It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Weeds And Paths, And No Weeds in Paths, Hopefully

Argh. Okay, you have probably surmised from previous posts that I am subject to confusion. I don't mind weeds. In fact, sometimes I cultivate herbage that most people would consider weeds. But in certain places I can't handle them. In some places instead of delight and wonderment they cause irritation, frustration and mild depression. As for instance, our five-eighths gravel drive needs to be weed free because that particular gravel is not a carefree medium. There are some applications of pathways or walkways that "spill over" say of nasturtium is welcomed or when determined columbine, nigella or sedum is allowed to sprout, root and grow. Then again there are some applications that cannot tolerate such wanderings. We have established that five-eighths gravel in a driveway is one of them.
The other is the dry river bed thingy that everyone is doing and that I have succumbed to. Albeit I have put a twist on mine. But that is a later subject. Now I am not against a large clump of something spilling over the large rock edge but the center of the "dry creek bed" must be free of greenery or else it will look like a creek that clearly had gray water waste infiltration from some lady who used a high phosphate detergent and was not very environmentally friendly and the excessive greenery probably had something to do with choking out the natural flow upstream and that is why it went dry . Sometimes green isn't always green.

So now that we have established that there are some applications where I cannot abide by weeds no matter how interesting or the jumping of beds by cultivated plant life, let's also establish that I am a messy do-er. Whether it is in the kitchen, the garden, the craft room, anywhere, I can whip up a mess that is larger than the target product. My mom used to say of even my cleaning projects, "Lanny, you make a bigger mess than you are cleaning up." Yep, that's me, in just about anything. But I do eventually get the place tidied up and a product produced but there is that intermediate mess that those who stumble on to me mid-project are usually surprised by, shocked by.

I have realized late in life, perhaps too late but who knows, maybe not, that if I can possibly not make such a big mess I don't have such a lengthy clean up. There are also times when you really cannot clean up the result of your messiness. One in particular would be in gravel driveways and rock paths where dirt has spilled. Weed control mats work only if you keep the dirt on the underside of the mat and the gravel or rock on the top side. Yes, somethings will grow in pure gravel or rock, but not for long and they pull out at the mere suggestion to leave. But if there is dirt, for get it, Much like Satan they have a foothold. One they will not readily give up. So the only way to prevent herbage gaining a foothold in gravel or rock, you need to keep out the dirt. And that my dear friend is easier said than done for a messy do-er.
So today when I needed to weed along my yet unfinished creek-bed walkway, it's waiting for more rock and some sand, I had to come up with something that would keep the inevitable lump of dirt from landing amid the existing rock on top of the lovely black weed mat. Dirt, my husband, and I have often had issues with my getting dirt, the soil stuff, on his lawn, which he hates. So I will take the time to put down a tarp or sheet of plywood or cardboard on the lawn while I make my hole or take out a strip of sod or whatever. I needed to apply that low level technology to my current problem. Elisabet was a good scout in her dad's garage for me and came up with a sheet, that we split down the middle and a chunk of clear plastic.

There is still the black weed mat showing because all the path material has not yet arrived, so I took extra precaution and tucked the edge of the "drop cloths" around the lip of the black mat and weeded to my hearts content. You know, I really don't mind weeding. It is true what some people say, it is therapeutic. Just one more evidence of Romans 8:28 in my book. Satan means to harass and depress me with the inundation of weeds in my garden over the short span of a couple of lost weeks. But instead God gives me the chance to work some things out, get some needed time in with him, and get a good close look at the soil structure and some things I might need to deal with. Not to mention feeling accomplished over my "invention" of a weeding technique.

Amazing how that can all work out. Something else I just now touched on that I really need to let you know about in case you are a struggling side-tracked nut job like me. The use of children as go-fers. It is a necessity for me to have my children around when I am doing a job. If I had left my job site to go fetch a suitable "drop cloth" I would have begun to organize my husband's garage which would inevitably lead me to another job, and another job and yet another job, never making it back to my original job until dark or even the next day, maybe not even then. I wonder what will happen when we marry the last one off. Well, "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow. " Just know that if I have accomplished something, anything, it is with great help, usually from one or more of my beautiful, generous daughters and so I am always thankful for them.
And now look! no large lumps of dirt in my rock path! And except for the time spent thinking about a solution, tucking the drop cloth into place and moving it along in front of my work it really didn't add that much time to the whole job and the job looks better right now and later, when I don't have a bunch of weeds growing in the soil on top of the weed mat.
Thanks for hanging in there for my big explanation of my new trick. I am sure Martha will have it on her show this week saying that she has always used this method. Don't believe her ! I came up with it on my own!

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