, weeds, weeds and weeds

I know you’ll have to look hard to see it but there is a short path of rocks through this garden.

I usually spend a great deal of time in the fall cleaning up my gardens, getting rid of the last weeds, cutting back the perennials, straightening up. You know, housework in the yard.

But last fall was unusual. We spend most of September living elsewhere because of the slope failure outside our house. We spent a good part of October moving back into our house once it had been determined that it was safe—for now.

And we didn’t know, for sure, whether we would ever be able to live here again.

Limbo was the keyword back then.

So when it came time to clean up the yard for the coming winter, my heart dragged on the ground. I remember thinking over and over again: Is this the last time I’m going to do this?

I cut back perennials with tears in my eyes most days.

Because of that, the weeds in my yard enjoyed a reprieve. And this spring has been a good lesson in the reasons why I started doing an annual fall cleanup so many years ago.

On Friday, I got out in the yard armed with trowel and hand rakes to tackle this short path. It took a few hours to raise the stones, avoid getting chewed up by the ants who have constructed condo projects under the largest stones (you give them time to evacuate and just clear out the thousands of violet seedlings around the edges), and make this look so much better.

For a while, at least.

This is what it looks like after. Aaaah.

Unweedy, unweedy, unweedy—at least for as long as it takes to snap a picture.