August 17th, 2007
Weeding After a Rain

Zanthan Gardens Back Forty
2007-08-17. I spent three hours tugging on bindweed this morning; do I still have to go to the gym today?

I enjoy weeding after a rain. The air is fresh and the plants perk up. Best of all our clay soil becomes soft enough to relinquish its hold on the weeds.

Today I decided to work on the southwest corner of my yard which I refer to as the back forty. It’s part of my mini-woodland and I leave it mostly in a natural state to provide habitat for birds and lizards, as well as a hiding place for possums and armadillos. I’m glad I have room in my yard to allow for a little wildness.

Zanthan Gardens Back Forty
2007-08-17. Before. Strangled in bindweed.

With all the rain Austin’s received this summer, the back forty has become a spot where you can no longer see the garden for the growth. Most of it is bindweed, wild ruellia, and turk’s cap. Underneath there somewhere is my ‘Little Gem’ magnolia and two tiny Texas mountain laurels that I’ve grown from seed.

The back forty is the area of greatest contrast between summer and winter. In the summer it is in dark shade most of the day. The dense undergrowth blocks the view of my neighbor to the west, even though our yards are divided only by a short chain link fence.

In the winter, after the deciduous trees lose their leaves, this area of the yard is in full sun. Here it is looking neater than usual. I’d cleaned it up when I bought the magnolia with the idea of making some beds against the west fence.

Zanthan Gardens Back Forty
2004-01-19. The back forty has a completely different feel in winter.

by M Sinclair Stevens

3 Responses to post “Weeding After a Rain”

  1. From Annie in Austin:

    I hope the mosquitoes didn’t torture you while you worked, MSS. That’s a dramatic difference for one morning’s work, and with weeding, at least your results are in direct proportion to the amount of attention, diligence and labor you’ve given the task. That doesn’t happpen when you deal with human beings and weather.

    It would be interesting to see that ‘Little Gem’ make some growth and bloom for you!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  2. From Angelina:

    I love weeding after rain too. I don’t have very much time for it right now but I’ve been itching to get out in my garden and do some major weed pulling. I’m glad you got some done!

    It’s way better than the gym. Total zen work-out.

  3. From Cowtown Pattie:

    Yep, I love Turk’s Cap, but it is a vigorous grower! Our garden is beginning to look too messy with overgrowth.

    Time to get cullin’!